Most of us aren’t fond of the hard-sell approach; we’d rather engage with a brand and understand more about them before we get into the products or services they have to offer.
To help customers and prospects get acquainted with your brand, it’s hard to beat the power and effectiveness of storytelling. In last week’s blog, we talked about the benefits of advertising by telling a story—it captures attention better than straight data or testimonials, helping you to stand out among competitors. And stories make a more memorable brand connection.
Wondering which storylines are resonating with today’s consumers? This article from Digital Marketing Institute details storytelling trends to work into your content marketing plan. 6 Storytelling Trends Marketing Leaders Should Know About
Below is a summary:
- Data-driven storytelling. Data is an important part of building strong content and telling a compelling story that resonates. Research shows our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text—so to use data to create highly visual, engaging and targeted stories distributed on digital platforms to grab your audience’s attention.
- Mini-ads. With our attention spans getting shorter and people growing weary of traditional digital advertising, there is a quick fix: the 6-second mini-ad. These ads have the power to bring a brand’s story to life: the zippy format appeals to a content-overwhelmed audience, which drives engagement.
- Customer-led storytelling. With 92% of consumers saying they trust peers over advertisers, it’s smart to engage your loyal customers to tell your brand story. Use user-generated content to help to increase engagement, build trust and expand your reach.
- Philanthropic storytelling. Today’s customers crave transparency and want to know more about the companies the buy from: how they treat their employees, how they source materials, how they support their communities, care for the environment, etc. Be clear, concise and honest in your storytelling.
- Animated storytelling. Animations are often associated with fun and entertainment—like cartoons—so they are often viewed as more approachable and less sales-y. Use animation to spice up your message or demonstrate your product or service in an exciting and memorable way.
- Dark social. This term refers to the type of social sharing that can’t be tracked accurately, for example, the data that isn’t registered up by web analytics platforms. Messaging apps like Snapchat and Google Hangouts are popular places for consumers to share information—your business should be active on these channels where your message will be viewed less like a sales pitch and more like a friendly recommendation.
Keep in mind that customer needs change all the time and their behaviors shift accordingly, so be sure to adapt your storylines to engage your audience. Timely, well-curated stories will let them know that your brand is not just cranking out content—you’re also listening to what they have to say.