I recently read an article in which a psychology professor explained how storytelling enhanced his teaching. He said stories are attention-getting and help build connections. I agree. And so does the marketing world. Run an Internet search for “storytelling in marketing” and you’ll find scads of articles. Storytelling may seem like a relatively new marketing buzzword, but our marketing agency has used stories for nearly 30 years to help clients promote their products. In that time, we’ve developed significant expertise. Here are tips for using storytelling to attract ‒ and hold ‒ audience attention.
Think of the last really engrossing book you read or spellbinding movie you saw. What was it that really captured your interest? Chances are, you can use many of the same qualities in your marketing.
- Start off with a hook. Fiction writers know they need to snare readers’ interest right away. Your marketing should do the same thing. Whether you’re creating an ad or a website homepage, make sure it attracts attention. Like the first paragraph of a book, your marketing should make audiences want to find out more.
- Appeal to emotion. The best stories are more than a logical series of events. They cause a gut reaction. They make audiences really feel something. Appealing to emotion helps people care about a story and identify with it. Think about what kinds of emotions your target audience may be experiencing. Acknowledge these feelings and show how you can make consumers feel better.
- Provide interesting characters. Good stories have appealing, relatable characters. Audiences should care about these characters and want to see what happens to them. Your marketing needs characters, too. We often connect clients with subject matter experts who can appear for them in the media to tell their story. These key opinion leaders are personable and well-qualified, and feel comfortable in the media spotlight.
- Create an “aha” moment. Surprises or plot reveals add so much to a story. They add a lot to marketing messages, as well. Build interest by describing a common issue or concern. Then show how your product solves it.
In addition to planning your story’s elements, you need to decide where your message will appear. Consider telling your story on these promotional channels:
- Media coverage. Media coverage is eye-catching, credible and information-packed. Audiences are accustomed to learning about new products from the media. Publicity is a convincing ‒ yet underutilized ‒ promotional channel.
- Website content. Your website can do more than provide information. Posting video can make your message more vibrant. Your About Us page can explain what makes you different. To make maximum impact with your site, work with writers who communicate clearly and understand how to write for the web.
- Social media. This ever-evolving channel makes it enjoyable for consumers to learn what you offer. Provide a steady content stream to keep audiences interested. Post high-quality, fresh content that gives readers value.
We can help you weave an intriguing narrative and deliver it across the promotional channels. As a full-service hybrid agency, we can use social media listening to find out what topics interest your audience. We can then use these ideas to arrange media coverage and craft engaging content. Our web designers and digital marketers can help people discover your product online.
As an avid fan of psychology, I love to think of creative angles that interest consumers and the media. Most products have fascinating stories just waiting to be told. Let’s work together to promote your product with story.