Written by: Sean Peckenham | Director of Growth
The world is craving authentic human experiences, and stories, they do just that.
Stories are about collaboration and connection. They spread from generations, they engage us through emotions, and they are what connects us to others and to brands. Through stories we share passions, hardships, sadness, and joys. We share meaning and purpose. Stories are how we are wired, they’re how we think and how me make meaning of life. They share how things work, how we make decisions and how we justify them. They’re how we persuade others, how we understand our place in the world, create our identity.
When brands, organizations, causes, or individuals identify and develop a core story, they create and display authentic meaning and purpose that others can believe, participate with, and share.
With digital CPMs rising. Companies, big and small, are investing more in digital marketing. Advertising inventory on Facebook and Google is becoming saturated. When demand for something rises faster than the supply of it, prices rise. Competitive bids for scarce inventory, addressed to the same audience, drives up demand for the same real estate within a feed or a story, causing ad prices to skyrocket. Advertising on Facebook became 70% more expensive between 2017 and 2018, while ad spend on Facebook grew 40% during Q2 2018. Cost per click is growing 23% month-over-month and 85% year over year.
Not to mention, attention spans are continuously decreasing. In fact, scientists now know that we have shorter attention spans than goldfish, who are able to focus on a task or object for 9 seconds**. **That means – as marketers – we’re all trying to sell to goldfish. No wonder it sometimes feels difficult!According to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, there are over 30,000 new products introduced every year, and 95 percent fail
It’s now more important than ever to be creating an incredible experience with your brand by selling your story. People are able to wrap their minds and memories around a brand story better than brand features, functions, benefits, and facts. Being a powerful storyteller can create significantly greater awareness and play a major role in contributing to always keeping a brand at the top of customers’ minds.
**“From family legends to historical texts—and even marketing campaigns—humans remember stories more than we remember facts. If you want your brand to stand out, you have to show your buyers why you exist, not just what you do.” **– Neil Patel
Think of the headlines that you normally see in a newspaper. Or the stories that you see on the news every night. You’ll notice many of the same themes as major Hollywood movies: Conflict. Drama. Violence. Sometimes it can seem like our news outlets are more concerned with entertaining us than educating us. This is nobody’s fault. It’s a fact of life that in order to make money in media, you must be polarizing. Nobody can survive by being boring. There’s too much competition. The most reputable outlets entertain their audience with the truth. They tell true stories. But they know that it’s not the truth that generates profits—it’s always the stories. Stories keep us tuned in. Stories sell newspapers. Stories get clicks. Stories are what people share.
Humans like to share things — it is one of the main reasons social media is so popular. One of the things sharing does is that it helps us signal to others what our identity is. We share our likes, opinions, and more, letting other people know who we are. It isn’t the only reason we share though.
“Just as people use money to buy products or services, they use social currency to achieve desired positive impressions among their families, friends, and colleagues.” – Johan Berger
As marketers, we need to use social currency to achieve great virality and word-of-mouth for a product. Companies need to be keen on giving people a way to make themselves look good while promoting their products and ideas along the way. There are few ways we can do this to capture large market share.
- Shareability / Virality
- Community Building & Customer Experience
This one is pretty straight forward. Make your company and product remarkable so people want to share it. The fastest way to grow is to get free eye balls. As auctions are becoming more competitive, CPM’s and CPC’s consistently rising year over year, how do you get wider reach for FREE?
Simple, people like to share AWESOME things, so if your marketing can get across that the product is remarkable, then it will help its word of mouth build.
Gamify your Business
If it’s ever possible, marketers and companies should implement game mechanics into their marketing and product plan. Make the customer try to achieve something or garner some kind of currency.
Gamification incorporates fun and an element of competition to any marketing strategy. It allows you to make an emotional connection to your audience that typically leads to longer relationships (ahem, higher AOV’s and LTV’s).
Community Building & Customer Experience
****Did you know that it costs 10x as much to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one?
Remember how I mentioned authenticity? Well, that goes well beyond being introduced to the brand, it’s even more important what happens when you get a customer. Personalization, making your customer feel like they’re part of something special, to make them feel loved, heard, and accepted is the key to building a loyal customer.
Existing customers are 50% more like to try new products and spend 31% more, when compared to new customers (https://marketeer.kapost.com/customer-acquisition-versus-customer-retention/). So how do you get more of those for free? That’s right, you nailed it (or maybe you didn’t), get your customers to sell for you!
Identify the community you want to build and have a clear identity on what that actually looks like AND…as I mentioned, do it with virality. Be creative, authentic, and tap into emotions.
Telling your story and building a community in today’s world is everything. It’s what will make you, your product, your business more sticky…and that ladies and gentlemen, that’s the gold on the other side of the rainbow.
**“The key to storytelling is what makes you stand out, which is what most companies struggle with conveying.” – Melanie Deziel
**If told well, a story will embody a company’s beliefs and personality but in a way that is, first and foremost, entertaining and memorable for the audience. This is achieved by boiling down the story’s elements to their simplest parts until they exist as universal concepts that pretty much anyone can relate to.
Good storyselling transcends time, topic, and pipes of distribution. Very few know how to do it, but those who do WILL win in the long term.
Happy storytelling 🙂