Today, it’s harder than ever to grab and keep people’s attention, especially with so much content everywhere. On the other hand, people remember stories for a long time. As Ursula K. Le Guin said: “There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.”
Why stories and how to tell them in a mobile-first, digital era
A unique way to tell stories today is by offering tappable content that is engaging, emotional and interactive. A content that offers immersive, rich media experience with images, videos, text, and buttons, on a full-screen display. All this combined makes stories a perfect mobile-native content.
The fact that people love stories (tappable mobile content) is confirmed by Forrester’s research from September 2019, which found that 64% of people prefer story instead of its scrolling article equivalent. And if we look back to 2014 and Snapchat, we see that stories’ adoption and usage are growing strongly, with more than 1 billion active daily users today.
The problem is, telling these types of stories requires either using social networks that are imposing a lot of limitations due to their closed environment, or building a custom solution so stories can be used outside of social networks, in all parts of the customer journey.
How are stories used in different parts of the customer journey?
1. More organic traffic and higher visibility
In Google Search results, in the sea of boring links, stories stand up at the top of results as a visually appealing, noticeable format.
2. Content that captures users attention and engages with them
Instead of having boring landing pages people leave in seconds, storified landing pages grab users’ attention right away with a full-screen interactive experience and lead them to a specific action, such as an actual purchase.
3. In-store, connecting offline to online
Even inside shops, a lot of people pull out their phones and start “googling” for more information about the product, which makes them “leave” the store and maybe even buy the product at competitors. Instead, offering them a simple QR code placed next to the product, which when scanned will open a story that will inspire customers, show all the benefits and lead them to purchase.
4. Post-purchase journey, making the first interaction with product seamless and amazing
Think about frustrating experiences customers might have once they get the product in their home and need to configure it. A negative first impression can do a lot of harm to the brand and lose potential loyal customers. Instead, making the first interaction with the product easy and fun by giving an in-depth storified insight about configuring a product will go a long way. And even better, it will give a chance for up-sell and cross-sell, while giving insights about the whole flow.
Fictional example: How does the bicycle manufacturer ‘City Escape Bikes’ leverage the power of storytelling?
City Escape Bikes is a bicycle and cycling gear manufacturer based in the United States. They design, manufacture and market a range of mountain bikes (MTB) and road bikes under the brand name “Escape”.
City Escape Bikes saw that now it’s more important than ever to build engagement with customers, especially in tough times. And there are multiple ways to deliver great customer experience, increase engagement and spark emotion with stories, for example:
Showing user-generated content (UGC) in the form of short tappable story displaying the way brand helps with safety
If you are providing free rides to medical staff, showing their everyday activities and personal reports about how your product helps them would create a lot of positive thinking. It even makes sense to create a series of short engaging stories to be shared in the next period. User-generated content is a great source to evoke emotions and bring positive PR, as well as grow your brand values and make them more visible.
Preventive measures regarding bike maintenance
Provide each product with a deep explanation of how to keep it clean and ensure that it’s usage is not harming their or other people’s safety. You can put the “How to clean your bike during a pandemic” guide in the form of a story and show a step-by-step explanation. You can show what measurement are you employees taking to keep customers protected in every touchpoint. The user-centric approach will encourage people to use your product safely and develop a positive attitude towards your brand.
Encouraging people when to use and when to avoid using bikes
Take a deep look into country rules and think about how they affect the usage of products. Be compassionate, for example, advise customers when they are allowed to ride bikes, what are the distance guidelines but also tell them when riding bikes is not recommended at all. Without taking too much effort to create a story, this way you ensure engaging them across channels with appropriate timing, context, and sensitivity.
So it’s obvious that the storytelling is powerful. But, the problem is, telling stories in different parts of the customer journey requires a lot of effort and customization. And customization, especially at scale, is super slow and expensive.
And for all of the use cases, creating stories quickly and easily, while not breaking the bank, is super important.
How to create stories for SAP Marketing in a quick and easy way?
Creating stories is now possible via integration with StorifyMe. This integration empowers SAP customers to easily create and distribute stories everywhere, in just a few minutes.
Creating stories is done via drag and drop editor, which requires no coding at all. A story can have all the possibilities a brand would need.
How to show stories in SAP?
After stories are created, they can be easily shared and used in all parts of the customer journey. Either by sharing a direct link to a story, a QR code, exporting it to social networks or by placing them as a code snippet (called Widget) and embedding it anywhere.
Creating a new widget is quite simple, and you can create as many widgets as you want with different look and feel, making them look exactly how you want.
And after created, stories can be embedded anywhere, like for example in SAP Marketing Cloud.
How to measure the impact of stories?
Stories can be configured to integrate with all major analytics providers, so having a consistent tracking setup across different frontends is possible.
Also, there is already built-in analytics tracking, where all important metrics are available in an easy and clear way, helping understand how the story is performing and where are the points for further improvements.
The benefits brands experience from using short, tappable stories are higher engagement and higher conversion rates.
Now, with SAP and StorifyMe integration in place, built during the SAP.io program, the power of storytelling is available to all SAP customers, allowing brands to engage with their customers in a way customers want, and the way they are used to.