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Checking our telephones is without doubt one of the first 5 actions we’re prone to do after we wake within the morning, and greater than 70% of us spend at the very least 3 hours speaking, messaging, streaming, working, residing and taking part in on our telephones each single day. Our telephone habits say loads about us – particularly, how hungry we’re for content material. Whether or not it’s gossipping with a good friend through WhatsApp, catching up on the newest blockbuster film trailer on YouTube, or following together with breaking information on Twitter, our telephones have develop into devoted to content material sharing and consumption.


On the coronary heart of most sorts of content material lies a narrative. It’s this story – and the telling of it – that entrepreneurs and types must deal with in the event that they wish to have success in 2021 and past.

As a marketer, getting your viewers’s time and a spotlight isn’t one thing that may be pressured – it needs to be earned. That is the place storytelling and advertising and marketing go hand-in-hand, to create a compelling narrative that captures your viewers’s curiosity.

What’s it that makes storytelling such a strong software for entrepreneurs as we speak? Merely put, efficient storytelling makes the viewers really feel one thing. It establishes an emotional connection between model and viewers. It may well encourage, humanise, and assist folks relate to what it’s that you simply do – and why your organization is so nice at it.

The pandemic has accelerated the necessity for storytelling in advertising and marketing

This urge for food for storytelling has opened the door for manufacturers to extend their deal with non-traditional promoting platforms. Folks wish to hearken to people, personalities, real-life testimonies and tales. Advertising and marketing could have pivoted to video in the midst of the final decade, and storytelling on platforms like Instagram and TikTok signify the following step on that street.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an influence on this, too. As society lowered social contact and face-to-face interplay to forestall the unfold of the virus, our want for – and familiarity with – digital communication took off like by no means earlier than. Individuals who had by no means even heard of Zoom had been now utilizing it to speak to their grandparents and have digital social evenings with their associates.

Within the 12 months or in order that’s adopted, we’ve develop into an increasing number of acquainted with digital storytelling – and types have adopted go well with. In spite of everything, storytelling is an extremely efficient option to present folks how a model will profit them. It takes its energy from displaying, fairly than telling. It’s far simpler to attract in your viewers with a narrative compared to immediately “commanding” them to purchase no matter it’s you’re promoting.

Each enterprise must be focussed on constructing sturdy relationships with their prospects, and storytelling works as a pure extension of a people-centric strategy. It lets you present audiences how they profit out of your model, in a approach that creates a robust emotional bond.

Storytelling drives 3x enhance in engagement for Wema Financial institution

Do you have to nonetheless want convincing concerning the worth of storytelling in advertising and marketing, right here’s an instance from a marketing campaign we at Wema Financial institution ran in 2019. Working intently with the Nigerian singer Teniola Apata (higher referred to as Teni), who’s one in every of our Model Ambassadors, we created the #SaveLikeTeni marketing campaign to advertise a financial savings tradition amongst younger Nigerians. The marketing campaign additionally demonstrated the advantages of saving with the fully-digital financial institution, ALAT, utilizing a Objective financial savings account.

#SaveLikeTeni was an enormous success. Folks turned avid followers of Teni’s story of her personal saving efforts, with #SaveLikeTeni content material garnered over 8 million impressions within the first 4 weeks of the marketing campaign – nearly an 8x enhance.

The first objective of the marketing campaign – driving the creation of recent financial savings accounts – was additionally met. Within the first month after #SaveLikeTeni went reside, and we noticed a 66% rise in new financial savings accounts. By the top of the marketing campaign, we had been seeing greater than double the quantity of recent accounts created each month than earlier than launch.

So why was #SaveLikeTeni profitable? As a result of it informed a compelling, relatable story. Teni’s personal profession as a musician is rooted in arduous work and resiliency, making her completely suited to an inspiring story of rising one’s financial savings from small beginnings. By having Teni give the viewers a glimpse into her personal private life and targets, we had been capable of present an inspiring message to which any of our viewers might relate.

Making storytelling work to your personal model advertising and marketing

As a marketer, you’re continually asking your self “what works finest for me and my staff?” Storytelling isn’t any completely different. Wema Financial institution is the oldest indigenous financial institution in Nigeria, so we felt instinctively that we had a heritage, a historical past, and loads to say. We’ve reinvented the best way that our prospects can entry and handle their funds by a larger digital providing – and that gives the start line for every kind of story-led interactions with our audiences.

We additionally shifted our technique post-pandemic to capitalise on the elevated adoption of video communication platforms. From the second half of 2020 onwards, we lowered our deal with conventional promoting platforms and turned our consideration in the direction of extra personality-led video as an alternative.

Finally, it’s vital to maintain on high of what it’s that you simply’re attempting to say. We just lately celebrated our 76th anniversary, and wished a option to additional develop our prospects’ belief in our providers. To attain this, we linked up with a long-time buyer of Wema Financial institution, who spoke about how our group banking helped him to save cash to fund his college training within the Sixties.

One factor we’ve realized from our storytelling advertising and marketing efforts (like #SaveLikeTeni) is that audiences wish to hearken to people. Personalities resonate far more strongly than “company” entities: it’s far simpler for an viewers to empathise with an actual individual over a enterprise. Our 76th anniversary submit, above, garnered over 3,000 engagements on the Wema Financial institution Instagram, a 10-fold enhance over our common each day engagement.

Take heed to your viewers’s personal tales

Don’t overlook the truth that storytelling works each methods. Your prospects will likely be telling you their very own tales – hopefully, constructive ones! As entrepreneurs, we should always continually be looking out for uplifting examples and moments from the very folks we’re directing our advertising and marketing in the direction of.

That is one other space the place the #SaveLikeTeni marketing campaign was so profitable. In response to Teni’s personal efforts to save lots of, our prospects had been fast to share their very own tales on social media: what they had been saving for, how they had been progressing, what steps they’d taken to develop their financial savings even only a small quantity.

Leveraging these tales and amplifying them again to your viewers needs to be your precedence. It creates an inspiring suggestions loop the place prospects see actual, genuine voices discussing their constructive experiences along with your model. For instance, we ran a promotion to develop into a millionaire and filmed testimonials with profitable prospects to not solely increase belief however create extra widespread enchantment of the promo. The influence was instant, with not solely extra entrants going forwards but additionally a rise in transactions.

To return as soon as extra to our #SaveLikeTeni instance, the best way we positioned this marketing campaign was important in its success. As talked about above, one of many central tenets of this marketing campaign was to advertise a financial savings tradition amongst our viewers. However saving cash shouldn’t simply be about watching a quantity tick upwards.

We challenged our viewers to border their saving efforts with a goal: what are they saving in the direction of (eg, new footwear, a brand new telephone, a vacation, a relative’s birthday current)? What life-style modifications do they should make to achieve that objective? How lengthy would possibly it take, and the way are they progressing week by week, month by month? Every little element provides a layer of humanising, empathetic richness to the story.