Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away, there lived a princess in need of a stellar marketing team to reimagine her brand. A team who knew how important storytelling is and could rewrite hers, for the princess was tired of being a princess and dreamt of slaying dragons and running her own company.
Clearly I need to take a fiction-writing class! Still, I’d like to talk today about how storytelling is a major part of a business’s content marketing strategy (spoiler, it’s not by telling fictional stories). People want to get to know you and your brand, to understand who you are and what you stand for. How do you achieve this and build brand awareness? Through the strategic business tool of storytelling.
Since the time of cave dwellers, we have been communicating through story. People are attracted to stories because we’re a social species! Stories speak to us and elicit emotions on a primal level. The process by which we tell said stories – storytelling – has the power to influence your audience by captivating them, forming connections, speaking to their interests, and addressing their problems. You are not just the compilation of the products and/or services you provide. There is a story behind your organization and your audience wants to hear it.
Here are techniques to help inspire you when you’re brainstorming the best way to share your story:
Blogs, presentations, newsletters, mission statements – all need a good storytelling technique behind them.
- Be authentic. Not being truthful will surely backfire.
- Be personal. The way to tell your brand’s story online is through sharing real experiences. It’s why when you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed you see so many behind-the-scenes and office-life photos. Who are you and how did you get here? When getting personal, use analogy. Powerful language (i.e. adjectives) will resonate with readers. Metaphors are highly effective if what you are conveying triggers a memory or sense. When it’s appropriate, go up close and personal. Be willing to be professional when it’s needed, too.
- Divulge the history. A big part of your brand’s story is who you were before. How did you brand come to be? When did it all happen? Explain your inspiration for being in the industry.
- Show the expertise behind it all. The people/person who founded your company are experts in their field so share that.
- Profile employees. This is a great way to be real and personal; sharing stories about the team behind your company will help readers connect to your brand. Explain why your team is the best around.
- Solve problems. Tell your audience what they’re feeling. Address a problem and describe how you offer a solution But be sure to only solve problems that are actually there.
- Illustrate how you’re different. What differentiates you from your competitors? How are you making strides and innovating within your industry?
- Use data. Statistics lend credibility to any piece of messaging or content. but remember, facts aren’t moving or entertaining! It’s the way you dress up those facts that will make your audience feel enough to follow through on your call-to-action (to purchase, donate, call…).
- Be visual. Text gets boring. Use different forms of media to convey your story.
- Get your story out there. Tell your story everywhere. Your brand’s story is not something that only gets mentioned in press releases or at the launch of a new marketing campaign. It should be the building blocks on which your business growth strategy is formed and influence all pieces of content your team creates.
Leveraging the art of storytelling will engage your audience and inspire them to take action. At the end of the day, people are looking to connect with brands. Don’t be afraid to get personal, always be authentic, and have fun with it!