Captivating audiences with impactful storytelling in digital era

How to tell a story with impact in this digital age was the topic widely discussed among marketers at a breakfast briefing co-organised by BBC and Marketing.

Storytelling with Impact
As the digital landscape evolves, telling a story is not as easy as in previous days. Simon Frantz, managing editor of BBC Features and Nicola Eliot, director of BBC StoryWorks, kicked off the event by explaining the topic of storytelling with impact.

Through continual testing, analysis and experimentation, BBC has gained a deep understanding of its global audiences and what they are passionate about. “We understand the power of video to engage audiences on an emotional level, and we’ve listened to their demands for greater video content.” said Eliot.

“By launching BBC Reel, all factual content from across will be in a single video hub, and audiences can find new content along with curated playlists which will bring unexpected and mind-expanding discoveries to them.”

“ is a well-established destination for young, global and aspirational people. The millennials is a demographic navigating a changing workplace, and we want to create something that would inform, inspire and educate them,” explained Frantz.

BBC WorkLife which will be launched next year targets affluent and aspirational professionals. By 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be millennials or younger, meaning storytellers need a different approach to engage with this generation – new economy entrepreneurs, lives of global citizens, cryptocurrencies are topics of WorkLife, to name a few.

Another example is “One Day More”, a new series on BBC Travel. Research shows that business travellers love to turn work trips into mini vacations. “One Day More” will be the companion guide for the modern day business traveller who strives to work hard and play hard. The section will show how to help business travellers immerse themselves within different cultures, discover regional foods, uncover secret worlds and connect with inspirational locals.

Science of memory
BBC’s latest proprietary research “The Science of Memory” assesses emotional intensity and memory encoding. One of the findings of the research was that emotion is a key driver of memory – the bigger the emotional spike, the more likely it is to trigger long term memory. There is also no bad emotion – happiness, sadness, curiosity, surprise and even fear can stimulate significant memory encoding.

The second finding was to make the emotional punch early and often – brand films that triggered their highest emotional intensity in the first third of the duration were more memorable overall, the study revealed.

The research also found that positioning brand messages alongside emotional spikes can cause maximum memory impact. Based on these findings, Frantz and Mark Jones, digital director, consumer digital technology of BBC Global News, said people who experienced higher emotional intensity while watching branded content films tested went on to become considerers of the brand.

The conference also unveiled ADImpact which optimises planning to enable BBC platforms to drive maximum brand impact.

BBC’s key strength is mid-lower funnel, greatest at influencing the key drivers of brand purchase such as consideration & recommendation. Also, when a brand is seen alongside quality yet objective reporting, it will reap benefits.

“Campaigns associated with a higher proportion of news content will have a higher brand impact across various stages of the consumer decision making journey, compared to campaigns associated with a lower proportion of news content,” said Jones.

Last but not least, content-led campaigns work harder to persuade consumers as they deepen emotional relationship with the brand.

By leveraging various BBC platforms from offline to online, along with content with context, brands can expect to achieve the full marketing impact.

“Audiences choose to come to the BBC because they are a discerning group who want to stay informed with news that they trust and value. Consumers who have been exposed to content-led marketing on the BBC show a higher likelihood to consider and recommend the brand than consumers who have been exposed to non-content campaigns,” Frantz and Jones concluded.

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