Marketing via Storytelling: How and Why We Do It

Marketing via Storytelling: How and Why We Do It

As a small digital marketing company, it is our goal to accurately and compellingly tell our clients’ stories. But what exactly does that mean? For Boomers and Gen X’ers who grew up with “advertising,” calling marketing “storytelling,” might sound like a big load of you know what. The truth is that while storytelling has become a major buzzword among marketers over the last several years, it has become an equally important tool for selling goods and services, and gaining customer loyalty.

So why does telling stories make for such effective marketing today? It’s a combination of several factors. Read on to learn more about how storytelling and new media can help improve your business’s marketing.

As I alluded to in the intro, times have changed. Or to be more specific, technology has changed. As a society, we’ve become so inundated with marketing messages that we are often deaf and blind to the message that traditional ads are trying to send. It’s a phenomenon I like to call ‘advertising fatigue.’ The solution is to truly get to know who your target audience is and to produce marketing content that speaks to them and enriches their life in some way.

Before we explore storytelling and why it is such an effective marketing tool, let’s clearly define what it is, and what it isn’t. An article I read recently speaks about marketing via storytelling in glowing terms. It uses scientific research into brain activity of people listening to a storytelling podcast, the Moth Radio Hour, to make a case for why marketers “must” include storytelling in their marketing efforts.

What podcasts do is traditional storytelling and I find it irresponsible to suggest that what we’re doing as marketers is akin to what they or other types of traditional storytelling methods do. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can enchant your audience with some magical storytelling brain voodoo. It’s still marketing and we’re not going to pretend like it’s not.

What we try to do as marketers is to tell your story one piece at a time. It’s not a linear or literal story. It’s an overall picture we’re trying to paint with a data point here, a data point there, that all add up to reveal who you are as a brand. Each piece of content you publish, each page of your website must contribute to the same overall ‘story.’

Here’s how we do it:

Video. Videos are arguably the most popular medium to communicate information today. It is definitely the fastest growing. If you want to get your message across online today, you need at least one video to help you do it. Video is a huge advantage for us at KE because we are very good at it and we do it for a lower price than most of our competitors.

Video provides immediate benefits that written content just can’t. It gives the viewer a tangible idea of not only what you do, but who you are. When it comes to marketing by way of storytelling, it’s critically important that your audience understands who you are almost as much as they understand what you’re selling.

Web. How does your website look today? Is it sleek, modern, and easy to navigate? Is it a good representation of who your company is and what you do? If not, you’re doing yourself a significant disservice. Today, a company’s website is like its lobby or waiting room. Have a messy, cluttered, or confusing one and your prospect might just walk out the door, never come back, and share their unfortunate experience with a dozen of their friends.

However, if you have a clean, organized website that simply and clearly conveys all the necessary information about your company, you are putting yourself in a much better position to, at the very least, have your prospect continue their journey down your sales funnel. Similar to our video services, our websites look great and are priced affordably.

Blogs and social. The third and final aspect of this new media storytelling trifecta is social media and blogging. Though the blog lives on your website, I have grouped it here because, much like your social media accounts, its purpose is to give your company a voice.

Regular posting to social media allows your company to stay in front of your audience on a regular basis, so even if you aren’t top of mind for them, you’re at least on their radar. That’s important. At the same time, blog posts allow you to go a bit more in-depth into some of the topics that make your perspective and your products and services unique. Our writers are experts at mastering your unique voice.

So please remember: when you hear us talk about storytelling in a marketing context, we’re not talking about gathering ‘round the fire and telling tall tales. What we’re talking about is using digital tools to convey who you are on the platforms where your audience is most likely to be. In our experience, we’ve found those places to be your website and social media pages. Curious about how our brand of storytelling can work for you? Drop us a line here or call us at (402) 557-5894. We look forward to hearing from you.

photo credit: eltpics Bookshelves via photopin (license)

Dylan Thaemert
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