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Short and Sweet – Storytelling for Digital Marketers

“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.” – Ira Glas

Storytelling in branding is not a new concept. It is something that brands have mastered and failed at, left impressions and created legacies through. The best campaigns have been identified through their storytelling and connecting with their consumers.

However, with the surge and importance of digital marketing as part of a company’s branding campaign, we need to understand how can we take this tried and tested marketing tool and amplify it through our digital channels to reach our intended audience.   Below are some top tips on how to tell your brand’s story through the ever-changing world of digital marketing.

  1. Make it Real

“Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” – Tahir Shah

Today more than ever, consumers are in touch and constantly monitoring what brands are doing in real time through digital channels. It is for this reason that your story must be genuine, otherwise, consumers will see right through you.

It must be an extension of your company’s values and missions. Authenticity is your greatest asset when it comes to digital storytelling. Consumers are engaging with brands through digital marketing channels 24/7, they don’t want to be bothered by traditional marketing techniques constantly pushing out their latest specials, they want to hear your story. As we in the marketing world would say, “tell, don’t sell.” 

  1. Make it Meaningful

“We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.”- Jimmy Neil Smith,

Consumers want to support a brand that tells their story. In the digital world where brands are constantly competing for consumer’s attention, it is important that brands stop trying to disrupt consumer’s stories with their own narratives. Understand your consumer’s story, embrace it and let it synthesize into a perfect synergy between your brand and your consumer. Through digital marketing techniques, it is easier than ever to analyze consumer behaviour and interests. Use this data to create and portray your story.  

  1. Make it impactful

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” – Robert McKee

Consumers, particularly South African consumers, want to know how your brand is contributing to the growth and development of their communities. I am not talking about large-scale donations or one-stop CSI initiatives. Your impact on the community must be an integral part of your story. Your story will shape your brand’s personality in the minds of your consumers. Through digital media and real-time reporting, brands are held to a higher standard than before. Brands are integrated into consumer’s lifestyles and they must represent the good that society has to offer.

  1. Make it Last

“Purposeful storytelling isn’t show business, it’s good business.”- Peter Guber

Your brand’s story must be consistent across all digital channels. There must be a seamless transition between your brand’s core values and the story you tell. This allows your brand’s story to grow with your brand. It creates a clear positioning in the minds of your consumers. A disjointed story from one campaign to another will create confusion among your consumer base and your story will begin to fade away. Digital media channels allow brands and consumers to constantly interact in real time making consistency even more significant. Consistency is always key!

  1. Make it Matter

“People think that stories are shaped by people.  In fact, it’s the other way around …” – Terry Pratchett

The most important element of your brand’s story is that it matters. Your story must reach the intended audience. You will attract your audience through the story you tell. With every brand having a growing social media presence, it is those brands with stories that have reached their consumers that thrive in the digital sphere. This is done through an array of digital marketing techniques such as media buying, social media management and keyword research that facilitates direct consumer targeting as well as creating online spaces that resonate with your consumer. This is the reason that at Flume our mantra is “make it matter,” because if we make it matter, we make a difference.

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