The Death of Hard Sell and Emergence of Digital Storytelling in Singapore
“Hello sir, did you know that 25 is the ideal age to buy an insurance plan? Let’s meet up for coffee and I will tell you more about it.”
“Buy this shampoo now. It makes your hair so smooth. Purchase today.”
“Hi there, how are you? (Doesn’t wait for an answer) I’m calling to tell you about opening a new account at our branch…”
“Flyer for you, sir? We have free aerobics classes!”
We can’t tell you how many times we had to dodge pushy sales people as we make our way to the office in the morning.
Sure, cold market prospecting is easy especially if you and your targets are extroverted people. But sadly, not everyone enjoys picking up a conversation with a random stranger.
Similarly in the digital world, no one likes to be bombarded with pushy pop-up ads and website content.
Content marketing has been proven effective for growing leads and generating sales online by being able to communicate information coherently. But then again, it seems like trends in content marketing have shifted to favour storytelling over hard sell.
Digital storytelling in Singapore has grown tremendously over the past couple of months. It is being practiced in text, images and even motion pictures.
What explains the shift?
What does this mean for digital marketing?
Stick around and we’ll tell you a little story…
The Art of Storytelling
Do you remember reading fictional stories as a kid? You might have gone (or been forced to go by your tiger parents) to the library to pick up a couple of children’s fiction.
Remember what got you engrossed in those books?
You might have been tickled by hilarious stories, drawn to its main characters, or eager to find out what happens next.
Storytelling has been around for ages. It uses narratives and facts to communicate something to a given audience. You can find stories in education, media and marketing.
Most of the time, stories are emotional and engaging. They could involve characters (fictitious or non-fictitious) as well as a consistent story line. Furthermore, they start with a beginning, carry on with a climax, and finish with a resolution.
Why Should You Use Storytelling?
Now, let’s get to the gist of it. What explains the growth of digital storytelling in Singapore?
1. It Entertains
Remember how you fell asleep during a 2 hour lecture in university about the history of mathematics?
If you struggle to find joy in that type of content, what’s stopping your audience from clicking away when they stumble across an e-flyer about what your product does?
On the other hand, storytelling is a whole new ball game altogether.
Humans have a strong need for entertainment. It is a social benefit that allows us to exercise our ability to grasp perspectives other than our own and enter into an imaginative scenario.
Using illustrative, memorable and thought-provoking stories allow for a brand to give their target audience a unique experience.
This is especially crucial in the lion city where people are always looking for fun things to do. Here’s an example of digital storytelling in Singapore by Singapore Airlines.
Sure, you might think it is just a flight safety video. But the clip shows snippets of the Singapore story, local culture and heritage.
2. It Connects
Have you ever felt so deeply connected to a character?
Perhaps you might have had a similar upbringing as Harry Potter in the Harry Potter series.
Or you and your significant other are going through hard times like Seo Dan and Ri Jeong Hyeok in Netflix drama Crash Landing on You.
Humans bond over shared experiences. Powerful stories make use of relatable situations to bridge an emotional connection with their target audience. They uplift their target audience by illustrating a character’s growth and progression throughout the story. That’s probably why TV series and other Korean dramas are so popular.
As any marketer would expect, emotions are powerful. So powerful that…
3. It Encourages Active Audience Participation
Sometimes our emotions can drive action.
For instance, you might have been impressed and entertained by Arthur Fleck’s dance of freedom from Joker that you had to head to South Bronx, New York, to take some pictures on the iconic stairs like these fans.
Emotional stories involving tragic narratives and pitiful characters tap on emotions like fear, anger, sadness or happiness to elicit a response from the audience.
4. It Provides New Information
Nothing explains the concept of humans liking new things because they are new better than this clip from How I Met Your Mother.
Whether new shoes, food or even information, humans tend to ‘prefer’ new things because of an inherent curiosity towards new ideas.
Since most stories come from one’s unique experience, most of them are one-of-a-kind. Brands can their audience feed new information and narratives based on parallel brand messages and ideas.
In addition, psychologist Walter Boost commented that humans have a innate expectation that something which is new is always better than its predecessors.
Otherwise, why else would you queue for hours to get the new iPhone?
5. It Optimizes Your Website
Just when you thought you had to fork out a good amount of capital for video marketing, we’ll hit you with a fact: storytelling takes shape in all forms of content.
Be it an image, blog, product description, or an image. The art of storytelling has not fixed rule.
On the other hand, Google had thin content. The juicier your story, the better!
The Future of Digital Storytelling in Singapore
Is the storytelling train here to stay?
The answer to that question is a resounding “Definitely”.
Marketing is all about creating a positive user experience. Luckily, storytelling does the trick and so much more.
With the rise of digital storytelling in Singapore, it is important to weave this technique into your content marketing strategy ASAP. After all, trends come and go. Taking advantage of them is all about timing.
While storytelling might be trending, its still important to optimize your story. Here’s how you can do so.