Consumer technology brands today are facing the challenge of engaging potential and current customers in the digital age, in which there is an unprecedented amount of new information presented on multiple platforms. Traditional advertising methods are no longer effective in this context of “information overload,” and social media has pushed marketers to curate authentic messages and establish an emotional connection with audiences. The concept of storytelling has emerged as a challenging but effective way for consumer technology brands to appeal to what is most human and real.
Taking Advantage of the Power of a Story
We all know what a story is, but what do we mean when we use the word “storytelling” in the marketing sense? The idea is to create a narrative that speaks to the user and employs the same literary devices as a fairy tale or a blockbuster movie: creating an engaging plot that leads the viewer or reader on an emotional journey filled with tension and unexpected challenges.
At one point, many brands embraced the onslaught of data being generated by the digital age: marketers were obsessed with visualizing it, and picking it apart for customers to show them why their products and services stood out from the rest. But one of the most important lessons we have learned is that the best marketing messages focus on the user: they are impactful and personal, and create an emotional connection with the viewer. As a marketer, you must ask yourself: how can your product enhance users’ lives and fit into a set of values that they hold?
The best stories are unforgettable because they evoke the user’s most basic human emotions. Marketing professionals must find a way to connect their brands with these universal human themes while presenting the data to convey the superiority of their product or service.
One major consumer tech company uses emotional storytelling in its marketing campaigns to emphasize the everyday usability and aesthetics of their products and demonstrate how this benefits their owners.
In a campaign about one of its products, a narrator conveys information, but the impact of each feature is demonstrated through stories – friends listening to music together, navigating through news pages and quickly changing apps whilst exercising; all of these are identifiable characters, which convey the brand’s message.
By making the product’s features relatable through the use of identifiable characters, the company creates an emotional reaction in the audience that is powerful and resonant.
Data Should Aid the Narrative
Marketers must be careful of how they use the seemingly unlimited amount of data. If used incorrectly, data confuses and distracts instead of strengthening the intended messaging. When it comes to storytelling, the data must complement and enrich the narrative.
Of course, data is often important to the messaging. But the difficult part is picking apart the data so and fitting it into the messaging in a way that makes sense. Data visualization in the form of graphs and infographics used to be a popular strategy for making use of relevant statistics, but studies show that it is challenging to fit data visualization in a way so that the user understands it. It is the marketer’s job to translate the data into tidbits that can be seamlessly woven into the story being told.
Empower Users to Create Stories for You
One of the most effective ways to implement storytelling for today’s audiences is to let people from that audience tell the stories. Using the power of the latest technology, user-generated content can bring users into the experience of using your product and feeling its benefits.
At the end of the day, authenticity is one of the most important aspects of an effective marketing message. Stories featuring real people give brands that type of credibility while generating connections that unify and create communities of loyal followers while reinforcing the brand’s values.