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Elevate Brand Engagement Through Storytelling

Use stories effectively to diversify customer base and build brand recognition

Tam Nguyen
July 12, 2022
Storytelling is a part of everyone’s life. We tell stories every day when we communicate, watch movies or recap our day. It is not only a part of communication but is fundamental to the knowledge we know. So how can we utilise this skill to heighten its effect in marketing?

What is Storytelling in Marketing? 

Storytelling in marketing engages narratives and stories to deliver a message that is associated with the post or content. It applies context to simple photos and short videos to give it meaning. The goal is to make the viewer interact and stay on the page for longer which encourages marketing objectives to be met.

Storytelling is important in increasing brand engagement and image

Showing your point of view 

This is your opportunity to tell the audience your side of the story. When writing a narrative, you are describing how you feel, and where you stand in the community. A nice photo would simply be a nice photo without context.

Imagine you just came back from your vacation in Thailand and want to post about your trip. 

Notice that travel bloggers do this a lot by explaining all the obstacles they overcome and then describe the well-worth-it scenery they captured. Firstly, a great photo is needed.  An amazing photo will immediately capture the viewer’s eyes and make them curious about the backstory.

A storyline takes your content to another level. There are plenty of photos and videos online about a trip to Thailand but your experience is unique, and people want to know about it. Did you encounter cultural shock? How did the food taste compared to what you’ve had? 

Storytelling is a way to show your personality as a creator or a brand. 

Ability to call for action 

You want to make sure that your audience knows that you care: you care about your customers and you care about steering people’s perception for the better.

A story allows the viewer to enter a flow and immerses them into your environment from your description. It is easy to call for action when you have established a connection with the audience. Call for action comes in many forms and you can achieve the same goal without telling people exactly what they have to do. 

Travelling agencies can optimise this strategy to promote their vacation plan and sightseeing destinations. 

Outer Hebrides (@visitouterhebrides)  is a typical example of successful destination marketing.  Within a year of using user-generated content (UGC) , Visit Outer Hebrides saw a significant increase of a total of 33K followers on Facebook and Instagram. During the month of March 2022, they received more than 1.1 million impressions on their Instagram account. Visit Outer Hebrides  uses travel content creators’ photos and stories to increase credibility as the posts act as testimonies. 

It is a great marketing strategy as travellers will want to get similar photos and experiences.  Agencies and destination marketing organisations (DMOs) can easily reach out to repost UGC through software like Snapsea. 

Stories are more memorable 

According to research conducted by a cognitive psychologist Jerome Brunner, using stories and narratives to deliver a message can be 22 times more memorable than relying on facts. Why is this the case?

The human brain processes words 60 times slower than seeing images. Our brain takes longer to decode numerical statistics, while stories can ignite our imagination. A story would be useless without facts because it acts as evidence for the claims that one makes. Hence, applying these statistics to a story will immensely improve the viewers’ ability to articulate information. 

Improve storytelling as a brand

To achieve the full potential of storytelling, brands and creators need to focus on the following factors:

  1. Know your audience - it is important to understand who your audience is and create stories that can tackle a wide diversity of viewers.
  2. Highlight emotional factors - if people can relate to and resonate with your stories, they will be more likely to believe and engage in them. Ted Talks speakers are great examples of people who have mastered this.  
  3. Keep it concise - You do not want to be too wordy! Human curiosity craves the ending of a story. Imagine taking people on a rollercoaster and not a merry-go-round. Keep it interesting! 
  4. Illustrate using visuals - Give visual cues such as photos and videos to demonstrate what you are describing. This helps the audience to reminisce about the moment and remember you!

Seeing the benefits of storytelling, destination marketing organisations should utilise UGC to promote their product. People listen to stories and testimonies. User-Generated Content (UGC) is any content created and published by a brand’s consumers, influencers, and other business stakeholders to their fans and followers. UGC is a gateway for businesses to gather free testimonials and is highly effective. 

For more information about how you can use UGC to enhance your brand, check out our blog post on the benefits of UGC here.

marketing strategy, storytelling, engagement
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