Cosmicdomain
Digital Marketing

How to Use Storytelling to Increase Customer Engagement

11.16.2020

Customer engagement should always be high on your list of marketing priorities whether you have an online shop or a retail storefront.

Diana Adjadj

Writer

6 min read

Increase Customer Engagement

As we go forward into 2020, many industries have become homogenous when it comes to services they offer to customers worldwide. This can make a brand; as good as it may be, seem dull and not worth the time to cold leads. Whether you operate as a retail storefront or an online SAAS business, customer engagement should always be high on your list of marketing priorities. 

According to Medium, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, while 54% stated that companies need to rethink how they engage customers. There’s no denying that the COVID-19 situation has raised concerns with both companies and their customer bases in regards to uninterrupted engagement and purchases. According to the survey conducted by Forbes, 73% of customers say that a good experience with a brand is what influences their loyalty and advocacy toward them the most. 

This is where brand storytelling comes into play, as it can effectively differentiate your business from any other in the industry. Through storytelling, you can humanize your brand and appeal to the emotional judgment of your customers in the efforts to increase their engagement in 2020. With that, let’s take a deeper look at how storytelling can benefit your company, as well as some practical ways to implement it going forward.

 

Why Storytelling Matters for Customer Engagement

Let’s discuss storytelling and its place in overall customer engagement before we tackle some of its principles. Storytelling is firmly planted in customer experience (CX) and can fundamentally change the way your brand is perceived by the public. According to Adobe, 65% of US customers consider a positive brand experience more compelling for their engagement than artificial paid advertising.

In practice, storytelling revolves around “telling stories” about your brand, whether they are staff interviews, social proof content, or even carefully written blog posts. This is where writing platforms such as Trust My Paper and Evernote, as well as services such as WowGrade, come into play as useful tools. Having a solid storytelling strategy in place will not only improve customers’ engagement with your brand but also bring about several noteworthy benefits to you:

⦁ Ability to express your thoughts and opinions on the industry

⦁ Brand humanization and customers’ identification with your values

⦁ Improved customer retention, brand advocacy, and word of mouth

⦁ Access to valuable social proof content from engaged customers

 

Storytelling and Customer Engagement – How the Two can Work in your Favor

Give your Brand a Persona

A great way to integrate storytelling into your marketing strategy and increase customer engagement is to build a brand persona. Think McDonald’s and their Ronald McDonald mascot. Such a brand persona can help customers engage with your brand in a more personal and memorable manner as opposed to logos and sales talk. 

You can either go all-in and create a brand mascot or start small and use marketing personas to your advantage. Brand personas can be integrated into chatbot algorithms to further improve your odds at retaining customers due to the personality present in your marketing strategy.

 

Play up Your Core Values

What does your brand stand for? While generating revenue is important for the long-term sustainability of your company, your company’s values should go beyond that. We can refer to the case of Coca-Cola as a prime example of how storytelling can help increase customer engagement. 

Coca-Cola doesn’t sell refreshing beverages – they sell “happiness”. You can do the same and attribute certain emotional triggers and concepts to your brand, depending on the industry you belong to. 

Gill Timothy, Head of Content Marketing at Supreme Dissertations and Brand Advisor at Classy Essay, said that: “Your mission statement is your brand’s strongest marketing tool. The difference between three shipping companies isn’t in the way they deliver goods – it’s in their values and long-term goals. Use yours to create storytelling content and rise above the competition through sheer creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.”

 

Use Reliable Marketing Tools

While manual content marketing and performance tracking may be viable to an extent, it will quickly become too much to handle. Thus, it’s important to use a professional marketing platform as your hub for all things advertising-related activities. Such a tool can help you achieve better conversion and help you on the best course of action when it comes to future marketing decisions. 

Combined with a Google Ads strategy, you can increase your brand’s reach while also gathering relevant engagement data for further storytelling refinement. In regards to storytelling, you will quickly know how engaged or disinterested your customers may be in the approach you adopted. Don’t risk the unnecessary loss of resources and customers by opting for a DIY approach – use reliable marketing tools instead.

 

Showcase your Staff

In truth, your staff is what makes your company “tick” behind the scenes. Why not showcase your coworkers, their careers, and thoughts to the public? Your staff can write personal blog posts, do interviews, or even film themselves during team building exercises or trips. 

This content can be curated and edited so that it matches the rest of your storytelling efforts so far. Companies which hide their staff’s faces will never be as appealing as those which put their team-mates front and center. 

Staff storytelling content is highly effective at engaging customers simply because it further humanizes your brand. If customers see that your staff consists of individuals such as themselves, they are very likely to stick around and engage with your products and services.

 

Implement User-Generated Content

If customer engagement is your end-goal in regards to increasing revenue and public exposure, why not try your hand at user-generated content storytelling? User-generated content puts an emphasis on your customer base and their interactions with your brand, products, and services. 

Great examples of social media storytelling in that regard can be found in Starbucks and their #WhiteCupContest and #RedCupContest, respectively. The company simply asked customers to share their photos while enjoying Starbucks coffee via social media, and the experiment was a resounding success. 

The reason for this is simple – your customers want to know that you care about them beyond the rudimentary exchange of goods for money. Give user-generated content storytelling a shot, and your content marketing efforts will become that much better as a result of increased customer engagement.

 

Make your Content Shareable

Lastly, making your content shareable and easy to digest is one of the core principles of customer engagement. Your customers may not be native speakers, and cold leads may not be convinced by your storytelling marketing at first glance. However, short-form content interspersed with visuals, numeric data, and quotes will do the trick. 

Calls to action and questions for your readers can also increase engagement and spark interesting interactions with your community. Such content can be shared on your social media pages to further increase its global reach. 

Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and then write and format your storytelling-centric content with their expectations in mind. In time, the right audience will flock around your content and help spread the word about your brand in their social circles.

Consistency in Long-Term Engagement (Conclusion)

Storytelling is more about feelings than facts and statistics – thus, it depends on your target audience as much as it does on your brand’s image. It’s essential that your storytelling content is consistent over an extended period of time to build a certain reputation for your brand going forward. 

Give your brand a human touch and make it identifiable for customers through staff showcasing social proof, and a mascot or persona. Don’t be afraid to talk about your company’s stances in regards to social issues, industry trends, or global happenings like COVID-19, which inevitably affect everyone. Stay true to your brand’s vision and mission. The rest is up to your customers and their engagement with the content you produce.

Gill Timothy, Head of Content Marketing at Supreme Dissertations, said that: “Your mission statement is your brand’s strongest marketing tool. The difference between three shipping companies isn’t in the way they deliver goods – it’s in their values and long-term goals. Use yours to create storytelling content and rise above the competition through sheer creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

Bio: Diana Adjadj is a professional marketing specialist at Grab My Essay and content writer with Top Essay Writing, respectively. Her career portfolio is centered on delivering high-quality research and writing on a plethora of topics related to digital marketing, branding, and customer experience. Diana is an essay writing contributor to Subjecto, where she aims to expand her content creation range with different written paper formats. She is an avid fan of reading and enjoys spending time outdoors in her spare time.