Storytelling. Building a narrative. Taking one on a journey.
Just some of the terms that can be found in a marketing agency pitch or presentation. Why are we telling you this, as a media and communications company ourselves? Because it actually makes sense.
The nature of the buyer changed the moment that connected platforms democratised the ability to publish your opinion and to have a voice. We know these platforms as social media.
The one way communication method died sometime ago. Brands can’t shout at the consumer anymore. The ongoing dialogue between consumers and brands happens in Facebook comments, on Yelp reviews, Hello Peter forums, trending Twitter hashtags, Whatsapp broadcasts and Instagram stories.
The Art of Storytelling
Sitting around the fire, in a garden on the grass, or in a home but always gathered together, is the image of a learned or wise one passing on the tales of life with a lesson to all those in the circle.
The story is carried through the ages, lessons passed through every generation and sometimes spawning urban legends. It’s part of our human fabric. – See what we’re doing there? We are starting to tell a story…. you choose the ending.
Human beings are wired in their emotional DNA, to buy into things that give them a sense of themselves, a place to call home, or belonging. Look at your preference for certain brands; you may buy them out of loyalty because that’s what your parents or family bought, OR, they told a story that resonated with something that makes sense to you.
The ‘made sense to me’ bit can be understood through the brand articulating its values that align with your values. The story-telling or narrative creation by brands, in essense, is a measure of their authenticity to you. The more it makes sense to you, the more the brands’ and your values align.
Emotional manipulation? Some sceptics call it emotional manipulation. We say that the brain 4.0, while dictated to by the algorithm of their feeds, have a far sharper sense of a brand trying to pull the wool over their eyes. They are not easily fooled.
As a consumer, you keep the brand accountable and responsible. Story-telling reminds brands about who they are, their commitment to you, and their place in the world.
Let’s look at some great examples:
Running a #GEInstaWalk that combined influencers with superfans for a walkabout through their manufacturing facilities resulted in the following:
- 8 million views of GE’s Instagram account
- 3 million reach per tour
- 3,000 new followers
Intrepid Travel’s business is travel with small groups, travelling safely and big adventures. To support these services, they told the story with a content hub called The Journal.
The Journal, journals stories from real travellers sharing their experiences. This helps the company deeply connect with other travellers who see the value of community and travel.
And content marketing as an industry is only set to rise. The worldwide market for Content Marketing Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of roughly 16.12% over the next four years, according to the Global Content Marketing Market Research Report 2017 which details growth and trends between 2017 and 2021.