For years now, any marketers with an ounce of common sense have been saying (well, screaming) that storytelling marketing is the way forward.
Telling stories will engage your customers in a way that the hard sell is never going to do. It’s proven to help audiences retain information and provoke an emotional response, and a desire to know more. And it works so well as part of an integrated marketing strategy, with effective campaigns going viral and taking on lives of their own on social media.
Don’t believe us? Well, let us tell you a story. A story about a supermarket, a carrot, and a marketing phenomenon…
Dangling the Carrot
A few years ago, in the run-up to Christmas, the might of the traditional John Lewis sob-fest suddenly had unexpected competition in the online chatter stakes.
Budget chain Aldi brought out a story about a heroic underdog carrot called Kevin, who helped Santa. Since then, Kevin has found love, sired offspring, had beef with the Leafy Blinders and escaped almost certain death in a dramatic crash cliff-hanger, which had fans on the edges of their seats, and Kevin hashtags trending wildly. Every year customers flock to Aldi stores and tussle over Kevin soft toys – originals can change hands on eBay for over £1000.
Aldi achieved increased footfall and sales, but more importantly they acquired something that many big businesses only dream of – customer affection. They became more than just a supermarket. Aldi is the home of Kevin the Carrot. People just love him. And every year audiences and the media look forward excitedly to his latest exploits.
Why does it work?
Storytelling is an art form. It’s had humans gripped since language first evolved – ghost stories around the fire, fairy tales at bedtime, great movies and novels that stay with you for a lifetime. Stories entertain, inform, excite, and seek to explain concepts or beliefs. A good story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and if it’s a cliff-hanger ending that leaves the audience on tenterhooks (a la Kevin), so much the better.
What’s Your Story?
The great news for SMEs is that you don’t need a hefty television and media advertising budget to use storytelling marketing to great effect. Blogs, articles and social media posts are all excellent ways to tell stories. If you identify what’s unique and interesting about your enterprise, you can weave a narrative around those things.
You could focus on individual staff members, the story behind your business and how it came to be, or how you dealt with a crisis, important information that customers want to know, or memorable interactions with your clients…so long as a story is engaging, emotional and you spin a good yarn, the audience will enjoy it and you’ve got a much better chance of being memorable.
In addition, Google is now capable of identifying well written and well-structured content, not just keywords, so effective storytelling is a very valuable SEO tool.
Dreaming up a tale to promote your business in a subtle, engaging way takes skill, creativity and hard work. Story telling is an art form. Behind any seemingly effortless magical tale there is structure and intent. A great marketer can provide the expertise to combine your vision, your goals, knowledge of your key audiences and demographics, and search engine optimisation, and turn them into stories that can delight your customers and prospects.
Talk to Tippy Tap
We can be the fairy godmothers who make your content marketing wishes come true. Contact us to tell us your stories.