The Power of Storytelling

July 2, 2019

With the rise of Digital Marketing and Social Media, the ability to advertise to consumers seems to be at its apex. Ads may convert consumers, but is it at the expense of brand trust and loyalty? Because of the seemingly endless places for ads to pop-up, from in-app ads to pre-roll video ads, consumers have become overwhelmed—and distrustful. In fact, a study by The McCarthy Group states that 84 percent of millennials don’t like ads. While a staggering statistic, it’s not hard to believe. And it’s easy to see how brands have already begun changing the relationship with customers in response. 

Enter Native Advertising: ad campaigns designed not to disrupt a user’s experience while on a platform such as Buzzfeed or Instagram. Taking it a step further is Influencer Marketing, built off the principle that consumers trust the opinion of other consumers. But even Influencer Marketing has become less and less trustworthy. Instagram’s constantly evolving algorithm has made it difficult for influencers to maintain a high engagement rate and continue monetization of their social platforms. To combat this, influencers have increased their amount of brand-sponsored posts, ultimately inundating followers with ads and undermining the credibility of both the influencers and the brands.

If all these forms of advertisements leave consumers feeling wary, what options are left for brands?

This is where storytelling comes in. Storytelling invites customers to learn more and engage with the brand if they want, instead of simply forcing an ad on them. It’s saying, “Hi, we’re X brand and this is what we believe in,” or “Here’s why we started our company.”

So, how do you leverage the power of storytelling? It starts with video content. 

Hubspot Research reports that over 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands. From product demos to event recaps and everything in between, video is dominating the Content Marketing field. But keeping the element of storytelling in mind, we look specifically to brand awareness videos. These videos are centered on introducing a brand to consumers and are keenly designed to tell the brand’s story.

Like traditional storytelling, brand awareness videos follow a narrative arc. The most effective videos always have an act one, act two, and act three. 

Act one introduces the audience to the setting and the key characters while hinting at future conflict.

Act two is where character development occurs as they respond to conflict, which typically escalates to a climax.

Act three focuses on the resolution of conflict to end the story.

To put it simply: Make sure your video has a solid beginning, middle, and end.

YETI’s Head of Content, Scott Ballew, is well-versed in the production of inspiring brand awareness videos. Or as he calls them: films.

In an interview with Musicbed, he also speaks to the idea of ‘acts’ and storytelling elements for videos saying, “Think about it as traditionally as possible, regardless of the time or other factors.”

With storytelling, a brand isn’t directly advertising a product or service, but that’s exactly why it works. And we have the stats to back it up: Film ads increase purchase intent by up to 97%, and positive brand associations by up to 139% (Hubspot Research). Simply put, storytelling is effective.

Have a story you want to bring to life? Download our free video planning guide!

Cross & Crown

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Cross & Crown is a team of creatives who are passionate about solving problems through design and technology, taking what is there and making it better. Based in Chambersburg, PA, we strive to help educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.

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