With so many stories out there, how do you get your target audience, prospects and clients, to pay attention to what your brand has to say?
People love stories and according to science, the brain is hardwired to consume stories.
Storytelling works in marketing. Just Google the works of advertising agencies who’ve successfully pried precious money out of people’s wallets via their heart. Coca-Cola, IKEA, Microsoft, and a host of other global big brands have mastered the art of making people forget that they’re being sold a product or service via storytelling. Their most effective medium? Video.
Video has a singular ability to carry stories through all sorts of challenges and across boundaries.
A single video, for example, can be translated into an unlimited number of languages. It can be repurposed, duplicated, and watched anywhere, anytime, on any device with or without sounds. But above all, videos can transmit exact communication messages — and nothing will be lost in translation because videos don’t just tell, they show.
Although not new, videos are making a resurgence in the digital age, what with new technologies and ways to connect. If content is king, video is the undisputed king of content:
- MWP found out that 55% of people watch videos online daily.
Perfect Combo: Video + Brand Storytelling
The trends may change over time in terms of where and how people want to consume stories, as in the present. People no longer want to be glued to their TV screens at a specific time and sitting through someone else’s programming. They want to be mobile and watch whatever they want, as much as they want, anytime, anywhere — which, incidentally, is the reason why digital advertising just overtook TV advertising in terms of revenue. Advertisers are relocating to where people are watching: online.
Why is video the perfect vehicle for brand storytelling?
- Trend: It’s what people are not just watching passively online, but are actively searching for. According to KPCB: Online video accounts for 74% of all online traffic and it’s expected to rise.
- Effectivity: If the end goal of brands is to make an emotional connection, what better medium to engage all the senses but video? Video can give a realistic or fantastic depiction of characters, moods, places and time, depending on the story, and marketers are cashing in:
- 52% of marketers affirm video’s impact on brand awareness.
- 93% of marketers use video in their campaigns.
- 51% of global marketers name video as the content type with the best ROI.
- Marketing pros report 49% faster revenue growth for video users than for non-users.
How to craft a solid brand narrative?
Park&Co developed The Story Cycle, step-by-step approach to writing a compelling story:
- Backstory – What was there before it all began?
- Hero – Who is the main character in your story? (In today’s customer-centric environment, it should be your main target audience.)
- Stakes – What is your hero after? If your hero fails to do something, what will happen?
- Disruption – What’s the pivotal event that caused your hero to step out?
- Antagonists – A.K.A. the villains. Who is stopping your hero from reaching his goal?
- Mentor – Who is this wise character that’s keeping your hero in line?
- Journey – Where is the hero headed and what will he encounter along the way?
- Victory – How did the hero win?
- Moral – What lessons did your hero learn on that journey?
In short, the brand has to mirror its target audience or its hero. If the brand is able to transpose the viewer inside of the story and even actually have him see himself as the hero taking on the journey, then it’s mission accomplished. The brand has successfully connected to the customer and created for him a wonderful experience.
But before even writing, marketers must do their research, as essential to storytelling is pinpointing the target audience, finding their tendencies out, the language they use, and all sorts of nuances, to be able to come up with targeted communication.
So, get to really know your target audience, write a killer brand narrative, produce it on video, and you’re ready to market.