If You Tell It, They Will Buy: 3 ways to use storytelling in marketing to connect with shoppers this year.

Peanut butter and jelly. Silver and gold. Marketing and storytelling. This last duo might not seem as iconic, but it’s a powerhouse pairing that will benefit your business in 2021.

There are many reasons to center your marketing around storytelling, but here’s a quick rundown: Stories simplify messaging, bring people together, inspire, motivate, entertain, educate, and engage. At the end of the day, this is what connects you with customers and helps you sell.

Once upon a time we relied on words alone. Today, visual storytelling is king. Not only because it works so well on digital platforms, but because it actually works. Consumers recall 65% of the visual content they view after three days in comparison to only 10% of written content. Tell a compelling visual story with high production values and you have a winner.

Read on to learn about 3 storytelling marketing trends that consumers are responding to right now.

Philanthropic Storytelling: Consumers today are invested in buying from businesses and brands that lead with values. While Millennials and Generation Z have the highest expectations, older generations are growing sensitive to the issue, too.

Your values can encompass a number of things, including how you conduct business, treat employees, handle products, and support your community. Sharing them through storytelling builds goodwill and loyalty.

If you’ve donated to a non-profit in your community, how did that relationship began, and why is it meaningful to your business? Do certain products that you sell support a cause, or are they made with socially-responsible materials? Make sure your employees are in the spotlight, too. Consumers are more attuned to shopping local and like when they can put names and faces with a store they support. 

Video content is best for this storytelling. However, don’t discount great images and messaging told through a blog or even press release.  

Campaign-Driven Storytelling: Promoting a new collection or pushing sales for bridal or Mother’s Day? Product videos are the way to go, as 73% more people who watch them will make a purchase, and 55% use them to actually make a buying decision. 

However, consumers scroll through 300 feet of content daily. Consider how much more impactful a bridal campaign will be if your videos show products and a target audience member’s point of view, or had a relatable story arc. Shoppers like to see themselves reflected in your marketing. 

Campaign-driven storytelling isn’t just having the right content; it’s about being seen by the right consumers. These videos are ideal for advertising on social media, where they can be targeted to a specific audience based on location and demographics. 

Customer-led Storytelling: Approximately 92% of consumers admit to trusting their peers over traditional advertising. Incorporate customer-generated storytelling into your marketing to increase trust and reach.

Testimonial videos are the perfect format for this. Have couples share their engagement story and talk about their ring-buying experience with your store. If you specialize in custom, have your customer discuss working with you through that process.

Though these types of videos should have a natural feel, don’t whip out a smartphone and start recording. They must still be structured and have high production values.

Today’s consumers buy out of need and want, and it isn’t always about who has the best price. If given a choice, shoppers prefer to buy from stores and brands that they connect with emotionally. The best way you can  do that is through storytelling. Chronicle your business and brand story, create a storytelling campaign around your products and audience, and share your customers’ personal stories. Tell entertaining, emotionally-driven stories and you’ll stand out.