How To Use Digital Storytelling To Boost Your Conversion Rate
Us humans love stories. We each have our own preferences, whether it’s about action, love, adventure, tragedy or comedy. We even have our own preferred story mediums, such as movies, books, plays, podcasts, radio shows, and the list goes on. A good story makes us take action, feel certain emotions, and can even trigger certain mentalities.
In business, brands use stories to strengthen their brand credibility, therefore adding value to their products and services. In the modern age, we’ve been utilising the internet to reach, promote, and sell our goods. In the same way, storytelling has adopted this change and is now using digital elements to tell a narrative.
Because of how ingrained storytelling is in everyone, digital marketers and business owners alike have been using it as a way to further improve business growth for years now.
What is Digital Storytelling?
In essence, digital storytelling is the combination of digital elements such as images, videos, audio files, etc. combined with storytelling structure to produce consumable content.
It is the modernisation of an age-old habit. In the past, everyday people recorded stories on stones, then papyrus, then paper, now we do it online or through various digital gadgets. As you might have guessed, digital storytelling was not initially used for marketing, nor for any type of business strategy. It was used to convey messages, just in a more technologically-focused medium.
Some of the early users of digital storytelling are:
- Radio jocks
- Motivational speakers
Only later on has digital storytelling been utilised for business when the age of digital marketing emerged. Ever since the popularisation of social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat, and LinkedIn, business owners and digital marketers have practised digital brand storytelling, compelling storytelling copy, graphic design-intensive storytelling landing pages, and more.
By utilising the individual’s fondness of stories and crafting it into ‘bite-sized’, consumable content such as short videos, relatable copywriting, and powerful imagery, marketers can help a brand achieve a better reputation, more sales, and stronger customer loyalty.
What are the Benefits of Digital Storytelling?
When digital storytelling is integrated into the identity of a brand, statistics say that 55% of these consumers are more likely to convert, 44% of them will “share” it to social media platforms, and 15% will be convinced of the value and will take action by purchasing the product or service.
So why do people tend to lean more towards story-centric brands? One reason is that it stimulates their brain. According to Paul Zak, neurologist and founding director of the Centre of Neuroeconomics Studies, stories affect our brain chemistry. We build connections through them and they greatly impact the empathy we feel towards the storyteller. Storytelling is so effective that digital marketers place it as the 2nd most important factor in B2B content marketing.
Image courtesy of statista
Knowing this, we can answer confidently that the benefits of Digital storytelling for any brand are:
1. Higher Conversion Rates
Why did AirBnb blow up? Is it because of the quality vacation homes? Sure, but their marketing strategy didn’t focus on those, it focused on the experiences their customers will have.
The stories AirBnb put up are not made by the company, they’re made by the customers themselves. Because of this, the brand focused solely on making the customer satisfied, and let the customers do the marketing for them. Combine this with a reputable marketing automation agency and they were set to achieve one company milestone after another, including high conversion rates.
In fact, statistics show that marketers who successfully utilise “the art of storytelling” see a 30% increase in conversion rates from their marketing campaigns.
2. Brand Image Retention Rate
While it’s true that consumers appreciate detailed data sheets and positive press releases, there’s no question that they appreciate a brand’s story much more. I mean, don’t we all? Stories help us connect to a brand, especially if they share the same values as us. They help us to understand a brand’s mission and personality better. People innately remember stories more than they do data. An experiment by MarketSmiths found that, when individuals were told a persuasive pitch, only 5% retained the statistics mentioned while an overwhelming 63% remembered the story.
In relation to branding, when a business tells a compelling story, consumers are more likely to retain the memory of the brand’s image. It becomes vital when said consumers are in need of a specific product or service. The first brand they think of has an upper hand against their competitors.
3. Improved Customer Loyalty
Every story has a hero, no matter the form. A great brand story pulls consumers towards becoming the hero of their story, with you (your brand) being their guide. However, a bad one often backfires and can turn future customers away. That’s because a big mistake businesses often make is making themselves the hero, not the customer.
Stories act as a little magnet for your customers. They attract them to purchase from you and repel them from purchasing from your competitors.
Where Can You Implement Digital Storytelling?
The great thing about digital storytelling is that it can be used in various marketing strategies. Because of that, businesses often take advantage of its versatility and utilise it in every aspect of their branding. This not only provides the 3 mentioned benefits of digital storytelling above, but also keeps the customer experience consistent.
So, where can you use digital storytelling?
1. Paid Ads
Web consumers hate ads. So much that the most popular type of extension on almost all browsers is an ad blocker. However, there are ways to mitigate this, one of which is storytelling. Telling a story to your audience forms an instant connection between unknown brands and consumers. Not only does it stop viewers from scrolling, bouncing or skipping, but also retains their attention, and triggers a desire (if the messaging is strong enough).
The most common style of storytelling in paid ads are testimonials, which are perfect since not only do they tell real-world experiences but they’re also usually short. There are numerous types of paid ads that make use of storytelling, but it’s better to let a credible digital marketing agency handle it for you since it requires experience to execute successfully.
Another way to reach customers is of course through email marketing. Stories excel here too, more specifically when being sent to existing customers. Brand storytelling in emails keeps customers reminded that they’re important to the company, and that the company still aligns with their values. This is more important to consumers now than ever before since COVID-19 changed the way consumers perceive brands.
3. Landing Pages
The second stage of any digital marketing funnel. This is where the audience “gets to know” the brand in a more intentional sense, since they took the action required to get there. Creating landing pages with story-driven structure ensures that every scroll for the customer feels like reading a good book. Start with introducing the characters, state the hero’s problems (remember that the consumer is the hero), and provide a solution (you/your product or service!). This makes your landing page feel natural, and more importantly, your call-to-action more clickable.