For many, one of the most daunting things about implementing social media marketing is keeping up to date with the latest developments in the industry. Channels, tools, apps, trends and tactics all evolve at lightning speed, so we’re here every month with a round-up of 5 things you need to know right now.
This month’s ‘5 things’ comes from freelance copywriter Alexandra Mackintosh who is here to tell us all about the power of great copy and how to telling a compelling story is critical to your marketing.
“Those who tell stories rule the world”
While your aim may not be total world domination, there is a lot to take from this Native American proverb.
Stories create empathy, hold attention, and incite an emotional response. Stories draw the reader in: they grip their attention, keep them reading, and make them remember what you have to say.
Stories are, in a word, effective. And when it comes to marketing, they’re an incredible tool to help you create brand loyalty and draw your customer to whatever it is you’re trying to sell.
From the ‘why’ to the ‘how’, here are five things about great storytelling.
Storytelling Incites Emotion
In today’s saturated marketplace, finding ways to stand out is more important than ever. Studies have shown that when we feel an emotional connection with a brand, we’re much more likely to trust that company (8.4 times more likely, to be exact); and 15.1 times more likely to recommend that company.
So, how to create that emotional attachment? Creating a narrative which consumers can identify with, and one which makes them feel something, is a surefire way to not only get their attention – but also, to keep it. Take the example of those now-iconic John Lewis Christmas adverts: they make us laugh, they make us cry, and (most importantly) they make us remember the John Lewis brand. An emotional connection is formed, making us that bit more likely to hand over our money.
It Helps to Build Brand Loyalty
As well as inciting an emotional connection and inspiring us to make that initial purchase or commitment to a brand, storytelling is also a great way of ensuring brand loyalty. Take the example of Nike. There are countless sportswear brands out there, all selling high quality products which are popular for their functionality and aesthetic. By creating an aspirational narrative around their brand, Nike manages to stand out from the crowd, their iconic tagline ‘Just Do It’ providing a call to arms which their loyal customer base is happy to rise to.
As a side note, “Just Do It” is a perfect example of copywriting at its finest: short, sweet and utterly effective.
It Helps To Simplify A Core Message
When it comes to getting a core message across to your audience, storytelling is an effective way of ensuring that message is easily understood. Using storytelling to simplify is a technique which extends beyond the realm of marketing (we can all remember a time a teacher used a story to help us understand a complex problem). While we’re on the topic of simplification, it also pays to ensure our stories are as simple as possible. Intricate plot lines, numerous characters, and multiple narrative threads may be great for Game of Thrones but when it comes to marketing…keep it simple.
It Helps Customers Remember That Core Message
In the process of writing great copy, one of the main things we want to do is ensure our message is memorable. Sometimes, presenting the cold hard facts is necessary. But more often than not, getting creative and creating a narrative around those facts can help to make sure your message is remembered. A number of studies have shown a positive link between storytelling and memory recall – so when you have a message you want to get across, storytelling could be the way to go.
It Builds a Human Connection
On a very basic level, stories help to bring us together while at the same time humanising your brand and giving it a much more relatable face.
John Deere has been doing this incredibly well for over a century, through its agricultural journal The Furrow. Aimed at their target market of farmers and agricultural experts, this informative magazine includes interviews, advice, interest pieces…and very little advertising at all. The result? Readers see that John Deere cares about them, about their industry – and they know what they’re talking about. Through creating this narrative around their brand, John Deere is able to present a much more human, more caring, face to their target market – and as a result, to drive sales.