Rob Lawson | Storytelling: The Source of Business Growth and Consumer Retention in 2020
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Storytelling: The Source of Business Growth and Consumer Retention in 2020

Storytelling: The Source of Business Growth and Consumer Retention in 2020

With the dawn of a new decade and the start of a new year, it’s the perfect time to look into the crystal ball of 2020. In this series, we predict the marketing trends and technologies that will impact brands and marketers in the year ahead.

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As famously said by Edward Miller, “Stories are our primary tools of learning and teaching, the repositories of our lore and legends. They bring order into our confusing world. Think about how many times a day you use stories to pass along data, insights, memories or common-sense advice.”

Stories are a part of human nature. We come alive when we hear a good story, we yearn to find common ground through storytelling, and most importantly, we see that there is more that connects us than divides us, through storytelling. Brand and publishers, alike, have seized the power of storytelling, bridging marketers to their consumers through new platforms, story formats and more. Here are three reasons why social media stories will become a marketing mainstay in 2020.

The Greatest Conversion will come from Authentic Storytelling
Just two years ago, in 2018, the average caption length on Instagram was 281 characters. This year it was 336 - a 19% growth. In 2020, captions are expected to get even longer, up to 405 characters. This proves a greater reliance - and desire - for storytelling.

In 2020, remarkable brand storytelling will continue to drive sales. We’ll see these stories move away from being purely focused on product, but moving in the direction of purpose. With a greater concerns around climate change, sustainability, politics, healthcare and more, consumers are making purchases with a consciousness of the world around them. This means brands will need to create shared value with consumers in order to grow recall and ROI.

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Story Ads on Instagram will continue to Grow
It has been more than two years since Instagram first introduced Story Ads. Needless to say, the ad format has been a big success for Facebook. In fact, more than 3 million advertisers ran Story Ads across Instagram, Facebook and Messenger in 2019, according to a report from Kenshoo.

In 2020, we’ll see Story Ads continue to grow in popularity among marketers and advertisers. More brands will rely on influencers and video creators to produce ecommerce and retail-driven content to capture engaged audiences. This content will also be more interactive, giving users a chance to answer polls, participate in surveys, share sentiment via emojis and more.

TikTok takes center stage in 2020
In many ways, the rawness of TikTok will lower barriers for brands to enter. In 2020, marketers should focus on creating the type of episodic content that is uniquely TikTok. By creating short snippets of authentic content, consumers will be able to ‘follow stories’ and tune in, as if they were TV shows.

In 2020, we will see more marketers create ‘scrappy’ content that is less produced and more ‘raw’ against trending hashtags to gain discovery. TikTok is most popular for its platform in humor, music and as of late - mental health awareness. This will pose an opportunity for brands to show both personality and purpose.

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