Why Telling a Good Story in a Brand Campaign Is Vital

In lieu of television ads, banners on websites, and radio spots, marketers are instead using content to sell products. It may not be a direct way to reach sales goals, but it’s a means to an end by capturing attention.

A particularly effective way to get the word out about a brand is to tell a story.

“With more media channels for engagement, and greater consumer control over what they pay attention to, marketers have scrambled to make their content more captivating, and stories represent a natural evolution,” says Forbes‘ Phil Johnson.

Companies are competing to gain customers’ eyes and ears. Add social media and general online content to the mix, and it’s clear that spreading an advertising message these days is no easy task.

Attention means survival

Johnson writes, “In an environment where you don’t stand a chance to win anybody’s attention without some magic, a good story might save you and your brand from oblivion.”

A compelling story, says Johnson, will “reveal something personal and unknown about the person or brand,” evoke emotions, and “take people on a journey where there is a transformation between the beginning, middle, and the end.”

Take, for example, Invisible Children, the nonprofit that posted the “KONY 2012” video that populated newsfeeds and was all the rage on Twitter at the beginning of the year. The story it told about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony got people angry and engaged, thus motivating them to donate millions of dollars to the cause.

Tell your brand story, for starters

Aside from sales and profits, gaining customers through a good story can foster brand loyalty, according to Kenneth C. Wisnefski. Marketers, if they are short on ideas, can tell the story behind their own brand and how it came to be.

As always, telling a story with visuals, which include photos, videos, and Whiteboard presentations help engage viewers.

Johnson said that Rob Walker, a New York Times columnist, “made an insightful point about the marketing value of stories. He said that a good story is an end in itself. Whether or not it helps define a brand, sell a product, or make a point, a story must stand on its own. If it only exists to thinly disguise a marketing message, you’re not fooling anybody.”

Image courtesy of NCinDC/flickr

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