Everyone loves the storyteller who captures our minds and tickles our desire to be entertained, to be carried away to a world that only exists in our imaginations. It’s what makes the classics so accessible and worth reading; their creators were incredible storytellers. I wrote a recent blog about how to use storytelling in your marketing, but there is a recent post about a two year consumer preference survey which supports this concept of creating content on the Internet that can help build brand awareness and drive sales if written as an article or in a story-based form versus other methods of online advertising.
Jack Loechner, writing for the Center for Media Research, sites a two year study conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation whose results show that “article-based advertising was preferred by 53% of respondents who said they are ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to read and act upon the material, compared to 51% a year ago.” And of the age demographic of 25 to 34, there was a 66% favorable reaction. Even the affluent, those making in excess of $75,000 per year, showed a 60% likelihood of reading and acting upon this kind of content. These results far outdistanced other methods of Internet advertising like pop-up ads and sponsored search.
In examining closer, we find that this two year study was sponsored by Adfusion, which is a company that writes “advertorials” for their clients that are placed in publications around the country. These are stories that are made to appear as articles but are really brand promotions. This could cause us to invalidate these survey results; however I believe that would be a hasty conclusion.
I am not saying that when writing a blog, article, or newsletter, that there should be a blatant self-promotion or an attempt to fool people into believing that they are reading a legitimate article when in reality it is simply brand advertising.
What I am saying is that if you provide value through the telling of a story, and your readers find it interesting, then you will likely see a positive reaction to your brand. This in turn can support the other methods of direct advertising which are a part of your overall media mix and as the survey above shows, can bring measurable results.
What are your thoughts?