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Storytelling is key to engage digital-savvy customers: Ramakant Khandelwal, PAYBACK India

Guest Column: Ramakant Khandelwal, Chief Marketing Officer, PAYBACK India explains how to keep the digital savvy customer engaged while telling your brand story

e4m by Ramakant Khandelwal
Published: Oct 1, 2018 8:52 AM  | 4 min read

In today’s environment where customers are exposed to a deluge of content, both visual and textual via the digital platforms, how to make your communication stand out? Well, storytelling seems to be an effective approach to make a deeper connect and engage.

Modern marketers must seek newer ways to explore, experiment and digitally present their core message to the larger audience and stand out from the competition. The growing penetration and influence of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, among others, is giving new opportunities to communicate with the customers. As more marketers are riding the wave, the space is getting too crowded from the customers’ perspective.

The recommended approach to leverage these platforms is to transform the storytelling style from traditional textual to short and engaging videos, caricatures or powerful photos. Communicating through visuals or picture messages creates an everlasting appeal in customers’ mind and makes them feel connected to the brand. It develops a strong kinship between consumers and the brand, thus providing a common thread to talk about. Brands can use these tools efficiently to produce stories that influence customers and leave a positive impression. This approach builds an emotional connect with customers, which increases brand loyalty and achieves customer retention.

So, here’s a list of things to keep in mind while telling your brand story:

Stay Succinct with Honesty

Brands must understand that today’s customers are content-weary. They pay less attention to brand advertisements. Which is why storytelling should be done in a succinct manner to grab readers’ attention. A short, crisp and interactive content, be it contextual or visual, always pulls consumers and ignites curiosity about the brand. While doing this, brands need to be honest in their approach as today’s customer can access information transparently.

Customer is the King and is Well-informed

Customer has always been the king, but today he/she is well-informed and connected, thanks to the ever-expanding online world. Regular posts or a periodical reach out through social platforms generate a mix of amazing stories creating high engagement levels and keeping customers informed. Brands must focus on social listening to understand the preferences of customers; hence keeping themselves updated and connected.

Decoding Your Customer

Brands must be good listeners and should know how to innovate traditional strategies by using social media and advanced tools. Brand should never ignore to gauge audience reactions once the story is out. Their reactions help evolve the brand and switch to newer strategies, and ultimately win customers.

Being Empathetic

Storytelling is about connecting with the customer, which happens only when its soul establishes an empathetic connect with the customer, especially when offering solutions or portraying a larger than life picture. The essence is in the feel of the story that should touch the customer’s sub-conscious mind, which will in turn create a strong and ever-lasting brand recall.

Create Characters from Storytelling

The customer is what we desire, and so brands must position the customer as the central character talking about the issues or problems and the brand helping to address the problem to make the customer happy and content. For instance, if you are launching a product that will help customers with quick and convenient shopping, the story narration should first talk about the problem being faced and then comes the brand as the solution provider.

Way Forward

Creating stories that are true and rich with emotions have the power to influence. So, keep customers in mind, articulate the core message or solution in the simplest yet, an engaging manner that leaves a mark on the mind.

Today, every brand educates its customers but the one that can do both, educate and entertain, in newer and innovative ways, will hit the bullseye – customer loyalty.

The author is Chief Marketing Officer, PAYBACK India

(Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com)

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