5 Key Lessons on Storytelling for Brand Marketers
With an overwhelming amount of content, pickier audiences, and because we are all so busy we barely have time to consume new data. How indeed can brands stand out, influence, and grow? To answer this, Google spoke with 4 creative thinkers. Here are the 5 key lessons on storytelling that brand marketers can learn from them.
1. Know and Understand the Need
It's one thing to determine what clients look for, and another to understand what that need really is.
When The New York Times started their Daily 360, they partnered with Samsung to create the videos. They desired to feature daily news to their audience, and give them the unique experience of being able to see the surroundings of specific scenes just like they are there themselves. And, they saw that possible with Samsung.
As a result, people not only experienced news uniquely but also saw what they can do with Samsung technology. That is like hitting 2 birds in one shot, isn't it?
There are a lot of things that can be considered news. Lots of noteworthy information exist anywhere. But the thing is, these published news can fade away like ordinary information.
With technology, people can return to them from time to time and explore the scenes once again. And, that elicits a one-of-a-kind experience that the audience can also control. They can pause, look around, and restart the video if they want to.
There is something peculiar about being able to experience and control that experience. The same can be used by other brand marketers with the happenings in their niche. The NYT knew and understood the people's ultimate need to immerse in the scene so that they too can understand the story better.
2. Create Powerful Content
Impact and influence—this combination embody top performers. It is what drives people to becoming confident brand ambassadors. It is what indicates powerful content that breaks through boundaries and perspectives.
Creating unique content that will captivate people's attention and hearts is a challenge in itself. There can be so many brands vying for attention alone and there are so many ideas that marketers can dive into.
To think about it...
One can research trends and create fascinating content out of it. It is different when that content's reach and influence exceed ordinary expectations.
To break through, one has to be really creative with new ideas and existing tools.
Nowadays, marketers have a lot of tools to use. With videos alone, you can go live, shoot 360° scenes, and even offer a virtual reality adventure just like what Lockheed Martin did in the video above.
But as Myra Nussbaum put it, “It's not about just creating content that people seek out and find, but about making content that creates headlines.”
It may be easy to come up with something unique—something new, and people can search on a relevant term to find it. But, how exactly can you create something powerful that people would no longer have to look for? That is the challenge that marketers encounter.
3. Allow Your Audience to Live the Experience
As a creative collaborator, Ben Jones of Google understands the importance of choice to consumers. Marketers can gather a lot of impressions for their content online. Impressions are good indicators that the content reached a number of people.
On Twitter, for example, you can post a graphic about "the different types of cheese". That can reach a number of people who can like, comment, or retweet it. What's even better is when those same people become your loyal followers.
Conversion calls for innovative ideas that will propel action.
Ideas like those of The NYT 360 videos and Lockheed Martin's Field Trip to Mars are innovative enough to allow people to be in a reality that they can explore and maneuver.
That is an experience which people can totally enjoy and benefit from. It is something that takes them from an ordinary point of view to an advanced level of participation, and incite them to action.
4. Keep the Excitement Rolling
Imagine yourself stepping inside a party that's filled with people you know and people you don't know. You have 4 choices: walk past people like they aren't there, greet some of them, approach people and converse with them, or don't step into the party and go home.
The same can be said of storytelling.
- First, you can create content that you like but ignore the needs and interests of your audience.
- Second, you can create something interesting and collect a couple of impressions.
- Third, you can take the ideas you have and share them in the best way you can.
- Fourth, you may say, “I have something so come and find what it is.”
Whichever you choose, you have the opportunity to establish and strengthen relationships. You can have your own way of telling your story. But in the end, you want others to spare some time to understand it and to leave a positive response.
That is why it's important to find a way to keep the excitement rolling for your audience. You want to keep their attention throughout the story you present.
One very good example is Dove's Real Beauty Sketches commercial. They hired an artist to sketch women according to to the descriptions she hears from them.
That kept the audience entertained with the curiosity of whether the sketches would turn out exactly what the women described themselves to be. The results were astonishing.
But in just 6 minutes, they were able to tell a story that kept people in their seats. That is the kind of experience that marketers want to create.
5. Master Your Marketing Tool
A lot of tools exist for every brand marketer. You can make use of videos, images, or text. However you wish to present your story, what remains important is that you are able to present it in the best possible way you can.
You may find it difficult at the start, but you can learn things to improve in the long run.
What you can do is start with what you have available, discover what you can do with that tool, and master it. Some use many tools in one time, and still fail in making the most out of it.
“I love technology. But technology is no stand-in for a great insight. Great creative transcends everything, no matter the technology.” -Sebastian Tomich
Just like what Tomich stated, you cannot substitute a great insight with technology. The tools you have are there to help you bring those ideas to the world. They are for you to use and improve in.
In every story...
There stands a need to appeal to the emotions, a call to understand your brand and express it in the best way you can. And from that clear understanding of what you are about and who you are, you can craft the best solution for your clients.
These are the key lessons that you can apply as marketers. Master the tools you have, use them to tell a story, and take your brand to the next level.
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