The Marketer’s Dilemma: The art of storytelling
Storytelling has endured as a form of communication since before humans invented the written word. Throughout the centuries telling stories was a way to educate and preserve. It informed vital political, religious, cultural and family matters. Without stories, history, values, events, even a good laugh would have been lost.
Stories have been told not only in the narrative sense but also through art – think about the stories told in caves, pottery, fabrics, coffins, and other artifacts. Imagine just how personalized and relevant these stories must have been.
We learn through stories – we remember facts better when there is a context in which they are presented. Most of us recall vividly stories we heard as children. Fairytales, nursery rhymes, and fables that our families shared with us – these all had purpose. They became something that we believe in – something that we go back to time and time again – something that, in some cases, built our core values and eternal truths.
How do we bridge our love of storytelling to today’s reality? Humans have been telling stories in different ways throughout history. With new inventions we are able to reach more broadly and with new ways to communicate. From a picture on a wall to a digitally created application – the spectrum is broad and the results through time are staggering. The Internet has provided us an ability to know about stories that we otherwise might never see. But therein lies the challenge. How do you discover stories that really matter to you?
Stories are extremely relevant in how we think about marketing our companies, our products, or ourselves. Many brand executives would argue that it is the story not the features/function of the product that captures the audience and keeps them connected. The ability for a brand to present itself in context with something that resonates with the target audience is essential to drive a trusted relationship. This ability to provide a context around the brand and educate your audience is what differentiates a great marketing strategy from a good one. We are all hearing the buzz about “content marketing”. So what kind of content should be marketed?
Let’s step back for a moment and think about this marketer’s dilemma. How does the marketer educate while driving loyalty, capturing the audience with something that really matters to them? Making it personal – something that we say “oh yeah – I understand – I get it – I need it – I will buy it.” And then ensure that they come back time and time again – because they believe and they are loyal.
Are brands now becoming publishers? Do brands need to publish contextual stories so that they educate and delight their customers? Few would argue that this is probably true – so now the question becomes how to deliver the “promise of value” in a compelling story AND make it personal.
Hypothetically let’s take a stab –
Let’s say a given soap is marketed as a great moisturizer for women’s skin – leaving skin soft, subtle and clean. The story line is about a woman who used the soap and received great results. Perhaps this is enough for the consumer to decide to trust the soap based on the personal results of the woman who tells her story…
But what if not only could one hear her story – but also could also start to learn about what else is important regarding women’s skincare, health concerns, cosmetics, new medical procedures and the like. What if the brand could begin to publish this type of relevant, personal and real-time content to the potential customer?
This example can be applied to almost anything.
The answer to making this a reality can be quite simple. How about creating an application that provides the stories, relevant, personalized, customized, real-time and mobile – that seems like a great place to start. And in order to do this well it is important to have access to great content – content that is original and of high quality. And much of the content that might apply could be hidden somewhere inside your organization. Perhaps somewhere in those databases that are very hard to navigate.
Or leverage your website and house cool stories that delight and educate your audience and capture mindshare. Remembering that it is important that the stories be pertinent and available – allowing your customer to read the stories where and when they want to – this too will create value – why – because you are making it simple for them.
At Trapit we provide an easy and comprehensive way to support marketers in becoming a trusted advisor, educator, and storyteller. We are supporting publishers and marketers with an ability to access our 100K plus vetted sources, integrate in their own sources, and provide a real time, highly personalized, and mobile experience. With Trapit you can capture your audience with something that really matters to them.
Come learn to tell stories again – visit us at www.trapit.com