Storytelling and Marketing: The Perfect Pairing?

Joan Mancuso and Karen Stuth
Marketing Insights
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Key Takeaways
  • Beyond the selfie, video takes us a step further, allowing us to tell that much more about ourselves: more narrative, more stories.
  • Storytelling through video is something anyone with a smartphone can create.
  • Invite your target audience to tell their story, their spin and their interpretation.

Sharing your 'brand selfie' on social media

Is there anybody out there who doesn’t enjoy a great story? What if that great story is your story? The art of storytelling is as old as Earth, representing perhaps one of the most ancient forms of human communication: conveying messages and sharing accumulated knowledge and wisdom to help navigate and explain the world around us. That explains the benefit to survival, but what makes storytelling so fun and so compelling?

Think about the extreme popularity of “selfies,” those cell phone photos people take of themselves. Now, they’re so popular that a selfie taken by Ellen DeGeneres during the recent Academy Awards broadcast “broke” Twitter as users logged on to share the photo across social media, perhaps to feel just a bit closer to the event and her celebrity entourage. Let’s face it: Selfies are cool, and they are all about telling your own story.

In an article on entitled “What Sex, Food And Selfies Have To Do With Effective Social Marketing,” the author cites a 2010 study that found 80% of social media posts were related to a consumer’s immediate experiences. According to the article, two Harvard researchers found out that sharing our thoughts and experiences “activates the rewards system of the brain, providing that same shot of dopamine we get from sex, food and exercise.” This certainly explains the huge proliferation of Facebook status updates and the use of “second-screen technology,” where television viewers can interact with the programs they are viewing via Twitter and other proprietary applications. From social feeds about American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, The Voice and so many others, has social commentary become our new, favorite source of dopamine?

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Author Bio:

Joan Mancuso and Karen Stuth
Joan Mancuso and Karen Stuth are both founding partners of 5 Square Research. Mancuso has more than 25 years of research experience with a background in sociology, psychology, econometrics and clinical research. Stuth has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, business development and marketing research management.

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