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3 Weird But Effective Storytelling Techniques to Improve Your Content

August 30, 2019

Why Storytelling?

What makes your audience tick? How do you hook them onto your product? The answer is by creating brand storytelling techniques that will pull on their heartstrings. From this brand narrative, your audience will gain a memorable experience and an emotional response. 

How do you market your brand through storytelling? A good story narrative usually consists of an individual or group showing or telling how a personal or professional goal was met with the help of your product, similar to a hero's journey.

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Just because you release an ad, does not mean it will improve your bottom line. A strategy to increase your brand’s revenue is story telling your target audience through your content. Although effective storytelling is not seen enough, it is engaging and compelling for your consumer. Below are three unique ways to shine a light on your product and overall brand identity through storytelling.

1. Transparency

As someone once said, “honesty is the best policy”, and it’s true. More than ever, there is a disconnect of trust between consumers and businesses. Gaining back that trust starts with transparency. 

Everlane Transparency Through Sustainability

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The clothing brand Everlane does an excellent job in highlighting it’s transparency within marketing efforts. Everlane’s marketing team realized to become transparent, they first had to become sustainable. More than ever people, especially younger generations, care about their carbon footprint. With young adults being their audience, sustainability transparency is key. This art of storytelling is effective because customers are told what materials are in Everlane clothing. The company goal of transparency has motivated Everlane’s objective to become sustainable. 

A Transparent Price Breakdown:

People are constantly wondering what fees are included in the price of their clothing. Everlane tells a story about a product’s exact costs from the origin to the conclusion of their manufacturing and distribution process. For instance, when you buy a pair of light wash jeans, Everlane's marketing strategy is to explain the prices of materials, labor, transport, duties, and hardware. 

Since the company is transparent about their prices, they compare their product price to the traditional retailer’s price. When their price appears lower and more ethical than their competing brand, the consumer will be inclined to side with Everlane. Marketers telling a story helps gain brand loyalty.

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A Transparent Factory:

Some companies in the international fashion industry approach manufacturing unethically. On the Everlane website, there is a “factories” tab. If you click on it, a world map, a helpful visual storytelling tool, is displayed of every location across the globe. When you click on a location, it gives you insights about the owner, employees, the year it was founded, etc. The company has started a hashtag “#knowyourfactories”, to convey their transparency in production.

A storyteller that uses transparency creates a story telling rhetoric that will gain a customer's trust and emotional connection.

2. Debunking Taboos

Debunking taboos will mix up your usual content and tell an intriguing story. Your audience will become engaged when you jump outside the usual lines of marketing and tell a real story.

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Billie Razor’s Debunking:

Billie Razor’s realizes that society has glamorized the women's shaving industry. The shaving company believes no one should be embarrassed about having body hair, though many are because everyone has it. The irony of a shaving company promoting body hair has helped Billie gain positive personal branding. Using storytelling in marketing to address and refute culture norms will spark your audience’s attention. 

Billie’s Red, White, and You Do You 2019 Campaign:

This summer’s campaign embraces women to have body hair while wearing swimwear. Billie’s realized every woman shaving commercial did not show females who had body hair but were shaving already shaved hair. As a brand who likes to tell realistic stories, Billie Razor’s wanted to tell a positive story about unshaved body. 

Discussing the unique theme of unshaved hair within the shaving industry made Billie not only debunk a taboo but gain traction through an original brand story.

3. Creative Ways to Use a Product:

Suggesting creative ways in which your buyer can use your product will give your consumer the incentive to buy. Your brand’s experience for the customer is also enhanced in this process.

Reynolds Wrap:

Reynolds Wrap has successfully implemented storytelling through their own recipes and general ads. The Wrap company figured out who their target is through AI. By using this big data tool, Reynolds targeted customers who switch between brands, “switchers”, and displayed Reynold ads onto their device when they looked at online recipes. These ads said Reynolds was a “key ingredient” and explained why. Strategically using online ads alongside recipes injects your brand into the storytelling. 

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Reynolds “Real Life Tough” Campaign:

The leading wrap brand, Reynold’s, wanted to tell a creative story about how their wrap is stronger than competing store brands. 

“Real Life Tough” consisted of thirty 15 second videos that described how Reynolds wrap fixes real-life situations. These videos use Freytag’s Pyramid of storytelling. In each great story, Reynolds was the resolution to the problem at hand. No matter how creative the story, the consistent formula of Freytag improved the content. 

When you show a customer how to implement your product into their lives through relatable situations, it will attract an audience and increase your revenue. 

Chobani Recipes:

Online recipes are a creative way to use digital storytelling, especially if your product is thought of as limited.

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On Chobani’s website, there is a Recipes tab where you can search recipes, meal types, and recipe types. From there, there are a plethora of recipes that tell a story about how to use the brand’s products. 

With competing brand’s imitating Chobani’s look and content, they needed to use telling a story through their recipes as a marketing campaign. Chobani maximizes attention through these simple recipes and storylines than through complex ones. 

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How Can You Tell Your Content is Effective?

If you want to test the effectiveness of your story, incorporating tools like market analysis, content audit, visual vocabulary and creative study will help you reshape your storytelling approach for the future. These content insights, presented through Cortex, redirect your social media and communication efforts.

Since you’re reading this article, I’m guessing your profession is in the realm of branding or social media. Knowing how to tell a creative brand story, and to what audience, will help grow customer loyalty, grow revenue, and grow the customer relationship. 

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