Use Storytelling to Introduce The Brands To Audiences, Could Much Better Connected

Riza Roidila Mufti
The Jakarta Post

More and more brands, especially internet-based ones, are using storytelling to connect to the wider public.  ( file)

Today, more and more companies, especially internet-based ones, are using storytelling to introduce their brand values and products to the wider public.

Ride-hailing company Go-Jek, for example, has released videos that tell stories about its drivers who provided for their families after joining the unicorn or its merchants who saw an increase in sales after joining Go-Food.

Meanwhile, online marketplaces such as Bukalapak and Tokopedia often create stories about small and medium business enterprises (SMEs) that find success selling their products to a wider audience thanks to the platforms. Local clothing brand Cotton Ink uses storytelling to advertise its fashion products every time it introduces a new collection.

Bukalapak public relations manager Evi Andarini told The Jakarta Post recently that there were many lessons that could be learned from stories shared by Bukalapak.

“From 4 million traders across Indonesia, we found that many people with unique stories, such as a seller in Baduy [in Banten province], tried to break the boundaries by developing the local crafters in their area,” Evi said.

She said telling inspirational stories about sellers served two purposes – they helped the sellers to increase product sales while inspiring more SMEs to operate independently by joining Bukalapak.

To share its stories to the public, Bukalapak advertises across multiple platforms, uploading videos and short documentaries on their YouTube channel, website and social media platforms.

Airline ticketing and hotel booking platform Traveloka regularly makes posts about tourist sites, restaurants and general travel information on their apps, in addition to sharing stories on its blog. The company also recently introduced on its app a feature called City Guides, which contains travel stories.

Traveloka senior vice president of business development Christian Suwarna said stories on City Guides targeted two types of audiences.

“The first one comprises travelers who are seeking information related to a certain destination. The second one targets prospective travelers or those who have not yet made plans to travel but are looking for travel ideas,” he told the Post on Friday.  

Cotton Ink founder Ria Sarwono said storytelling was key to the Cotton Ink brand.

“Stories have been part of Cotton Ink since the beginning, as we always tell people why certain products are made; what the background story of the product is; why the pattern is what it is; and why the cutting is the way it is,” Ria said, adding that, when the company made an Obama T-shirt, it explained the background behind the shirt.

Ria said the audience was more interested in products with a background story. Handmade products, for example, were appreciated by customers who respected the process, she added.  

Marketing expert Yuswohady said the most powerful way to connect with consumers was to deliver messages through stories, because stories left a deeper impression when compared to the messages of classic forms of advertising.

Storytelling is more authentic then conventional advertising, which is considered inauthentic because of its scripted nature and how it is purposely designed to sell products, Yuswohady said.

“That is why stories about traders in Bukalapak or drivers of Go-Jek can more easily grab people’s attention, because they are authentic stories,” Yuswohadi told the Post.

Yuswohady said in the digital era, the way brands communicated their products and values had shifted. In the past, companies were limited to ads on TV, billboards and in newspapers. Today, products can be sold across a more diverse array of platforms and through video stories, social media content, blogs and other internet-based mediums.

Anthony Reza Prasetya, CEO of GetCraft, an online marketplace that connects creative industry players, said the demand for content creators to create story-based content was high.  

“Today, many brands are working with content creators such as bloggers, Instagram content creators and YouTube content creators to create content that is interesting and stands out,” he said.

Anthony said the demand for video-based content and writing-based content was high. “Getting people’s attention is basically done through interesting stories. Thus, brands are racing to create content and stories that are more interesting and more memorable for the audience,” he said.  (bbn)

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