PVC: The 3 Secrets of Storytelling for Brand Marketing Success
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Many of America’s best known and most loved brands have adopted content marketing with relish. General Electric’s Instagram account casts science and technology in a beautiful glow, and Lyft shares inspiring stories of passengers and drivers on its blog. Cheerios has further endeared consumers with videos about “#HowToDad” on YouTube and Red Bull produces glossy, magazine style articles about adventurers.
A majority of marketers in both the B-to-B and B-to-C worlds actively use content to attract consumers, raise brand awareness, distinguish themselves in the market, and convey their value proposition. Storytelling is one of the hottest trends in brand marketing today, and for good reason. Consumers are bombarded with marketing messages and advertising at all times on multiple fronts. This barrage of distractions has caused our attention spans to plummet, and meaning marketers have just eight seconds to capture their audience, and storytelling is the net.
Why? Because responding to stories is a core part of human existence. Storytelling helps brands craft a personality and seem relatable. This is especially key given the importance Millennials place on authenticity and their desire to form meaningful connections with brands. No brand can afford to forego the opportunity to integrate storytelling into their marketing campaigns.
The three secrets of storytelling boil down to P, V and C: People, Voice, Connection. These are the three keys to telling stories that stick.
1. People: Find Your Characters
Storytelling is powerful because it helps us connect with others. It teaches us new things and cultivates empathy and understanding. People are what make stories interesting. One of the most common mistakes of content marketing is to focus on yourself and your company. That is just not that compelling to most consumers. The best brand storytellers look outwards for inspiration and seek narratives that are bigger than the brand.
Clif Bar’s “Farmers Speak” is a great example of this. In this series, the brand’s farmers talk about how they got started in organic farming. Another example is Mint’s blog, which tells the story of “How to Be a Starving Writer in NYC (Without Starving)” to relay the importance of smart budgeting. These stories help create a personable and accessible aura around the companies that publish them. They present a narrative arc by capturing authentic moments that unfold throughout the subject’s journey.