Storytelling is not a new concept for marketers, but it has fast become one of the most compelling ways to reach consumers.

  • Storytelling is inherent to humans, making up 65% of all public conversations - Forbes found that messages delivered in a story-form are up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone.
  • Brands are now turning increasingly to consumer insights to bring shape and value to their stories, in the hope that it will resonate more with their target audience.
  • Data storytelling is used to create and strengthen connections between brand and audience with data as the guiding source.

According to Marketingprofs, it was found that if a brand adopts a more personalised marketing strategy, they will see an average 19% increase in sales.

Using data to tell a story:

Data storytelling can give brands a new lease of life when creating an impressive marketing campaign or original brand experience. With the new addition of consumer data, brands can hook their target audiences in a more focused way.

Brands are no longer restricting the way they target audiences. They are looking deeper than simply occupation, gender, and age. They have begun to quantify their attitudes, interests, and motivations. If brands continue to mould their storytelling in this way, their brand experience will resonate more personally with their audience.

Consumers have higher expectations for the content they consume, with 27% of users stating that they want their favourite brands to improve their knowledge or skills. It is clear that consumers are responding more to personalised content and if brands can tap into this, they will have more room to capitalise.

It is important to note that brands are no longer just supplying a product or service, the brand experience transcends this and as a result, they are forming a more integral part of consumers’ lives.

Data Sharing:

While consumer data is invaluable in creating and progressing a brand story, consumers are still haunted by the phrase ‘online privacy’. When they hear this phrase, it undoubtedly triggers thoughts of cookies, targeted advertising, data breaches and maybe even manipulation.

A consumer’s online identity is made up of everything from social media engagement (likes, follows, and shares) to videos watched and their music taste. Every click, purchase and impression is traceable. While all these actions have value for companies, they must recognise the line between using that data to improve their service and using it to attempt to control a consumer’s online identity.

Where to begin?

A powerful, raw story should lead a brand’s message but to take it to the next level, brands need to ground this with insightful consumer data. That way, brands can craft their message directly to the target audience and market.

Below are three key elements to consider when constructing a meaningful brand story.

1. Create a strong personality

Put simply, if a brand is personable, then it becomes more attractive and relatable for consumers.

Humans enjoy and centre their lives around interactions and building relationships with other humans, so if a brand can nurture this and create a definitive personality, they will be able to build stronger connections with their audience.

Gathering data that dives deeper than simply age or occupation means a brand can inform the creative elements of the brand personality, similar to the tone of voice. Hence, it is crucial to gather insight on consumers’ interests and motivations because then a brand can reach them on this level.

2. Keep things simple and consistent

While a brand message needs to connect on a personal level with consumers, it should also be accessible, simple, and consistent, otherwise, the connection that has been built can be easily lost.

Now that consumers have higher expectations for content, brands are left with a smaller window in which they can captivate and engage. A concise and impactful message has never been more important. Consumer data will help in this situation, as a brand can deduce what content their consumers expect to see on certain channels and therefore, begin to align their strategy with this. 

3.Tell a story that provokes discussion.

On average, 25-34 year-olds spend 2 hours 37 minutes per day on social media. These users will be sharing and viewing brand stories millions of times each day, through the equivalent and just as effective, word-of-mouth marketing tool.

Collecting data on the stories an audience is sharing and discussing can help inform a brand’s message so that their target audience will also want to engage.

Many brands are beginning to use data storytelling within their marketing campaigns so that they can create captivating and unique stories for their audience on a more personal level, which will deepen connections and reinforce the brand’s overall story and key message.

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