There has been a sharp rise in the use of storytelling marketing by brands in recent years. Despite sounding like quite a soft and unspecific marketing technique, its importance and benefits should not be underestimated.
As consumer behaviours have changed with digital advances and vast usage of social media, businesses have had to become smarter with their marketing and look to put customer engagement at the heart of their digital strategies. Personalisation and storytelling marketing are key to getting lasting engagement in the customer lifecycle.
Enchant looks at the key benefits of using storytelling marketing in customer engagement strategies and good examples of its impact:
Brand identity for start-ups and SMEs
Storytelling marketing is a perfect fit for start-ups and SMEs, as it is a great way of showing what your business is really about and gives your audience tangible content and people to connect with. Customer feel they can interact and relate to the heart and soul of the brand and its products and services.
Smaller businesses can build momentum with connectivity and innovative thought, whilst creating a narrative that is engaging and sparks the imagination, which can really hit the right note with an audience. Crucially, storytelling should be customer-centric and clearly demonstrate why the customer can benefit from the offering and potential customer relationship.
Dishoom, for example, saw a gap in the market for London-based Indian-food lovers who were fed up with the tired, predictable menus of the standard curry house. New businesses should take note of the storytelling involving in all their literature, in-house menus, website content and email marketing activity. Their digital marketing reflects the emotive look and feel of the restaurants, which transport diners out of London with the attention to detail of the reimagined Bombay “Irani cafés” of the early 1900s. The Guardian newspaper recently wrote a piece about Dishoom’s success story and the passion of the entrepreneurial one of the co-founders, Adarsh Radia.
Dishoom takes you on a journey and shows what can be achieved with a passionate vision, storytelling marketing and clear brand identity, which is all about the customer experience. They even released an album with the authentic music played in the restaurants, which is featured in the email marketing example below:
Changing brand perception
Whether you are a large brand or small business, if you want to refresh things and reconnect with customers and reach out to a wider audience, it is worth taking a holistic view and think about semiotics; the symbolism that echoes the character of your brand through your messaging.
Do market research about your campaigns, communications and branding, and understand the position in which your business sits within the digital landscape and how your brand benefits and impacts your customers. If you need to change the perception of your brand, there is no better way make a shift in the mindset of your audience than storytelling marketing.
Check out our blog on the best ways to change perception, which includes great examples from big name brands, such as Lidl, McDonalds and J D Wetherspoon: 4 Ways to Change Customer Perception of your Brand Lidl’s storytelling and challenging of established perceptions of their stores and of rival supermarket chains has helped break the monopoly of the so-called “big four” supermarkets. It was all about appealing to consumer needs and frustrations to show them another way and a different voice.
Also, it is worth reminding yourselves of this ad from Lloyds, which is an excellent great example of storytelling video content. The advert’s aim to demonstrating what people can achieve with a little bit of help from their bank. The story – a lady turning an ailing petrol station into a 50’s-inspired drive-in diner – is played out with some charming visuals, both moving images and montages of postcard-like snap shots of memories, all adding up to a relatable and inspiring piece of content. It is perfectly customer-centric, appealing to the dreamer in all of us and the ambition of the everyman (and woman) to turn small idea into a successful venture.
Enhancing blog content
Blogs are great way of building brand identity and character, reiterating messaging and values through content marketing. Marketers can take a number of different approaches with their blogs. They can be playful, educational, inspirational or simply a way of keeping up brand awareness and driving traffic to their website.
Whether your focus is on frequency, with short and sharp blog posts, or on longer and more strategic blog content, there is always potential for storytelling. In a recent keynote speech from Connor Kinnear of Passle, at the 2016 B2B Marketing Expo in London, Connor gave an example of creating engaging blog content with storytelling, which included relatable anecdotes leading into a serious blog subject and opinion piece. The blog was by Nicola Smith from Salt Recruitment, and was entitled: “Pink Frilly Knickers”. The blog consisted of a bold header, stand-out image, pithy and to-the-point content, with an intro containing relatable storytelling (banter between her kids), which segued into a serious authentic matter – about what is acceptable banter in the workplace. Read the full blog here: Pink Frilly Knickers.
Also, Enchant is a fan of Honest Brew and their marketing. Here is a fun, timely and relevant blog they wrote to tie in with Euro 2016, called Beer’s Coming Home: The Best Euro 2016 Brews. It shows how storytelling marketing can be self-promotional and informative, whilst at the same time showing off the personality of the brand. It uses nostalgia to allow readers to relate to the content and engage with the messaging.
Remember, customer engagement is key when producing content. With digital marketing these days there is less and less time to hook your audience with your content, so you need to be innovative and bold in order to convince them to persevere with it. Your content must be engaging so your message cut-through to your customers. Storytelling really is important in making marketing content relatable and salient, whilst capturing the imagination of the reader or viewer.