Milan Kundera, a Czech writer once rightly quoted, “Businesses have only two functions- marketing and innovation.” Even if we do not agree that marketing is of utmost importance, we cannot deny that it is at least one of the key areas for any business. The key to generating sales is to reach out to people. How can you reach out to a target audience unless there is no firm marketing strategy?
Having said that, marketing makes businesses more discoverable and profitable. Now, let us see how much are businesses willing to spend on marketing. As per Statista, 32 percent of firms allocate 5 percent of their budgets to marketing. Moreover, 13 percent of companies spend more than 15 percent on B2B marketing. The bottom line is that most companies acknowledge the significance of marketing.
Moving ahead, in contemporary times, marketing is becoming innovative. Digital marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing, and so on are taking the lead. Successful marketing today is synonymous with outside-the-box ideas. The key is to engage the target audience and build connections with them. This is where storytelling can prove to be an excellent addition to the marketing mix. This blog elaborates on the fabulous merits of inculcating storytelling in marketing plans. Let us delve deeper to know more!
How storytelling adds immense value to marketing:
1. Storytelling has an emotional appeal
When a brand shares its stories with its target audience, it is able to create an emotional appeal. People love to engage with brands that share compelling stories. Storytelling can be incorporated into social media posts, podcasts, and other forms of marketing in a convenient way. With emotional stories, brands can capture the imagination and feelings of their target audience.
This is where Nike and Airbnb are doing so well in fostering emotional connections. They are the perfect epitomes of brand-driven storytelling. All of what Nike does is supplemented with emotional storytelling that has a direct emotional impact on consumers. Storytelling has rather been the ethos of Nike making it one of the most successful brands in its league. But people do not love repetitive stories. They have a knack for authentic and relatable stories coming from brands.
2. Storytelling fosters loyal relationships
Marketing is all about attracting new customers and building relationships with them. In modern times, customer service has surpassed product and pricing. As long as a brand offers great customer experiences, customers will not mind spending some extra money. Speaking of customer experience, storytelling can enhance and optimize it. Storytelling can develop an emotional relationship between the brand and customers hence promoting greater loyalty. Not to forget, customer retention and engagement are as imperative as high employee engagement.
A lot of brands market themselves with stories of customers who benefited from their products and services. In this way, they are able to strengthen their relationships with existing customers. Furthermore, by portraying through these stories how they have added value to people’s lives, they also attract new customers. As Bill Gates once said, “content is the king.” The success of storytelling marketing depends on giving people the content they love. They love stories of how a product or service can change lives for the better. Hence, you need to find ways to create engaging and valuable content.
3. Storytelling puts the brand at the forefront
By incorporating storytelling into marketing, a brand can attain a superior position. It is able to present itself as a part of people’s journey. That is how most automobile brands market themselves in the present era. They link their storytelling to the life journeys of their customers and exhibit how they are adding value to lives. Given that, storytelling can put a brand in the driving seat from where it can drive people’s interest.
In this era of cut-throat competition, it is vital for brands to be more competitive. Besides the differentiation in products, they also have to compete in the marketing battleground. A strategy of storytelling can give businesses a competitive advantage over others. Brands with the most interesting and relatable stories will attract a larger target audience. The wider the target market the higher the sales will be.
4. Storytelling enables the marketing of core values
Through storytelling, a brand can endorse its core values in the best way possible. Consumers these days have a greater preference for businesses that exhibit strong values. These include values of sustainability, social responsibility, integrity, and so on. So, via storytelling, a brand can tell people about the values it represents and how these values make it different from others.
To cite an example, Starbucks, the leading coffee brand markets itself around core values of sustainability. In a similar way, there are many brands that pledge a part of their earnings to a social cause. This can be done best in the form of storytelling. Brands can create heartwarming stories of how they are trying to bring a change to their surroundings. This is how the blend of storytelling and marketing acumen can make a real difference.
5. Storytelling captures the interests of people
When brands share compelling stories, they attract people’s curiosity and attention. Stories that can instigate people’s feelings will make people look forward to more. In a way, storytelling is an art and great artists always get their rewards from the audience. A blend of storytelling and marketing will keep people engaged and intrigued. They will be able to develop a knack for unique storytelling and they will remain curious to come across more stories.
One great example worth mentioning here is the ‘Improve your private life’ campaign by Ikea. Ikea is indulging customers and potential clients with storytelling that unleashes the power of humor. Such hilarious storytelling linked to the marketing of Ikea makes people wait for more. The more unique the storytelling campaign the more will be appreciation and eagerness among people. The key is to keep innovating and bringing new and exclusive stories for people. The ability to create appealing stories has to be one of the top marketing skills.
To encapsulate, emotional and unique storytelling can one day become the future of branding. People are no longer interested in the over-the-top false claims that brands make. They are smart enough to call out superficial promises that brands make. People are more interested in authentic, unique, and genuine stories they can trust. They want to come across stories of how a brand is driving positive changes. This is the reason why brands with emotional storytelling strategies are doing so well in terms of marketing.
The merits of storytelling marketing cited above, give you a clear idea of the significance of storytelling. With storytelling, you can make your marketing outreach wider and efficiency more worthwhile. Here is a small trivia for you! People tend to show much higher retention for stories than facts and claims! So, it is time you turn your brand into a lucrative storyteller.