Storytelling has been regarded as the ultimate crowd-pleaser; as humans, a distraction is what we enjoy, through being transported to different worlds and viewpoints – everyone loves to be engaged.
The art of storytelling has been present in society for decades, and it’s why poets and writers have been remembered and praised throughout history. Politicians rely on storytelling during campaigns as a way to connect with their voters, and it’s why children are read stories by their parents before they’re put to bed – to gain a different insight to the world via escapism, relatabity and through the pure enjoyment of being engrossed in a real story.
With this being said, every brand has their own story to tell as a way to differentiate their core values and purposes and also as a way to separate themselves from the rest. Storytelling is a key way of differentiating saturated communications and it is still a way of adding to the amount of information in which consumers are entitled to be aware of before they are to decide on a brand, product or even a service.
Although it can be argued now that stories do not resonate with consumers like have done in previous years – this is due to the fact that consumers are now connected 24/7 and are not as easily impressed as they used to be. This takes us onto the first point:
Make your story different and original
Consumers now expect more and have more choice than ever to choose their favoured brand. Consumers now know more than they have ever done, and can find even more – all through the power of their fingertips.
Brands now have to work harder to make their way through the clutter, engage audiences on a deeper level and also ensure that advertisements resonate with consumers as a way to foster long-term loyalty.
If your advertisements touch your consumers on a relatable, and deeper level than the rest, the consumer is much more likely to adopt and respect the morals and ethos of your brand. Ensuring that they are a loyal and returning customer.
Also remember that in today’s marketing world, there’s a need for a more modern approach – shift your brand conversations into action and advance from storytelling to story-living. Nothing is more appealing than seeing a dream turned into reality.
Story-living is more than just your brand
When broken down to its greatest simplicity, story-living allows consumers to experience a brand first hand. Consumers love the idea of having a role to play within a story, to add greater effect to the idea of the ideal escapism. This enables added exposure to a brand’s ethos and ecosystem in a way which can not be replicated through using traditional media.
Seeing a brand’s story as something to live, rather than a story to tell, offers a much more solid framework, allowing the construction of a “living narrative” which is played through consumer interactions at every touch point.
Use your touchpoints to gain added engagement
With touchpoints constantly evolving, new technologies and devices are being introduced which allow brands to offer a complete user immersion along with unprecedented levels of engagement. This adds a deeper appreciation for what the likes of voice recognition, virtual reality and augmented reality provides; brands can now finally go above and beyond the traditional art of storytelling, by moving into the realms of story-living. Allowing people to fully experience and create their own living stories in virtual worlds.
Advancements in these technologies can already be seen within mobile advertising. 360-degree adverts which incorporate touch and vibrations have the power to take the views on a real journey. They allow viewers to live out a compelling story or even transport them to any part of the world.
From this, audiences are responding; it has been proven that VR generates a more emotional response, along with longer engagement times. For example, Hong Kong Airline’s 360-degree ads were 35 times more effective in comparison to the same, traditional 2D ad.
The confluence of physical and digital worlds is set to undergo huge developments over the next few years, with the livestream trend being bolstered by Facebook’s livestreaming function. However it has been found that to fully immense consumers, combining both a livestreaming element along with 360-degree technologies is a must. This enables consumers the power to be able to engage with a live event as and when they choose, in both the physical and digital essences. Giving brands the power to be able to create a highly personalised, on-demand experience.
Tailor your metrics to return on your digital age investments
For other brands who are successfully living their story, it’s not just the experiences which are rewarding. Through looking at last year’s winners at Cannes, nearly all the accolades were seen landing in the hands of ideas which could in no way be seen as an advertisement.
From Diesel to Savlon, Apple to Microsoft, they were invariably about consumer engagement, social movement, acts of empowerment or pieces of drama. They all had experiential activity at their core and successfully encouraged consumers to contribute to their brand narrative.
Through being empowered by social networks and digital devices, consumers are increasingly dictating when, where, and how they are engaging with brands. They have both become creators and critics, demanding a more personalised brand experience in order to shape the products and services they consume. As a result of this, tailored metrics are emerging that measure and capture the return on investments in the digital age.
The interactive nature of brand experiences provides marketers with an impact which is measurable, since ROI from live experiences is driven by the ability to be able to track every step of the customer journey. The ongoing aim is to be able to bring consumer traffic to the physical world, while personal interactions can capture and track valuable insights. This will enable a two-way conversation, full of actionable insight, across a every subsequent engagement.