Try to think back to a specific time when you watched TV and came across a particularly memorable ad. There was likely an ad at some point that you felt did an excellent job of...
Over the last decade, marketers have started to use a storytelling marketing strategy to add monetary value to products or brands. Evidence of the strategy's effect unearthed in 2009, when journalist Rob Walker and brand analyst Joshua Glenn created the "significant objects" experiment. This study asked more than 100 writers to create personal stories about trinkets worth about $129 in total. The experiment added creative stories to the item descriptions when the items sold on eBay. The researchers wanted to see if the stories increased the value of those objects. The experiment was a resounding success. The net profit from the sale totaled more than a 2700% increase over the original value. The experiment proved the monetary importance that storytelling has on an object's value.
To increase the value of a brand, product, or service through storytelling starts with meticulous planning and stretches over long periods of time. To accomplish this pivotal goal, a brand must develop a storytelling marketing strategy.
A Storytelling Marketing Strategy (SMS) is the structure that a brand or service's content strategy will follow by employing creative narratives. The SMS often targets different subjects of the narrative. For example, a brand narrative is different from a specific product's narrative.
Storytelling is an effective marketing tool that relies on a neuroscience concept known as "neural coupling." Scientists discovered that our brain contains neurons called mirror neurons. These neurons fire in our brain's sensory and the motor cortex whenever we read a story or hear a story that targets those sensory and motor cortexes. The mirror neurons cause changes in our brains that can last for months or years when reinforced through repetition. An example most people can relate to is reading about the phrase "sounded like nails on a chalkboard." That is enough to make listeners cringe.
Creating your storytelling marketing strategy requires several well-planned and precisely executed steps. These steps are:
If a Storytelling Marketing Strategy has more than one narrative target (that is, a narrative for a brand and a narrative for a product), both the brand and product narratives must be consistent with each other.
Your SMS should influence all content marketing decisions. Creating content that creates an atmosphere of inconsistency with your overall storytelling marketing strategy (whether that content is print, audio, or digital) can destroy the gains made.
When pursued correctly, a storytelling marketing strategy makes you memorable and grows your bottom line.