The extraordinary power of Storytelling

Sandrine Van Swieten

Digital Marketing Consultant

For the past few years, communication has found its superhero. This superhero is a great craftsman of inbound marketing*, which is the strategy that aims to attract the customer rather than chase after him. (Said like that, you might think it’s still less tiring, but no!) 

*As a reminder: Inbound marketing is based on the notion of attractiveness. Attractiveness of its brand image, its products & services, its commercial offer. The company invests energy in anticipating the needs and desires of the consumer. (That’s what it takes to catch them in your nets!)

Let me tell you the story of this superhero …

Once upon a time…

“Once upon a time, a superhero was found by some companies. He walks social media to preach the good word, to communicate the strengths of the company, its image and its commercial offer. He communicates, he orchestrates the discussions, federates the communities, all of this brilliantly. He reigns on social networks like Batman on Gotham, like Clark Kent on Metropolis.
Benevolent, he takes good care of the brand’s image, protects it, and oversees the good cohabitation of the members of his community …” But who is he? “He”, “he”, “he”! Down the masks, it’s the Community Manager of course! From his initials CM, he has the responsibility to relay the speech and values ​​of the company. Without him, inbound marketing would not be, and e-reputation would be on the brink of non-existence. But how does CM, the Community Manager, carry out his mission? He can count on his superpower: Storytelling! With the same dexterity as Spiderman who attracts his target with spiderwebs, the community manager attracts his target with storytelling.

What is Storytelling?

Storytelling is the art of staging the speech of a company in order to capture the interest of the target, engage it, and retain it. The superhero Community Manager relies on this communication technique to highlight his company and its activities. He becomes a wonderful storyteller. 

“A good storyteller manages to arouse your interest while talking about topics that do not interest you. 

Have you ever been bored in a meeting? Do you read all digital communications? Do all brands appeal to you? … Keeping the attention of your target is probably the most complex issue of modern marketing. Additionally, we have never been so distracted as today; between television, radio, internet, and social networks, all those media that come and interfere in our daily lives, next to our family, our leisure, and our worries. Infobesity, or information overload, affects all Internet users. The diversity of information channels and the mobile internet offering a perpetual connection to the web, are the main causes. Internet users are solicited 24/7 and therefore pay less and less attention to communication messages.
Yet, without the attention of your target, all efforts are in vain. You can invest a lot of money in your marketing strategy, in the development of your products and services… But even if your efforts objectively position you as the best in the market, if your competitors monopolize the attention of your target, your business will not take off. On the contrary. 

It’s important to make our customers or our teams dream with a brand or management style that tells a strong and authentic story. In this digital age, Millennials and generation Z do not want to be bored and, as consumers, they want to be reached in a more targeted and interactive way.

Many prefer to adhere to values ​​that resonate with their history and that sound “true”. Those no longer believe in the communication of some brands and can’t help but fidget during meetings, where they distract themselves with coffee and mints to pass the time. 

Example: we all have in mind that TV show or narrator who possess the skills to instantly attract our attention when coming across his/her show. You’re zapping, without really knowing what you’re looking for. And then, you come across this person who talks about anything and everything, who sells you a coffee machine or tells you the murder of an American student in the 1980s. What’s the point? None! And yet, the story is well put together, well told and you are surprised to have listened to it in full. If you had been told that you would follow this TV-show before stumbling upon it, would you have believed it? 

To sum it up, in addition to making people dream, your story must be personalized, authentic, captivating, and dynamic. Storytelling is energy, it has an impact, and it motivates. It’s your best sidekick when it comes to branding, delivering speeches, and managing to motivate change.

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