Brands have been using storytelling in digital ads for decades, even when they used to rely on traditional social media marketing efforts. The earliest and one of the most famous examples of this marketing tactic is this ad written by veteran copywriting legend, John Caples.
This direct-response ad was first published in the Physical Culture Magazine and has brought in “a record number” of returned coupons, and has been imitated a thousand times by different publications over the years. This further fortified the importance of storytelling in advertising.
Storytelling helps customers bond with the brand and its products, and that is incredibly relevant in today’s digital marketing landscape, where consumers have thousands of brands vying for their attention, at their fingertips. However, brand storytelling comes with a huge challenge for digital marketers—which is, consistent messaging with authenticity.
This is where influencer marketing works.
Influencer marketing can help brands humanize themselves, and stay on trend while appealing to different target audiences on different social media platform and maintain their authenticity.
A good influencer knows how to connect with their audience emotionally and has mastered the art of telling a good story that easily resonates with them and keeps them highly engaged. In this blog, we will explore why is influencer marketing effective and an extremely powerful strategy for brand storytelling.
What is Brand Storytelling, and Why is Influencer Marketing effective for it?
In one of her TED Talks titled “How Books Can Open Your Mind?”, Lisa Bu emphasizes the power of storytelling and explains how she sees storytelling as a strong universal means to create meaning and connect with others. She describes how she discovered that both blue-collar workers stuck in the 9-to-5 grind as well as rockstars traveling the world at their whimsy, utilize storytelling to achieve precisely what ever they want.
Brand storytelling is a great way to really connect with your potential customers. In fact, a study from ad agency Hill Holiday, found that good brand storytelling not only increases the chances of your prospects buying from you, but even influences them to pay more per item. You want to make your customers identify with your brand, relate with the values of your brand, and feel excited and proud to purchase from you. You can hit all three nails right on the head here, with brand storytelling. And what could be better than amplifying your message w with influencer marketing?
Influencers bring a fresh new angle to brand storytelling, through their incredible storytelling capabilities that make a brand’s narrative reach the right people. Content creators and micro influencers are well-versed in recounting their experiences and favorite stories, while casually plugging in products they use regularly, from the industries they are a part of.
Be it using a narrative format like blog posts, an audio format like podcasts, or the most popular video format (Instagram reels or YouTube videos), influencers have mastered the art of capturing attention on social media platforms and building an engaging community of loyal followers, who hang on to their every word.
Thus, brands leveraging influencer marketing and collaborating with celebrity influencers, have a ready-to-target audience base, who will be much more likely to purchase from them because their favorite influencer recommended the brand.
Influencers consistently create content around their personal lives, and share relatable things from their day, and within that, subtly insert product recommendations and brand mentions pertaining to their collaborations.
The content they create is not superficial; there is almost always a layer of reality to it, such that it helps viewers identify with the influencer as an “average” consumer.
Now, a viewer who’s meaningfully engaged by the content of their favorite digital creator, don’t you think they would be more likely to check out your brand based on the recommendation of the influencer they trust, than if they came across your sponsored brand content?
Moreover, storytelling means building up a brand narrative over time, with powerfully articulated messaging—and it can hugely benefit from attaching a public figure face to it. When you collaborate with mega influencers for influencer marketing whose values and community codes align with your business goals, over a long period of time, you create brand ambassadors and evangelists who have the power to supercharge your brand’s recognition abilities.
How to Use Storytelling in Your Next Influencer Marketing Campaign
Influencer marketing can amplify your brand story and help you reach your target audience through influencer marketing helps various social media channels, but influencers need to be provided with content to illustrate your story in an engaging manner. Most influencers create video content, for which they require stunning, and more importantly, authentic visuals.
To portray the right kind of authenticity in the story they create around your brand and its products, and to get your brand message reach the right target market, influencers need your help. They need your inputs—this could include:
- a visit to your workshops, laboratories or offices;
- a meeting with your team members or an interview session with one of your employees or suppliers;
- participation in a workshop to manufacture or test-and-analyze one of your products;
- a guided tour of an exhibition dedicated to your brand; or,
- participation at a conference or webinar dedicated to the history and know-how of your brand.
Here’s an example to explain how that works.
In October 2021, Instagram influencer and YouTuber, Victoria Magrath, was invited to attend the launch night of luxury jewelry and accessory brand, Bulgari's current collection in Milan. Following that, she was flown to Florence, where she was welcomed into the Italian brand's manufacturing facilities. There, she was allowed to learn about the manufacturing phases of these items and try her hand at leather goods. This was an opportunity for her to create a variety of material (posts, Instagram reels and stories, YouTube videos, and even, blog articles) showing the expertise of the company's craftsmen and narrating this one-of-a-kind experience with visible emotion.
There’s no doubt that influencer marketing is increasingly becoming essential to the digital marketing strategy of legacy brands, and Bulgari presented themselves as highly adaptive to the changing times with this influencer marketing campaign.
Influencers are more revered than celebrity endorsements today, especially by the Gen-Z audience. Influencer marketing industry research indicates that 85% of the Gen-Z audience learn about new products from influencer posts. Not to mention, they put their money where they find value. 61% of Gen-Z consumers are even ready to pay more for products manufactured in an ethical and sustainable way.
What can be more effective in making them fall in love with your brand than crafting your brand story and exhibiting authentic value by pairing up with key influencers?
If you are still wondering how to incorporate influencer marketing as part of your brand storytelling strategy, here are a few examples:
- Collaborate with an influencer and have them tell your brand story, right from where it started.
- Share success stories from your customers with brand-relevant social media influencers, maybe even provide them data-driven knowledge supporting the success of your brand and its products.
- Allow influencers to demonstrate how your items are used and recommend your products to their audience.
- Interview micro influencers to create motivating videos in order to increase brand awareness.
- Allow influencers to show your customers what goes on behind the scenes at your brand’s office, laboratory, workshop, even exhibitions and launch events.
- Make a small online series (like a playlist of Instagram or YouTube videos) on a brand-relevant topic featuring social media influencers within your niche.
- Acquire blog influencers to write long-form storytelling articles for your brand and podcast influencers to give voice to your brand story in an audio format.
Benefits of Using Influencer Marketing in Brand Storytelling
Consumers are more likely to notice your brand if someone they like, trust, or can resonate with, speaks about it. Influencers have become that bridge today—connecting your brand to a community of potential customers through brand storytelling.
Ravneet Kaur, of the popular influencer couple duo, That Couple Though, shares, “Every influencer has built a niche for themselves and must also focus on specific collaborations that resonate with their personal brand and positioning. Being real with your stories and using an honest marketing approach is what has made the influencer community so strong and well-established.” This speaks a lot about how influencers see potential brand collaborations, and value brands that have a powerful story behind them.
Let’s see how brand storytelling through influencer marketing stands to further benefit your brand.
- Influencers humanize the brand:
- influencers can tell your brand story in multiple relatable ways on different platforms and in different formats, and even present different viewpoints—but they will essentially keep your brand messaging consistent. Moreover, their community will start seeing the brand as an extension of their favorite influencer and be much more likely to purchase products.
According to psychologists Melanie Green and Tim Brock (cited by Jonathan Gottschall)---when we hear or read a story, we don’t focus much on cold hard facts, but instead, let the story sweep us off our feet. This is known as narrative transport and the fictional world in the story “radically alters the way information is processed” in our brains.
- Influencers widen brand reach:
- As mentioned earlier, collaborating with the right influencer can instantly give you access to a ready-to-target ideal audience base, who’s values align with that of your business. This would make your brand appealing even before they begin researching about you.
A study by Headstream conducted in 2015 indicates “if people love a brand story, 55% are more likely to buy the product in future, 44% will share the story, and 15% will buy the product immediately.” Influencers are trusted by their followers and by having the right influencer endorse your brand, you automatically gain the trust of their community.
- Influencers generate greater marketing ROI than other marketing channels:
- Be it the Dunkin’ Donuts partnership with Charlie D’Amelio that resulted in a 57% increase in downloads of their app and consequently them selling thousands of drinks every day. Or American Eagle’s collaboration with Addison Rae that generated the brand $4 million in media impact value (MIV). It is undeniable that successful influencer marketing campaigns have huge ROI—89% marketers say they would increase their influencer marketing budgets because the ROI it generates is higher than most marketing channels.
Conveying your brand story through influencer campaigns will help you boost your product sales and brand loyalty and achieve comparatively higher Roi in a relatively shorter amount of time.
Use InsightIQ To Enhance Your Brand Storytelling With Effective Influencer Marketing
Brand storytelling through influencer marketing is a highly effective marketing strategy if done right. Being rich in meaning and emotion, storytelling resonates with customers and is particularly useful in raising brand awareness. Brand stories have a greater impact on the public when they are told by credible, sincere, and enthusiastic content creators that they love. However, it is important to plan your approach meticulously and regularly to measure influencer marketing success to see if you are getting the desired results.
Collaborating with the right influencer is very important to brand storytelling. But how can you access authenticated and public data on influencers at a granular level?
That’s where InsightIQ comes in. InsightIQ provides you with a comprehensive solution for gathering accurate real-time influencer data for influencer marketing campaigns from multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. With InsightIQ, you can evaluate and optimize your influencer marketing strategy, connect with the right influencer for your brand, and boost your influencer marketing ROI. We have a comprehensive database of 250Mn+ creators and influencers across all geographies and 20+ industries.
Book a demo to make the first move toward strengthening your brand storytelling with influencer marketing today!