The Power of Storytelling

PR | Social Media

Wednesday 29th March, 2017

If there is one concept that is consistently used in public relations and advertising, its the power of storytelling.

We live in a 24/7 digital world where there is an abundance of information.  Consumers can access news and content anytime of day, from anywhere around the globe, but unfortunately we lack enough time to consume it all. However, we all make time for a story that means something to us.  We all know ourselves that when something is meaningful, we will stop and take notice of it. Because a great story hooks us in, makes us think and it gets us to act.

Forbes magazine have claimed storytelling to be the hottest trend in marketing today with a massive 63% of people remembering a story told to them, compared with only 5% of us who will remember stats.

In a digital world filled with tweets and likes what actually touches us, and endures us, are stories. Stories grab us by our imagination, seep into our memories and urge us to share with others.

So how is storytelling used by brands and businesses? Ultimately it’s used to build rational and emotional connections to relevant audiences. It helps to drive conversation, increase engagement with a brand and build loyalty and advocacy which in turn will deliver some form of measurable action.  Major brands such a Dove, Google and Coca Cola have all become industry icons for their ability to capture audience’s imaginations through their storytelling methods.

A compelling narrative will, prompt a personal connection and engage with consumers in ways which evoke emotion and influence.  Stories also have the ability to have a long lasting impression that stay etched in people’s memories and set a brand apart from its’ competitors. Over time this will help with attracting a much bigger audience.

No matter what your business there is an opportunity to tell a story. Brands and organisations can no longer just rely on their offering in order to succeed.  If you’re a coffee shop – you’re not just selling coffee, you’re selling a relationship. So it’s important that brands of all sizes and offerings challenge themselves to release their inner story teller.

The top two things to always keep in mind when telling a story are relevance and audience. While it’s great to create an emotive, funny or compelling story, most importantly, it should be relevant to your brands core values. There must always be a reason for the content, the story and the engagement. As a brand you need to be purposeful.

It’s also about ensuring that you create content which is relatable to your audience. Do your research and fully understand what consumers want, desire and need. The story should always include shared values for customers, organisations and shareholders. The best stories are narrow and specific but fit into a larger narrative that resonates with the audience they’re trying to influence.

It’s not just what the story line is to begin with that’s important. The way we share information and the channels we use are imperative to making your story or content a success. Channels are evolving and the way we seek news and information is changing. Information finds us through the lens of our friends and, articles are being re-packaged into shorter, shareable more mobile formats.  We see far more lists, quizzes, slide shows and videos in our social feeds, recently we are seeing the growth of audio as a popular channel. Being selective about what channels are right for your brand and your audience is crucial to the success of your story.

So the moral of this story is, for businesses to succeed, they have to give customers so much more than just a service or a product. Being a great storyteller through owned and earned channels – blogs, your website, social platforms, advertising or press coverage, it is imperative that you are offering a reason for your audience to connect on an ongoing basis. It will get you noticed and make you stand out from the competition. Stories touch the hearts of consumers and once that connection has been made, it will go a long way in building a loyal customer who is an advocate for your brand.

If there is one concept that is consistently used in public relations and advertising, its the power of storytelling.

We live in a 24/7 digital world where there is an abundance of information.  Consumers can access news and content anytime of day, from anywhere around the globe, but unfortunately we lack enough time to consume it all. However, we all make time for a story that means something to us.  We all know ourselves that when something is meaningful, we will stop and take notice of it. Because a great story hooks us in, makes us think and it gets us to act.

Forbes magazine have claimed storytelling to be the hottest trend in marketing today with a massive 63% of people remembering a story told to them, compared with only 5% of us who will remember stats.

In a digital world filled with tweets and likes what actually touches us, and endures us, are stories. Stories grab us by our imagination, seep into our memories and urge us to share with others.

So how is storytelling used by brands and businesses? Ultimately it’s used to build rational and emotional connections to relevant audiences. It helps to drive conversation, increase engagement with a brand and build loyalty and advocacy which in turn will deliver some form of measurable action.  Major brands such a Dove, Google and Coca Cola have all become industry icons for their ability to capture audience’s imaginations through their storytelling methods.

A compelling narrative will, prompt a personal connection and engage with consumers in ways which evoke emotion and influence.  Stories also have the ability to have a long lasting impression that stay etched in people’s memories and set a brand apart from its’ competitors. Over time this will help with attracting a much bigger audience.

No matter what your business there is an opportunity to tell a story. Brands and organisations can no longer just rely on their offering in order to succeed.  If you’re a coffee shop – you’re not just selling coffee, you’re selling a relationship. So it’s important that brands of all sizes and offerings challenge themselves to release their inner story teller.

The top two things to always keep in mind when telling a story are relevance and audience. While it’s great to create an emotive, funny or compelling story, most importantly, it should be relevant to your brands core values. There must always be a reason for the content, the story and the engagement. As a brand you need to be purposeful.

It’s also about ensuring that you create content which is relatable to your audience. Do your research and fully understand what consumers want, desire and need. The story should always include shared values for customers, organisations and shareholders. The best stories are narrow and specific but fit into a larger narrative that resonates with the audience they’re trying to influence.

It’s not just what the story line is to begin with that’s important. The way we share information and the channels we use are imperative to making your story or content a success. Channels are evolving and the way we seek news and information is changing. Information finds us through the lens of our friends and, articles are being re-packaged into shorter, shareable more mobile formats.  We see far more lists, quizzes, slide shows and videos in our social feeds, recently we are seeing the growth of audio as a popular channel. Being selective about what channels are right for your brand and your audience is crucial to the success of your story.

So the moral of this story is, for businesses to succeed, they have to give customers so much more than just a service or a product. Being a great storyteller through owned and earned channels – blogs, your website, social platforms, advertising or press coverage, it is imperative that you are offering a reason for your audience to connect on an ongoing basis. It will get you noticed and make you stand out from the competition. Stories touch the hearts of consumers and once that connection has been made, it will go a long way in building a loyal customer who is an advocate for your brand.

Written by Rakhee Rathod Senior Account Executive

Wednesday 29th March, 2017