How Storytelling Has Transformed the Media and Marketing World
Since the explosion of content marketing over the past few years, the word “storytelling” has become a buzzword in the media and marketing word. Many will argue that it’s a brilliant concept that has significantly affected the way companies market their brand. Others say that the term is far too over-used and has lost its true meaning of “telling a story”.
Personally, I think storytelling has been one of the greatest transformations of content marketing. Although concrete facts and information is important to know before purchasing a product or service, the real connection customers make with a brand is through emotion. Feeling a connection towards a brand is the ultimate way to not only attract, but to maintain customers.
It’s even been proven by branding experts such as Martin Lindstrom that humans are highly influenced by the way we feel rather than by just logic. Appealing to peoples’ emotions is more likely to provoke action and making a change than the traditional form of advertising that many people ignore or try to avoid. Storytelling
Some people, like Bobby Rettew, argue that storytelling takes away from a brand and what they’re actually selling or promoting. They think that these third parties that are sharing their stories are distracting customers from the organization itself and are irrelevant.
I disagree with his viewpoint, though. Presenting a story of someone who is involved with the brand, whether it’s an employee or customer, is far more relatable and reliable. I would be much more compelled to listen to a real-life story that provokes emotion and leaves a lasting impression than a company that simply recites what their company does. Hearing a first-hand account of how a company affected a customer is valuable information for others.
There are several companies who have completely nailed the idea of storytelling in content marketing. One of them is Skype and their video story about the two girls who became best friends over a shared disability. They had never met in person, but their friendship continued to grow through video chats they had on Skype. Instead of the traditional advertisement of throwing facts and information at you, they were able to promote their brand by appealing to customers’ emotions and forming a personal connection.
Another organization that successfully utilized storytelling in content marketing was a minor league team in Trenton, New Jersey. The Trenton Thunder posted a video of a dog named Chase, who became a “bat dog” for the team during games.
The video introduced how this idea came about, and how the team and fans formed an emotional attachment to the dog. In a span of eight minutes, I too began to feel an attachment to not only the dog, but also the team (the video will make you cry, I guarantee it!). I had never even heard of this small town baseball team before, but from their brilliant use of storytelling in content marketing, I will always remember them. The video alone made the team a nationally-known organization.