STORYTELLING: The Building Blocks of a Great Digital Plan

Since the dawn of time, humans’ beings have told stories. Stories help us to participate in conversations, build connections and understand the world we live in. No one’s heart is wooed by-product capabilities and financials alone. What you need is a good story — it’s the key to making your brand a living, breathing thing. Investors, employees, and consumers will rally around a story, and the best business leaders understand that storytelling has the power to change minds and spark action.

Once you understand the power of appealing to your customers’ emotions and placing them at the center of your brand story, you can achieve market penetration, scalable growth, and satisfied customers. When you focus on your consumers (and target the practical and aspirational ways you can improve their lives), you can begin to understand how to relate to them with your story.

Just as any good hero in a story needs a trusty sidekick or magic wand, your product should be the go-to answer for your customers’ problems — like a fairy godmother, genie in a bottle, or Cinderella’s shoe, it should perfectly coincide with the climax of the story. Effective storytelling will guide your brand to this critical moment, and you’ll be well-positioned to be part of your consumer’s continued personal narrative.

THE FRAMEWORK OF GREAT STORYTELLING.

Develop a brand identity: Brand identity refers to the visuals that represent the reputation and ideas of your brand. In other words, your brand identity is the face of your brand. It’s your brand’s personality. Darling Nigeria, a hair extension brand available in the African continent lacked a coherent identity, In Nigeria, it was viewed as an old “Mummy” brand with little innovation, known by some but not loved for anything in particular. And as a result of this, they needed to do a re-launch.

To empower African women, their “Find your beautiful” campaign told the story of how every African woman can define their beauty on their terms regardless of societal norms. In their story; the African woman was progressive, ambitious, and striving hard for success, she believes that her destiny is in her own hands and takes charge of her life, career, and family. She plays multiple roles in her life and parallel also portrays multiple looks depending on her role or her mood. One minute she can be in a classy office look and in the next she can transition to a bold party look.

With a heavily led influencer campaign, the Darling brand saw a  6times  greater ROI from influencer marketing than traditional advertising. 40% of customers have bought Darling products after seeing it being used by an influencer.  As a business, you should be all for solving problems and providing a good customer experience. Whether you are selling designer items, or a cooperate entity, you’ll find that your revenue is a combination of a strong business model, positive customer interactions and a sound brand identity. So how can you convince your audience that there’s more to you than meets the eye? You need an identity, you need a story, and your identity should be simple. Cowrywise, a savings platform in Nigeria, is straightforward: Plan, save and Invest. That’s it.

Tell your own story: Behind your brand story, is its story of its founders and its team. This means that before you go anywhere else for great storytelling, you only need to look inward at your brand. In March 2018, the British trio of Grace Ladoja MBE, Grime artist Skepta and BBK Africa’s Dex wanted to reach out to Nigeria’s diaspora, encouraging them to rediscover its unique heritage and creative industries.

To do this they decided to launch the Homecoming project in Nigeria, a three-day festival that would act as a platform for cultural exchange between the creative industries of music, fashion, and art. They wanted to tell a story that celebrated young African talent, not just internationally but also locally. The 3-day festival engaged with local designers (Patta), and international designer Nike to design a limited-edition T-shirt, next was the homecoming concert, which saw local and international stars share the same stage; editors from vogue, and dazed were flown out to come and experience Lagos in a different light. The result? By telling a story of three Nigerian creatives in the diaspora, the brand has enabled people to see Lagos as the coolest city in the world (Vogue), and genuine space for creatives to get a spotlight

Target the Raw emotions: A universal fact of humanity is that nothing connects with the human heart like genuine emotions. Your target audience is always looking for emotions that they can connect to and root for. Nike’s marketing inspires, and they have used that emotion to improve sales and enhance customer loyalty.

In 2018 Adobe photoshop focused on the power of nostalgia, as the world becomes more technology-focused, many of us are looking back fondly at the days when things were simpler, and this resonated with their audience. Find the consumer’s heart, but also think about your audience and what topics resonate with them. Make them laugh, make them cry, make them feel something.  Look at it this way; Happiness =more shares, Sadness = more clicks.

Have a content structure: To get to consistent, quality storytelling, your infrastructure starts with the development of a multi-channel strategy that’s aligned with your business goals and ends with effective measurement so that you can assess the impact of what you publish. Without a content strategy, you cannot build a brand; you need to know “who” “where and the “how”. These three are closely linked, so the trick is to try and bring all of them up to the same level so that your storytelling can get out the customers who will value it. Investing in content infrastructure- the people and processes, as well as the technology, is the differentiator that can lead to a consistently compelling storytelling

 

FINAL THOUGHTS;

4 core principles of digital storytelling:

Think human; people interact with people. Stories are told by people. Think about advocates for your brand, from internal employees to influencers, then consider how they can tell your story.

Interactivity; interactive stories is the kind of story when crafting content. Think of ways your audience can interact with the content in some way. The more interactive the content is the more engaged the audience will be

Immersion; brand stories need to go deeper into the background of the company, its products, and services. People get bored with the same old “about us content”

Integration; your story needs to be told in video form, in image form, in audio form. Key messages need to be delivered across all your digital channels as well as in-store and offline. A good story is one that is retold many times by many different people.

 

CONCLUSION

Ultimately, storytelling doesn’t make a brand — there’s much more to it. You’ll also need a killer team, an incredible product or service, a go-to-market strategy, and a whole lot of optimism to get you through the hard times. But at the end of the day, a brand with a strong story will persevere.

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