Storytelling is something we previously talked about. It’s hardly news that this is a recurrent topic when we talk about how advertising is changing. And how our storytelling should change too.
New models of communication are appearing and, in response, we need new ways of engaging users, in addition to new ways of creating connections with them, in a matter of seconds.
Brands need to learn how to communicate in the language that consumers regularly use, and in the spaces they occupy. This is no whim, or something ephemeral. Brands need to do this if they want to connect with them and to create bonds strong enough that they will last over time. And this is really difficult to achieve with the hectic pace of life today.
In our era consumers don’t have much time to spend when they, or we, are using social media channels. Everything comes and goes quickly, so it is usually difficult to grab people’s attention. This is why storytelling needs to change, and why we are already doing this.
Let’s not forget that storytelling is one of the most important aspects of advertising, and that telling a story is an art, and must be approached accordingly.
It is no secret that everyone goes around today with a phone or a tablet in their hands, and this may prove to be one of the toughest challenges, because mobile technologies are now key to how we connect with people. And, as we said before, brands need to learn how people communicate, and how they do so using mobile devices, if they want to succeed. With mobile devices stories need to be told in the quickest way possible, capturing the consumer’s attention. They need to spend time observing users’ behaviour when they interact across mobile platforms. There is a need to create a story powerful enough that the person holding the device will stick with us as a brand, and learn about our product, or about us. And, on top of all this, we need to convert users into customers.
But here is another important part of storytelling: Authenticity.
This is something we are all after. Both people and brands alike. There is a need to show what we are really like to consumers, and this is something that users are asking for every day. To connect with a brand they must feel that they know the brand and that it is authentic. The campaigns that connect the most with users and create bonds with them are those that use authenticity as a key aspect of storytelling, because authenticity leads to a deeper connection with people.
Brands are learning to show their true “voice”, using the right tone depending on the device through which they are sending their messages. But it not only works this way, but also the other way around. That is, social media allows people to show their authentic selves and to connect with others like them.
Some people may say that if you are telling a story you can’t be authentic, that storytelling and authenticity are incompatible in advertising. But think about when you meet someone for the first time, and you introduce yourself; you only highlight some aspects of your personality, or your life story, but that doesn’t mean you are not describing truthfully.
Brands need to strike a balance between storytelling and authenticity, in this way forging a lasting bond with consumers.
The new Partners Center in New York is all about this. Facebook’s new space is helping brands connect with the public in an interactive and unique way, allowing people who need to tell stories to understand how the narrative is changing because of these new forms of communication. Brands can see a demonstration of their potential scope, and experts can talk about any topic, bringing the features of their platforms to life.
Storytelling is a critical part of advertising, and also a wonderful side of it that gives you the chance to connect with people and allow them to see your true colours and what your brand is capable of.
“Mass advertising can help build brands, but authenticity is what makes them last. If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” Howard Schultz