Storytelling has been around for centuries. Stories have been told throughout history via cave paintings, theatrical plays, poems, songs, and more recently, blogs and social media posts. Marketers often use storytelling to establish brand identity, connect with their audience, and raise brand awareness. It’s also used to create memorable brand experiences for guests of experiential marketing events. But, this tactic is only effective when the story is told in a way that captivates the audience. Follow these tips for storytelling at experiential marketing events:

Create An “Aha” Moment

An aha moment occurs when the audience realizes how your product or service can benefit them. In other words, this is the point in your story where you share your value proposition with your audience. An aha moment should inspire your audience to choose your brand over the others. It should be clear to the audience how your products or services are different from your competitors, whether it is because of price, quality, or availability.

Be sure to present the value proposition in a way that taps into the emotions of the audience. For example, an online dating service would want to tap into their audience’s frustration with not being able to find a partner. In this example, focusing on how the online dating service makes it easier to meet people will resonate with the audience and illustrate the brand’s value. Incorporating the value proposition into an interesting story is a much more effective way of connecting with the audience than simply explaining the advantages of your brand.

Tell the Truth

Many marketers tell the story of how their brand was founded or who came up with the idea for a certain product or service. Regardless of which story you choose to tell, it’s important to always tell the truth. The audience may not be able to immediately identify factual errors or exaggerations in your story, but sooner or later the truth will be revealed. As soon as the truth comes out, the audience that was once captivated by your story will no longer think positively of your brand. It can be hard to bounce back if customers brand you as dishonest, which is why it’s best to always speak the truth.

Display Your Brand’s Personality

Some marketers stick to a professional tone when storytelling, however there’s no need to be afraid to inject a bit of personality into your story. Remember, storytelling is supposed to draw your audience in and show them who you are as a brand. Whatever tone you choose when telling your story will forever be associated with your brand. Because of this, it’s important to think about how you want customers to remember your brand after the event is over. Answering this question is the first step in the storytelling process.

Think Outside the Box

Most people associate storytelling with books or movies, but the truth is that storytelling is an art that can take on many different forms. If you’re planning an experiential marketing event, it’s important to think outside the box when determining how to tell your story. Think about which medium will work the best with your story. For example, if there are visuals to accompany your words, a video may be the best way to tell your story. If you would like the story to be more personal, consider doing a live presentation instead. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and try something that your brand has never done before.

Grab Their Attention

The opening of the story should be compelling so it grabs your audience’s attention and piques their curiosity. Many marketers get their audience’s attention by starting off with a question. If the question is relevant to the audience, they will want to stick around to hear how you are going to answer it. But, this isn’t the only way to open a story. Depending on the medium, starting off with a loud noise or a bright flash of color could be an appropriate way to begin. If you fail to get your audience’s attention in the very beginning, it can be hard to get them to pay attention at any point in the story.

Reread Your Favorite Stories

If you’re incorporating storytelling into your event, it’s a good idea to reread some of your favorite stories. It doesn’t matter what the story is or which age group it is targeted at–reread it so you can remind yourself what it is that you love about it. Is it the suspense that the author builds throughout the story? Is it how the story taps into your emotions? Do you relate to the characters? Take notes so you can remember to incorporate your favorite elements into your brand’s story.

Ask everyone on your team to participate in this exercise. Then, bring the group together so everyone can share their favorite parts of the stories they chose.

Remember the Audience

Throughout every step of the storytelling process, remember your audience. It’s easy to get off track and accidentally plan your storytelling event around what you would enjoy, however if you’re not part of the target audience, the event will not be effective. Create a profile of your target audience early on in the process so you can identify their likes and dislikes. Let this profile guide you as you plan not only the story, but the event as a whole.

If you’re planning on hosting an experiential marketing event, turn to the experts at Factory 360 for help. Our marketing professionals are skilled storytellers who know how to create a memorable event that your audience will enjoy. Call us today to learn more about how we can help!

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