Why App Marketers Should Leverage Storytelling Ads for Their Campaigns

How to craft storytelling ads

"You should try to tell a story with your ad." This advice has been given to marketers since advertising began. Indeed, we all love to watch ads that spark our curiosity and make us engage with the narrative. These high-impact ads evoke an emotional response and leave a clear message in the viewer’s mind.

Many brands have great examples of ads that illustrate the importance of storytelling. The core idea of storytelling aims to create an image and feeling that adds value to your brand, and to help users differentiate you from your competitors. Storytelling is also a great way to communicate your brand promise and show how you fulfill the wants and needs of your target market.

Make it count

The truth is, in the world of mobile marketing, the approach to storytelling is vastly different. Everything in the mobile industry is fast-paced and results-oriented. If you don’t generate revenue today, then there may not be a tomorrow for your app.

For storytelling ads, the key is to grab the users’ attention within the first few seconds and make them want more. Keep in mind that despite users spending more time on their mobile phones, users are easily distracted so your ads must work hard, right in the moment.

Thanks to programmatic technology, it’s much easier and more efficient to purchase targeted inventory. Your total impressions represent the volume of your marketing campaign, and the click-through rate (CTR) is an indicator of the quality of your ad creative. The more relevant your ad, the more post-engagements you will gain.

How to craft a storytelling creative?

In our previous blog article, we discussed different audience emotions and how they affect your ad performance. Now, we share some actionable insights on how to craft great storytelling creatives.

1. Make your ad an extension of your app’s theme

Your theme is the most visually appealing element in your ad. If your app happens to have its own epic or signature graphics, incorporate them in your ads. Your app is developed to meet the expectations of a specific user segment, so using this creative strategy will encourage your acquired users to make purchases after install and increase your return on ad spend (ROAS). 

A storytelling ad example with a dragon and a knight

2. Tailor your story based on the ad format

Mobile ads come in many formats, such as native, video, banner, display, and playable. If the objective of your ad campaign is brand awareness, for example, small banners may be the best choice to maximize your campaign reach (sometimes small banners deliver results that way exceeds expectations!).

You might have plenty of attractive creative elements, but with small banners, you need to keep things simple and don’t overwhelm the viewer. Tailor-make your storyline for each ad format.

Storytelling ads example of multiple size, full screenStorytelling ads exampleStorytelling ads example of multiple size, small banner

3. Start with a question

The easiest way to structure a story is to ask the user a question. Sparking their curiosity at first glance will encourage them to watch the entire ad. The narrative should be easy to understand, but still relevant to your app’s functionality.

For example, it is efficient for a Bingo app to challenge the users with the question “Are you smart enough?”. Since users tend to have confidence in their IQ, it inevitably sparks their curiosity to watch the ad and eventually stimulates their desire to win, resulting in downloading the app.

Storytelling ads example - 3

4. Showcase your leading characters

Your app’s characters should play an ambassador role. Try featuring one of your popular characters in your ad and have them present a challenge in your app. Some advertisers use celebrities or real person actors in their ads, and they receive positive results.

Always remember, keep the ad’s storyline focused on a single character and action, such as a hero nailing a popular task and being rewarded with a prize.

Storytelling ads example of a princess at dark castle

5. Save the best for last

Storytelling makes your ad look and feel more organic and relevant by avoiding being too “salesy”. Try not to reveal your pitch to your audience until the last frame, and always end your ad with a call-to-action (CTA) button, so they know what to do. Users have short attention spans so mobile ads that are focused on driving immediate action work best.

Storytelling ads example of showing the CTA in the end

Interested in learning more about how to craft storytelling ads? Shoot us a message here.


Topics: Creative Insights