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Have you ever heard of storytelling for business? Perhaps you have never been introduced to the technique, which brings the good old art of telling stories that encourage consumer action to business content, but you have certainly come across various advertisements developed based on this concept.

The term storytelling for business is on the rise – and not for nothing. This is a potential advertising resource. The technique is based on studies such as the Hero's Journey, by Joseph Campbell, and aims to place brands as mentors who will lead the hero – in this case, the customer – to live real adventures based on what it offers.

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And why use this tool in marketing? Because people are naturally drawn to listening to stories. Whether presenting an idea, selling an item or raising awareness for a cause, storytelling is a captivating strategy because it involves emotions.

And buying is an emotional action.

A recent example of storytelling for business must have come to your attention in the last few days: Renault innovated its advertising format to promote the launch of the Kwid Outsider SUV. The strategy adopted in the live action commercial reached Trending Topics on Twitter and generated more than 27 million views on YouTube.

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With so much repercussion, you probably know what we're talking about: the brand appropriated the Dragon's Cave animated series to build a narrative around which the product stands out.

The release of photos before the commercial aired caused late fans to consider the possibility of a full-length film, which ensured even more free media when the commercial aired.

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In this recent example, Renault excelled in content that speaks to people's emotions. Anyone who lived as a child or teenager in the 1980s/90s – precisely those who can, today, drive and/or pay for a car – certainly remember the drawing fondly.

The storytelling technique has this intention: to affect the emotions of those who can buy a product or service, bringing the receiver of the message closer to what is offered.

The story of the cartoon takes place in an amusement park, where a group of children enter the “Dragon's Cave” ride and are transferred to a magical world, full of adventures. With the help of the Master of Magicians, they try to return home, in addition to defeating the Avenger, the story's feared villain.

A normal fantasy story, right? But there is one detail that Renault knew how to take advantage of very well: the animated series did not have an official outcome, that is, it never had a declared ending. So, for years, fans have been trying to figure out what the gang's last adventure would be, which remains unfinished.

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How Renault used storytelling for business

Through live action, the DPZT agency, responsible for the commercial, used the animation's plot and the viewers' desire for an outcome to promote the product. Thus, the Kwid Outsider was not simply represented as a car, but as the means of transport used by the characters to achieve the objective of returning home.

In this way, the brand gave fans of the series an “ending”, showing how they finally return home. Furthermore, it promoted its product and received case study treatment from specialized blogs and advertising professionals – which increases the publicity power of the action.

This advertising, entirely built using the business storytelling technique, is brilliant. Here are the main reasons we conclude this:

  • it can reach the target audience by age group (30 to 45 years old). Certainly, this audience was evaluated and defined in previous marketing research. The age in question, theoretically, corresponds to a financially stable public, capable of purchasing a car;
  • as we said previously, Renault's target audience “coincides” with the stimulation of an affective memory of the generation that followed this design in childhood;
  • the action proposes a creative end to the conjectures of those who had been thinking about conclusions for the narrative for two decades. After all, we are used to fables that offer a beginning, middle and end;
  • In this case, business storytelling elevates the product to a heroic status, as it states that Kwid achieved the impossible, since the plot was based on the always frustrated expectation of leaving the Dragon's Cave.
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Using storytelling for business is a way to propagate the brand's voice in a way that makes it timeless. In the future, this advertisement will still be remembered by cartoon lovers, advertising schools and content creators. It would be very different if Renault had just talked about the new car's differences and the purchase price at the dealership, right?

This is what storytelling avoids: the obvious. And that's why it has been increasingly applied to companies' digital and offline communications.

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Why storytelling for business is essential in marketing

What's more likely? Keep the audience's attention on a commercial that, for about two minutes, will talk about more of the same, or surprise them with a good story during that period?

Judging by the Google search “Renault Caverna do Dragão” and any other action by Renault's advertising team, storytelling gives more results.

In previous advertisements, Renault opted for a more traditional commercial model and, although it used celebrities in its presentation, its effect cannot be compared with the euphoria of viewers due to the association made with 1980s animation.

As corny as it may be, the effect of history on someone's purchasing decision can be scientifically proven. And here's an important observation: we used the example of Renault because this is the most successful storytelling communication in the country, in the first half of the year, among large companies. But this does not mean that only large companies can use the technique.

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Applying this principle to small and medium-sized businesses is not only possible, but also important as it is a way to win over the public through empathy. Messing with feelings involves research, audience and topic, but it doesn't have to mean million-dollar budgets. With creativity and knowledge about content marketing, it is possible to develop storytelling for businesses without spending a lot.

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Acting as a screenwriter to create your Storytelling

Coca Cola is another great example of success in storytelling for business. Through its campaigns, it created a strong relationship between soft drinks and the state of happiness from enjoying the drink among friends. But, while you don't have the same resources as Coke to invest in super elaborate campaigns, it's always good to follow some tips to build your own narratives.

Initially, identify your business philosophy. Think about the experience you want to provide your customer. Once this is done, ask yourself: what is the profile of my consumer? What is your age range? What is your lifestyle? By answering these questions, you will know how to use the appropriate language to establish effective communication with your client.

Note that one of the main insights of Renault's live action was to identify the customer profile they would like to reach. Therefore, creating a persona can help a lot in developing your business storytelling.

From there, explore your brand story. Try to craft your narrative around the mission and values ​​of your product. This approach should convince the customer that they will be happy to choose you over the competition.

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Another interesting possibility could be to use success stories. Use testimonials from clients who approved your work, as this strategy can prospect new buyers. Through “social proof”, the story told conveys credibility and indicates the recognition of those who have already proven their competence.

If you haven't yet tested storytelling for business within your digital or offline marketing strategy, here's a suggestion: research, get inspired and create captivating narratives. We all love a good story, especially when we are the hero.


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