What a Twist! How to Use Plot Twists in Brand Storytelling to Defy Expectations, Delight Your Viewers, and Boost Conversions
“The Empire Strikes Back,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Planet of the Apes”…
If our movie output says anything about humanity, it’s this: we sure love a good plot twist!
So it got us thinking: if plot twists can enhance a good cinematic story… maybe they can do the same to your story marketing?
Now, it wouldn’t be fair to hold your brand storytelling to the Hollywood standard…
…but that doesn’t mean it can’t benefit from a plot twist or two!
You can use them to flabbergast customers into giving you their full attention, make your brand stand out in a crowded industry, and boost conversions. And that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in today’s article.
Read on, and you will learn:
- 3 ways to capture your customers’ attention right from the first minute
- How plot twists can help to differentiate your brand from the competition
- The #1 reason customers might seek out your product or service
- How to use storytelling to persuade customers to say yes to your offer
And more. So let’s dig in!
1. Capture high-quality attention of your viewers early in the story
When you’re telling a story to your target audience, you have very limited time to get their full attention and drive your message home. You’re going to lose 60% of these people past the 2-minute mark — and that’s a generous estimate!
So how can you keep viewers’ attention throughout the story? Surprise them with an early twist!
People never engage with your message on its own terms. We all go into a story with existing expectations, even when we aren’t aware of them. And if the message confirms every single thing we’ve been expecting, there’s no reason to pay attention or engage with it deeply.
Think about what your audience expects to hear, and find a way to mess with them.
Here’s a great example…
We all know how investment pitches are supposed to go, right? Some nice, sharply dressed entrepreneur gives you a sleek presentation about all the reasons you should give him or her lots of money.
*yawn* Sooo predictable.
But what if you did the exact opposite? That’s how Rufus Griscom got his startup, Babble, acquired by Disney. Instead of hitting them with a paint-by-numbers investment pitch, he created a presentation listing all the reasons Disney should not buy Babble.
And this stroke of genius earned Griscom a $40 million acquisition deal!
There are tons of ways to use plot twists to make your brand stories more engaging. You can:
- Play with the format, surprising your audience with a new take on the old formula — like that Babble acquisition pitch we just mentioned.
- Play with the premise, choosing to tell an unusual, outrageous story right from the start. For example, here’s a CEO confessing why he killed a product that was making him $2,000,000 a year.
- Play with the details, focusing on something quirky and unexpected right off the bat. For example, notice how this talk starts with an obscure story about a jazz pianist and then turns into a lecture about creativity and serendipity.
2. Easily differentiate your brand from the competition
What are some ways your company goes against the rest of your industry? What’s unique and special about your business that you can highlight in your brand storytelling?
- Maybe you have bootstrapped a startup in a space dominated by VC-funded businesses, and turned it into a major industry player…
- Maybe you sell an entirely unique product or service that’s not been replicated yet…
- Maybe your customer support is 100x better than your competitors’…
- Maybe you run your business in a way that defies conventional wisdom — for example, by letting employees set their own hours and pursue passion projects outside of work…
…you name it.
This tension — between your company and the industry at large, between the status quo and your own unique approach — is a goldmine of effective stories. And the best part is, they already come with built-in plot twists!
You can use these brand stories to achieve 3 main goals:
- Connect with the part of your target audience that shares the same values as you do. This is extremely useful when you’re trying to hire people who would be a great fit for your brand, or reach out to a very specific subset of potential customers. For example, search engine company DuckDuckGo markets itself as a privacy-conscious alternative to Google and Bing. Naturally, privacy is the core value of their brand storytelling.
- Communicate your unique selling proposition in a way that’s immediately understandable and recognizable. For example, think of this story about a Zappos support rep ordering pizza for a customer. It’s unexpected and it conveys a lot about their USP!
- Increase perceived value and authority of your brand. If there is anything your brand does that flies in the face of conventional wisdom, you can use it as fodder for storytelling. For instance, the fashion boutique “Hermès” makes incredibly expensive leather bags that are super hard to get. Even their best customers wait for months and years until they get an opportunity to buy one. They trade stories and tips on how to hunt down those exclusive bags — and those stories contribute to the high-value image of the brand.
3. Increase conversions by inserting the viewer into the story
There’s a very specific reason customers are seeking out your product or service. They’re hoping to solve a problem. To take their lives in a new direction. To create a favorable future result.
In other words… they want to rewrite their story. To create their own plot twist.
If you can tap into this desire and reflect it in your brand storytelling, you’ll have a much easier time persuading prospects to say yes to your offer!
There are 3 main ways you could go about it:
- The audience stand-in. Create a character that perfectly matches the profile of your target customer. Now tell their story of struggle — and try to align it as much as you can with what your actual customers are going through. As the character hits rock bottom and the situation seems hopeless, introduce your product or service as a solution to the problem! Here’s a great example from one of our past marketing videos.
- “The two roads.” Compare the stories of two different characters — someone who uses your product or service, and someone who doesn’t. As one of them succeeds and the other fails miserably, reveal to the audience that it was your product that made all the difference. Here’s another video by The Draw Shop showing how this type of storytelling works.
- “The crystal ball.” Present the viewer with a version of the future where they said no to your offer — that’s right, exactly like “A Christmas Carol”! Show them the long, complicated, exhausting struggle that’s waiting ahead. Then, show them another future where they said yes, and reveal just how much better it is!
Grab your customers’ attention with a powerful Elevator Pitch
If you want to grow your brand in 2020 and beyond, then you need a way to cut through the noise and instantly command your customers’ full attention.
That means, your marketing messages need to be clearer, “stickier,” and more unique than ever. And they need to get the job done fast — ideally in 30 seconds or less.
Having a powerful Elevator Pitch video that delivers an irresistible message to your prospects is the single fastest way to grow your business. And we want to create one for you.
All you need is to hop on a 30-minute consultation with one of our expert copywriters here at The Draw Shop. They will help you define the problem you solve, how you solve it, and the life-changing results your customers will see from working with you.
Then we’ll transform your input into a single-statement Elevator Pitch for your brand — a powerful 30-second video scientifically designed to stand out, delight, persuade… and convert.
We’ll even top it off with a one-page, one-of-a-king infographic that makes your pitch into an engaging visual story!
- Share it with your team
- Feature it on your website
- Use it in your email signature
- Put it on the back of your business card
- Spread it on social media