The Importance of Telling Stories Within Digital Marketing
22 Apr 2020, 10:56 am
Ready-made formulas for the employment of marketing and advertising strategies are no longer believed in. The advent of the internet, the rise of digital platforms and, finally, the social media boom have further deepened this sense of impermanence: in a world in constant metamorphosis, how to build a valuable and lasting marketing strategy?
There are several answers to this unsettling question, however, they all share a common ground: the understanding that your marketing strategy is as valuable as the story you tell your consumer. That is why, with the almost unlimited supply of information and entertainment, the market struggle ends up being not only about of the purchasing power of consumers but, above all, about of their attention.
And the best way, no doubt, to capture the attention of any interlocutor is to tell a good story: an engaging story that will seduce and win their interest. That is why, in this battle for widespread consumer attention, the narratives and storytelling of advertising strategies take on a central role.
Recent studies by researchers at Washington University have found that the listener of a story can be anything but passive. By monitoring the brain activity of several people while they read a story, it was noticed that different areas of the brain were activated according to the book’s narrative: if the characters practiced some action, the region of the brain linked to the motor function entered in action; if the scenario changed, neurons linked to the vision were activated. This brain reaction that we experience when we are involved in a story is no different when it is told by a company, by a brand, by an art gallery: disclosing your business through stories creates a much stronger emotional relationship with potential customers, in addition to optimizing their chances of remembering you.
Creating a good story, however, is not an easy task, but there are some steps that can be taken to make the task easier. First, it is necessary to understand your interlocutor’s worldview: who is your ideal client? What are your desires, your pains, your goals and your main challenges? Then, it is necessary to understand where to set this story, which must be related to the experience of its target audience. After understanding the challenges of your persona, it’s time to untangle the conflict and propose a solution, conveying this message in the most relevant way you can find: ideally, your consumer will undergo some transformation after engaging with your content.
In addition to creating a good story, it is also necessary to deal with the different languages supported by the countless platforms that today can – and should – be used in your marketing strategy, especially digital platforms. There is no doubt that all your customers (or at least the vast majority of them) are present on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. These potential buyers also roam around with their smartphones at all times. They watch television, read newspapers and magazines, consume content in different ways.
Therefore, after creating the narrative of your marketing strategy, you must be able to tell it through all these platforms. And it’s not just about adapting the format: each channel needs to be used for a specific purpose. Each medium plays a role within the universe of communication, reaching different audiences. It is impossible, in this sense, to tell the same story through LinkedIn and YouTube, for example. Each specific channel must be used for a purpose – this is what we call transmedia narratives.
Of course, creating and developing a marketing strategy with transmedia storytelling is extremely complex and requires a qualified team with different skills, in addition to a massive investment in ad campaigns. However, for small and medium businesses, it is possible to work creatively to, at least, publicize your work by telling a true story – and that is the golden tip: sell your truth. In a world of spam and unlimited ad bombing, finding a true, human and relevant story is like finding a pot of gold: it creates connection, empathy and makes the eyes gleam.
For luxury shopping or in the art world, this is even more true. Since, as a rule, they are not impulse purchases, telling the story of a work of art, the influences and motivations of its artist, unveiling the voice behind the piece is even more important. At the end of the day, art collectors are not simply buying a painting or sculpture, but an experience, a story.
How your gallery decides to tell this story makes all the difference and that is why, in all steps of your marketing actions, you must always keep in mind: after interacting with this material, will my interlocutor experience change? Will they remember me? Good stories are unforgettable and leave a desire to be revisited. This is exactly what your business should become in the imagination of your potential customers: a story that is so good we don’t want it to end.