Successful businesses are built on effective stories. People love to see, read or hear stories. The tales create a human connection based on empathy.
When you promote your brand through a story, you’re not trying to convince the audience to buy your products. You share an experience and leave the decision to them.
For Solomon Kershima Yateghtegh, this is the art of persuasion. He lives by it.
Yateghtegh is a digital marketing strategist and founder and CEO of SKYHub Nigeria, a creative digital marketing agency dedicated to providing excellence in social media marketing, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, analytics, content marketing and training.
In an Africa Tweet Chat, Yateghtegh explained how storytelling serves social media as a way to learn, share information and create connections and relationships. This is why he believes it’s a priority for marketers:
- Storytelling enables marketers to develop a deeper connection with the audience.
- It is a powerful method for learning.
- It can be an important tactical tool that lets marketers engage consumers in a fragmented media world.
“Storytelling enables marketers to understand what is going on in the marketplace and what that means for the customer, consumer, society, brand and company,” Yateghtegh said.
Stories build a community for brands. Yateghtegh believes this is why the quality of storytelling is more important than the quantity, incorporating these elements:
- A brand persona can be created with stories.
- Personality highlights.
- Emotional appeal.
- Storytelling can build engagements’ structure.
“Your stories pave the way for great engagements,” he said. “Building a community on great stories will not just give you a lead but increase your community engagements.”
Large business or small, video is crucial for storytelling.
“Video is not just a passing fad or a novel presentation,” Yateghtegh said. “It is a powerful way to form relationships with your audience through emotional connection. Video is a medium we are hardwired to respond to.
“In addition to being visually stimulating, video elicits an emotional response from the viewer, thanks to the scientific phenomenon of emotional contagion,” he said. “When your audience views a video or watches a story, their emotions start to mirror what’s on screen.”
Yateghtegh compared this to the physical sensation of anxiety viewers feel when they watch a scary movie.
“Video already gives you an advantage over the written word,” he said. “People retain information from visual images for much longer than text. If you want to give your video communication longevity in your audience’s minds, storytelling is the ideal tool to employ.”
Yateghtegh believes video has powers of creation:
- Unforgettable memories.
- Helps you build a tribe.
- Helps gain profitable and human access.
Entrepreneurs should take advantage of Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp stories to market their brands. Yateghtegh cited this key statistic: The number of daily story users tops 400 million worldwide for Instagram and WhatsApp, while Facebook use is lower.
“Stories are a creative playground, an enticing way to reach mobile-savvy young people and the latest twist on influencer marketing,” Yateghtegh said.
“Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp are the most flexible tools to use to market your brands,” he said. “They communicate to the audience at low cost and high engagement rates. People view stories more than they chat.”
Brief and to the point pays dividends.
“By so doing, you have to keep the videos short and precise,” Yateghtegh said. “Your stories will drive the quest for more.”
In his view, all brands should use storytelling.
“Take, for instance, the mission and vision,” he said:
- Mission: The story of why your brand exists.
- Vision: Paint a compelling picture of the future of your company, brand and products. This is the act of storytelling on your brands.
“A brand without storytelling is like train without an engine or bread without butter,” Yateghtegh said. “All brands are strongly advised to key into the act of storytelling.”
This is why he says storytelling is the future of content marketing: It’s ancient.
“Ever since humans could first speak — or far beyond that — we were telling stories,” Yateghtegh said. “Aside from that, it’s the platform on which content is built.
“Coca Cola with their caption, “Taste the feeling,” in their videos is a typical example of video storytelling backed with emotions and feelings,” he said. “No one would like to miss it.”
Yateghtegh said marketers should incorporate these principles of storytelling into their strategy:
- Choose a Relatable Main Character.
- Put the Best Elements in the Beginning of Your Story.
- Understand the Relationship.
- Keep Your Story Authentic.
“Most influencers are after the money and moment, forgetting that the craft beer in storytelling can keep them in the gain,” Yateghtegh said. “Following these principles can go a long way.”
He has found mentioning brands and tweeps using twitter threads “positively effective.”
“Using mentions wisely can lead to added exposure for your brand,” Yateghtegh said. “You want to draw the attention of the owners and followers of a particular account, but it has to be in the right context.
“For example, an effective way to mention a brand would be if you’re sharing your blog post that discusses the use of social media management tools,” he said.
Yateghtegh noted that every aspect of a brand’s website, corporate identity, video production and photography is defined by the brand.
“Here are the primary reasons why storytelling is the future of content marketing: It helps to build a deeper and stronger connection with the audience. It adds a human element to your content and, thus, brand,” he said.
“Storytelling goes beyond advertising,” Yateghtegh said. “It makes people trust your brand much more easily. It lets businesses engage with customers in a fragmented media world. Stories help bind your content together rather than seem scattered.”
Good storytelling delivers with a velvet glove.
“Stories help share your brand vision in the most pleasant manner,” Yateghtegh said. “A business with a great story is able to defeat its competitors easily.
“Stories are the most successful weapon to create brand loyalty,” he said. “That means people are much more willing to promote your product or brand by word-of-mouth marketing. This is the best way to popularize a business.”