November 18, 2019

3 Content Marketing Ideas that are both Popular and Practical

Digital marketing keeps evolving with rapidly advancing online technology. As much as we scream to ourselves, “Make it stop!” brands must put on our big boy boots and also evolve to stay relevant to consumers. While the world keeps turning, one thing stays the same: the importance for brands to stand out from the competition and connect with target audiences. The use of storytelling through content (videos, pictures, text, and audio) is one of the most effective tactics brands can use to make that happen.

Let’s make things easier for you, dive into the importance of storytelling, and examine 3 compelling stories to tell with content marketing campaigns.

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Photo by Fancycrave

Storytelling is a Trending Digital Marketing Topic

First up, let’s look at some interesting stats and information from digital marketing thought leadership on this trending topic, so you can be sure we’re not just making this stuff up.

An article found on Digital Marketing Institute called: “6 Storytelling Trends Marketing Leaders Should Know About”, explains:

 

“…a recent study suggests that by telling their brand story well, companies have the power to increase the value of a product or service by over 20 times.

…With 92% of people admitting to trusting their peers over a traditional advert, those charged with leading a team need to ensure your brand is providing customers or a client’s customers with an opportunity to tell their stories.

…At its core, brand storytelling is a business competency that drives emotional engagement, resulting in enhanced business performance.”

 

A fun and interesting infographic from Adweek shows the results of one study. It looks at how effective different ads are, both with and without a story. One of the examples showed an eBay listing for spoons; and lo and behold, the ad paired with a short story from an award-winning poet attracted 64% higher bids than the ad with only a picture and description. Story for the win!

 

An article found on Smart Insights called: “Storytelling is the future of Content Marketing strategy “, by Carolanne Mangles, explains more:

 

“With the multitude of content on social and the many brands that choose to pay to promote content, it is becoming an increasingly crowded and noisy environment to reach social users. Although 37% of marketers say visual marketing is the most important form of content for their businesses, second to blogging, long gone are the days w[h]ere you place an image in front of your audience and expect them to know what it is and why it’s there – and National Geographic tell[s] their audience why they should stop, read and engage.”

 

The article explains how National Geographic has an enviable 81.7 million users on Instagram and engages “…350 million combined global followers via storytelling content marketing on social media.”

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Storytelling is definitely on the radar as a top content marketing tactic, yet not every brand has quite as many visual stories to tell as National Geographic does. Still, we insist that with enough creativity, EVERY brand can tap into the power of storytelling. In an effort to help (we’re here to serve), here are 3 compelling stories every brand can tell.

 

1. Brand History:

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Tell the story of how your company started and evolved over the years. The story can begin with the origination of the company (hence them often being called “origin stories”) as a way to explain the founder’s vision and purpose for their products and services.

Consumers connect with brands on a deeper level when they understand how and why they first began. They may relate to the time period with nostalgia or find value in how a brand kept pace with all of the changes happening to our society and culture.

Here are some history story ideas:

  • biography of founders and executives
  • evolution of products/services
  • then and now pieces
  • highlighting the cultural/business/societal impact of products/services in different time periods
  • describing notable happenings throughout the years or a timeline piece
  • interviewing loyal customers about their history with a product/service
  • interviewing employees about their history with the brand

2. Testimonials or Product/Service Impact on Customers:

Brands can tell compelling stories about how their products/services are impacting their customers’ lives. These kinds of stories tell an audience, ‘Hey there. We get you.” By telling authentic stories about real customers, brands can both connect with their audiences and validate the importance of their offerings with influencer marketing.

Ultimately, the specific product or service will determine the type of story being told. But with enough creativity, every customer testimonial can be turned into a mini-story. We at Scenic believe that these stories should be factually based on real events and show how a company’s products or services positively impact their customers’ lives.

Customer testimonials can focus on influencers like sports stars and celebrities or regular, everyday people, like this veterinarian in Iowa.

 

 

Whatever type of customer is highlighted, brands can use these types of stories as influencer marketing tools to connect with their target audience on a deeper and more meaningful level.

 

3. Brand Vision and Value:

three people in business attire standing in circle with black megaphones in desert

 

Remember, the power of storytelling comes from reaching consumers on an emotional level.

Brands can do this through brand films that convey your mission and purpose, even while alluding to your product, like this brand anthem video for Zoloz.

 

 

Brands have always tried to relay the usefulness of their products and services, yet reaching them on an emotional level was limited by the mediums available (or let’s face it, an outdated and unemotional approach).

These limitations with marketing mediums have decreased as digital marketing methods become more personal and interactive. Mobile apps, virtual reality tools, social media, online videos, text, online advertisements, and email (oh my!) are all tactics that give brands the ability to reach target audiences on a more personal level than ever before.

Companies have so many tools to tell the story of their brand’s vision and value. When consumers understand the motivation, purpose, and meaning behind the products and services they use, they’ll naturally connect with them on a deeper emotional level. When their beliefs and values align with the products they use, brands will earn loyal, long-term customers and create brand advocates.

These stories can creatively include:

  • investigative journalism
  • social movements
  • philosophical ideas
  • spirituality
  • awareness campaigns
  • industry innovations
  • predicting future developments
  • and big picture perspectives.

 

 

Whether the vision and values of a brand are relatively benign or controversial, storytelling can be used to effectively share them with consumers.

The Takeaway

 

Every brand has a story to tell, and storytelling as a content marketing tactic is an engaging way to connect with consumers on an emotional level. Compelling stories not only engage target audiences, but they also give brands an endless supply of content ideas to produce.

By creatively using videos, text, pictures, and audio content, companies can tell compelling stories about their history, the impact of their products/services with customers, and their brand’s vision and value. Added bonus: within these story topics are many other subtopics that can be created and used for an endless cycle of ideas.

Formulating compelling stories to tell consumers is only one part of content marketing storytelling; other key aspects are producing and delivering these stories to target audiences through digital marketing. How these stories are produced and delivered tells a story in itself. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Scenic Road today.