Brand Storytelling: Must Have An Integrated Digital/ Social Media Strategy
Do you remember some of the graduations you have attended over the years? Do you remember the stories that the commencement speaker told? Well, confess to me…I do not remember the speakers’ names, but I remember most of the stories because it stuck with me even a few years after I attended the graduation.
That’s what Stories do to us. That is what stories do to our audience and customers. That is how stories help grow our brands. Brands must find ways to work stories into their marketing strategies. Stories are memorable, relatable, entertaining, engaging, and inspiring. Inspire the audience to connect with your brand and take action through stories.
What is Storytelling?
In simple terms, Storytelling involves the use of narratives to communicate and connect with a target audience. Brands can employ stories to emotionally connect with their target audience, current customers, and potential customers; and cause them to take action in different ways including doing business with your brand. Hence, stories, if used correctly lead to brand growth and increase revenue. Remember, stories permit you to teach, narrate your brands’ failures, challenges, pains, and solutions in human relatable ways that help your customers form a deeper connection with your brand.
How Not to Tell Stories
Stories should not sound like a sale pitch otherwise your risk losing the customers’ or audiences’ attention. Rather, for instance, use stories to masterfully narrate your customers’ pains better than them; then introduce a resolution to their problem through your brand story. For example, Story could tell how your brand went through the pain of analyzing five different email marketing tools and at the end made the choice to pick one. While highlighting the benefits and justification for your choice, you’ve helped the audience overcome the same pain and confusion of picking the right email marketing tool.
Make stories relatable and not about your brand. Your audience should feel a connection to your story and feel a sense of community with your brand. Eventually, through Storytelling, you’re narrating something memorable, you are sharing a relatable experience, and you are indirectly selling without your audience knowing or feeling like they are being sold to. Use stories to simplify and clarify your brand messages. Avoid using technical jargon and complex data in your storytelling.
The Elements of a Good Story
- Memorable: through your brand messaging, a good story should remain with your audience.
- Teach: a good story should educate and help enhance your customer’s knowledge and heighten their curiosity
- Engaging: keep your audience engaged either through entertainment or other means via your brand stories
- Organized: Your story should convey a clear message, simple, and logical for the audience to stay engaged
- Relatable: Spark your customers’ or audiences’ emotions through your stories. Make them connect to your brand through stories.
How To Do Brand Storytelling Correctly
- Know your target Audience: understand and clearly define your ideal audience or customer who will eventually connect with your brand story and do business with you. Tell your story to the right audience. Who are they? Know them!
- Clearly define your brand’s “main” message: Know what message your brand stories are trying to pass across to the audience. In less than twelve words, you should be able to state the main message of your story. It could be about explaining a product or service, it could be about motivating and causing the audience to take action. Whatever the main message, it needs to be clearly defined!
- Define the approach of your story: What is the best way to convey the story? Based on the core message of the story, determine if the story should educate your audience, or do you plan to humanize your brand and connect deeper emotionally and a relatable way by telling a personal story? Pick an approach and stick to it for each story. Keep it logical and organized.
- Include Call-to-Action: After consuming your story, lead the consumer to take action as the next steps. For example, if the story was about how your brand migrated from one email marketing tool to another to elevate pain and lost productivity, and during the process, your team put together a checklist to help your audience pick the right email marketing tool without time-wasting and lost productivity, your call to action might be to click a button to download a PDF of the checklist. This valuable checklist could also serve as a lead magnet that captures your audience’s email addresses which you could use at a later date to continue engaging with them and eventually extend a sales pitch later in the relationship.
There are various mediums that you can use to tell your brand stories, and share, encourage your audience to share them.
Below are some examples:
- Blog posts
- Videos (via YouTube, Vimeo, etc)
- Live Events
- Trade journal articles
Brand Storytelling! Craft stories so that your audience would relate to them and remember them. Get your audience curious about your brand through stories. Tell stories that take your audience through a quick journey to your call-to-action. Make your stories get your audience emotionally connected and help them take action!
Don’t Forget to Share! Share your stories on various social media and other platforms!