Consumers are constantly evolving, and these days they’re much less likely to believe marketing messages from advertisers. They do their own research on products they buy and gather information from people they trust through word of mouth. The dated, straightforward “buy now” message that advertisers have used in the past isn’t enough anymore. Consumers desire a connection with the brands they use and want to feel like they’re important. This is where brand storytelling comes in. By sharing experiences and stories with consumers, brands can make connections, increase loyalty and stand out in the marketplace.
The art of blending storytelling with direct response for effective campaigns was a recent topic on #MediaChat, a popular Twitter chat hosted weekly on Thursday nights by Aaron Kibly. Our own Stephanie Bruno, Wick Marketing’s Social Media Manager, moderated the conversation. Here are some key takeaways from the chat along with our own advice on how to effectively tell a story.
- How might a blend of storytelling and call-to-action encourage consumers to act in greater numbers?
Storytelling creates an emotional connection with consumers, and when done correctly, it can help brands better reach their campaign objectives. A priming-and-reminding storytelling approach can help educate consumers of your brand’s relevance to their lives by first setting the stage with your value proposition, and then reinforcing this storyline in future interactions. Storytelling can also be used to walk potential customers down the purchase funnel. First introduce your brand, then show your value to the consumer and end with a call-to-action. Ending with a call-to-action could result in a return of mass engagement.
- When it comes to digital marketing, advertisers tend to lead with a “buy now” message. Is this an effective strategy?
Who doesn’t love a good story? Leading with a direct response message can be tempting for digital marketers, but the combination of storytelling with direct response can significantly increase campaign effectiveness. One #MediaChat participant wrote, “A direct response message upfront can actually seem disingenuous.” One of the most important rules of social media marketing is “selling the lifestyle and story before the brand.” Just as no one proposes on a first date, you have to develop a relationship with the consumer before you can make the sale.
- How do Facebook’s new collection ads combine brand and direct response elements?
Many #MediaChat participants were unfamiliar with collection ads. This new format allows marketers to pair video or imagery with relevant products that drive discovery. It allows a brand to create a story and overall theme for each collection, encouraging consumers to look at their products and increase the likelihood of purchase. Collection ads are perfect for enticing customers to buy the product without putting any pressure on them.
- How can building a loyal community around your brand help with lead generation?
Just like in real life, a loyal army of brand advocates online can be hugely beneficial to your business. These are the people who will spread good things about your brand through word of mouth, social media and beyond. Today’s consumers trust the opinions of their friends and family above all else, meaning that positive word of mouth is a powerful endorsement that leads to trust and confidence in your brand.
- How can brands increase engagement on their Facebook ads?
Telling a story with your Facebook ads is one way to increase engagement. Taking advantage of new ad formats can also work in your favor. Many chat participants said Facebook Live helped increase engagement. Others said interacting with customers, like replying to comments, can help with engagement.
Have more questions on how storytelling can help make your brand stand out? We’d love to talk . Reach out to us here.