Create an Irresistible and Magnetic Model Utilizing Storytelling
A case study of how a company turned a sad ad campaign into a persistent winner.
November 2, 2020 4 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.
I was sitting in a room full of highly paid and talented marketing people for one of the biggest brands in the world. Ideas for new marketing campaigns flowed out of them and stuck to the whiteboard like arrows in a local pub. I was impressed with the amount of ideas this room could generate in a matter of minutes. Over the next hour, they cut off the list and, with the skill of a surgeon, landed on the final idea. The case for this was strong and the team believed this was it.
A month later, all the marketers were huddled around a table. Their campaign hadn’t achieved its goal and they were desperate to find out why. Here I have decided to express myself. I cleared my throat and asked if I could tune in. A bead of sweat dripped down my forehead like a Formula 1 racing car hurtling down a track.
I split the ad on the screen and stood by it. I asked a simple question, “How do you feel about this ad?” There was silence in the room. They explained what it meant and how creative the ad was. I did not answer. I then asked again: “But how do you feel about it?” We sat in silence for another 10 seconds, which felt like four hours.
The senior advertising man bravely said, “I’m not sure I’m feeling anything.” The ad image was eye-catching and to the point, but it lacked any emotion. It was logical and valuable, but people rolled past it on social media. So I challenged the room, “What if we told a story about a client who is struggling with our helping? We can tell it like a narrative and share what we learned.”
Silence again. I was sure that I would be kicked out of the room. I went on to describe what it might look like: a dramatic opening, an important revelation, and the results that followed for the client. A lightbulb went on and everyone began to find customers to relate to and stories would resonate.
The ad campaign restarted with more click rates, conversions, and engagement than ever before. During the debriefing, we examined why this approach works and narrowed it down to four main reasons.
1. It started with a story
A story is the most powerful tool for building credibility and authority. Stories let us prevent and listen. Stories drive action. We expect to learn something when someone tells a story. It creates a desire to know the lesson, which keeps us captivated until the end.
2. It evoked an emotion
People act when they are in a high vibration state. This means that your brain is triggered into a higher emotional frequency. Most marketers are familiar with the practice of fear, uncertainty, and doubt as a selling tactic. But many emotional states motivate your customers, and you need to choose one that will work without alienating them.
3. It had built-in social evidence
Regardless of whether they are aware of it or not, your customers always ask themselves two questions about your product: does this work and does it work for me? When using a customer success story to showcase your brand or product, you are presenting social evidence. The reader can see how it worked for someone else and how exactly it fits in with the story.
4. Customers saw themselves in history
When we hear stories, we constantly relate them to our own experiences and situations. This is the same principle that naturally makes you want to share a similar experience when a friend tells you about their latest trip, adventure, or vacation. Use this option to help your customers visualize themselves in the story you are telling.
Using these techniques in your advertising will make the ad more effective and create a stronger bond with your customers. They will search for your content and ads. Every time they read your stories and receive a lesson, they will receive a mental reward. It will actually trigger a dopamine response in the reward center of your brain, which creates sympathy. This in turn strengthens the bond between your brand and positive emotions in their minds. They have now become a mental shortcut that causes them to come back for more. This will lead to more engagement, action, and results.
What stories have you hidden in your brand?