Today’s online consumers will quickly pass up content that is uninspiring and bland. With so many advertisements and messages being sent their way, content that does not leave an impact may be overlooked, abandoned part way through, or deliberately ignored. Brands have come to understand that in order to reach a target audience impactfully, content must be engaging. One way to make content more engaging is through the creative use of storytelling.
What would storytelling in experiential marketing look like? Ideally, this approach involves a well-crafted message that creates an emotional connection and inspires the audience to action. It utilizes a combination of fact and narrative to weave an immersive experience to drive home the brand’s key message. In other words, storytelling in experiential marketing helps audiences be more conscious of why they should care about what brands are saying.
When executed efficiently, storytelling content enhances the overall campaign, increases brand loyalty, and humanizes the brand. It does so by grabbing the reader’s attention and giving them something to be emotionally invested in, even if it’s short-lived. As a result, audiences are more likely to remember the content and create positive associations with the brand.
Storytelling can be incorporated into various experiential marketing campaigns, including blogs, articles, or a brand’s event content strategy. The key is to utilize the essential components that form a great story. These components typically include compelling characters to form a bridge between the audience and storyteller, an intriguing plot, and a conflict to resolve.
In order to successfully market the piece to audiences, the resolution should not only wrap up the story, but provide the audience with a call to action. The story should also have some form of entertainment or educational value, believability, and relatability to keep the audience captivated and forge a deeper emotional connection.
The ultimate goal of storytelling in experiential marketing is to promote the company or product; however, that shouldn’t be the story’s focus. Instead, the story is about the customers and what they stand to gain. Achieving this requires a familiarity with the audience that could be established through well-researched buyer personas. Such familiarity can also help build the story’s foundation, set the objective, and maintain consistency throughout.
There is an art to storytelling, especially in the context of a branded message. If brands are going to create campaigns that truly resonate, marketers must balance creativity and authenticity with the actionable insight being driven to the audience.