You see them in between shows on TV, in the middle of baseball games, shouting through your radio and as you scroll down your Facebook newsfeed. Advertisements are all around you and content is constantly being thrown at you through every platform you can imagine. So how do brands make their messages heard? What makes them stand out from the rest? Storytelling. Storytelling is increasingly becoming an essential element to advertising if brands want their message to stand out. People want stories–they crave them even–no matter if it’s a two minute video, a short blog post or a series of tweets. People love interacting and sharing their own stories, so why not incorporate what your customers’ love into your brand?
Storytelling is something that comes natural to us. We tell friends a funny story about what happened to us on the way to work that morning, or about what we did over the weekend. However, when you’re trying to tell a story about your brand or product, storytelling might become a little more difficult. Here’s a short list of where to begin before sharing your brand's story:
Just like your favorite childhood book, your story needs characters–heroes, villains, good guys and bad guys. For example, it could be a customer who has used your product or service to become a hero in their community’s eyes. This character needs to be relevant and help display the message you’re trying to sell.
Beginning, middle and end
When you’re telling a coworker about what you did that weekend, you don’t say ‘I went out to dinner with my family, I made breakfast, then went for a walk in the park.” You tell things in chronological order, or in an order that makes sense. Stories need an opening message that makes your audience want to know more, a climax, then an ending. Everyone knows that Cinderella lived happily ever after. You can’t leave your audience hanging, so how does your brand’s message end?
Humans are not perfect and humans run your company, so why make your company seem perfect? Your customers like to know that your company has real life people with real life problems working behind it. Once companies put faces behind their name and a story behind each face, the company becomes more relatable and realistic. Tell a story with a message in a way for customers to relate.
Words alone won’t cut it anymore. With the ample amount of ways to assist telling a story, why wouldn’t you want to use them? Graphics, videos, pictures and podcasts are only a few of the many ways to take your storytelling from boring to intriguing.
Tell a story that matters
Before you even think about using storytelling as a way to help your advertising, think about the message you want to convey and ask yourself this: Is this relevant to my audience? Is this message accomplishing my goal? Is it motivating a change? Not every story is worth repeating, and not every story needs to be told, so find one that represents your brand and helps move your advertisements to the next level.
What elements do you think make a story great? Leave your suggestion in the comments below!