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The Art of Storytelling

“Think back to the first childhood fairytale you read and how it unlocked a world of limitless possibilities for your younger self. Just like a fantasy-filled book transports a reader to a minefield of dreams, businesses can achieve a  lasting impact by cultivating the art of great storytelling”

The reading bug bit me at a very young age, and I remember choosing storybooks and colourful magazines over jungle gyms and childhood games, much to the annoyance of all my friends.

The most memorable fairytale book I’ve read is one that’s still vividly clear in my mind, it was a theatrical and fantasy filled storyline with larger than life personalities. The Magic Faraway Tree by British author Enid Blyton, tells the tale of three children who discover an enchanted forest with a gigantic magical tree. Inside the tree lives peculiar characters with the most unique names, such as Mr Watzisname, Moon Face and The Saucepan Man. Together, the children and their newfound friends discover magical lands at the top of the tree; no two ever the same. You can’t imagine the squeals of joy that would erupt through my nine-year-old body as I filled my days with the magical discoveries the group would stumble upon.

The limitless possibility found in storytelling.

The lesson I walked away with from the book, one that I still hold dear to me, is the limitless possibility found in storytelling. A good story evokes the desire to dream big. It keeps you hooked long after you’ve closed its final chapter.

The world of marketing is no different. It is like a world of limitless possibilities. My time as a journalist and writer has taught me that a great story can teach people, or audiences as they are known as in the marketing world, something about themselves, and about the world around them.

Digital media has taken this to even greater heights because of its power to bring a story to life in ways unimaginable, thus enabling brands to fully establish themselves as a lasting memory using the power of storytelling.

Brands today are inundated with a variety of storytelling opportunities. I have been lucky to witness how campaigns can be innovatively stretched in boundary-crossing ways using digital media that supersede the avenues traditional media presented for the world of marketing.

Taking storytelling to greater heights with digital media

Storytelling in the realm of digital media is as simple as creating a compelling video, an infographic that portrays your message better than words can, or a visual image paired with an equally compelling caption to match it. Your story is how your brand is remembered, just like an author’s last offering is how they are remembered by readers. Each piece of content adds a new layer to your business. I’m therefore of the view that any company hoping to claim lasting success in this day and age needs a strong social media presence and digital footprint. Every single clip, blog, video or image needs to take your audience on a memorable journey about your brand.

Reading up more on the power of digital storytelling, I came across Gary Vaynerchuk’s in-depth analysis on how to tell stories on social media. There, Vaynerchuk writes that: “the way you build your business and the way you make a real impact is by great storytelling.”

He furthermore says, notions of storytelling haven’t changed but the mediums through which great stories are delivered certainly have. And I certainly agree with his sentiments because while people’s attention span has changed significantly, the impact of a good story remains unmatched. The onus then lies with brands hoping to create lasting memory through their content to actively find new ways to tell cutting-edge, attention-grabbing stories while retaining their audiences ‘ ever-evolving consumer attention.

Read More: 9 Digital Marketing Trends You Cannot Dismiss In 2019 Anymore!

The last burger you had – what are the odds that you saw its mouth-watering image flashing on your cell-phone or laptop screen, savored by a group of friends, and decided that yup, you definitely had to give it a try? Think about it.

A good story can increase the value of a brand’s product by up to 20 times

The following facts will further drive my point home. The Digital Marketing Institute recently released an article stating that today’s consumers are seeking a brand’s narrative or story. The Institute also states that a recent study revealed that businesses stand the chance of increasing the value of their products by up to 20 times simply by delivering their brand story well. The Institute says then that businesses need to find fresh, creative ways to connect with their consumers and tell strong compelling deliver their messages as part of their digital strategy.

The Institute lists three ways of a brand-building storytelling:

  • Customer-led storytelling:

    In the era of influencer marketing, consumers now have multiple platforms at their fingertips to share their views and experiences with different products. Brands need to now more than ever give them opportunities to tell their stories. This type of customer-centric storytelling increases engagement, build trust and expands reach.

  • Philanthropic storytelling:

    The Institute states that consumers crave transparency, clarity, and honesty from businesses today most especially their causes and that they, in fact, are supporting a cause. They want to know the values behind the brand and its inner workings.

  •  Immersive storytelling:

    Taking a consumer and immerse them into a sensory experience central to the brand’s story, gives a business the opportunity to build a lasting and meaningful connection.

Read More: Experiential and Digital Marketing – A Fine Balance 

 “You’re only as memorable as your last story…”

I’m no marketing guru, but I completely believe that storytelling is greater and more relevant to brands than ever before. If a company hopes to resemble a hard-to-put-down book, then it needs to keep finding new ways of understanding what appeals to consumers in order to create memorable stories that are worth sharing.

As Gary Vaynerchuk states in his blog: “Continue to evolve with the art and science of storytelling in the digital age. Do it every day, from all angles. You’re only as memorable as your last story.”

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