The Undeniable Power of Brand Storytelling

BY Mark Nead, October 30, 2018

We live in an automated world where personal connections are few and far between. Make a phone call to a local bank or restaurant and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Thank you for calling Cindy’s Pizza Parlor. Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed. What happened to real live connections? Aren’t consumers worth more than an automated interaction? In exchange for efficiency, many brands have cut off personal connections with their customers. And in a society that craves emotional appeal, automation has backfired on more than a few of these companies.

Every brand has stories to tell

Storytelling allows your brand to establish those emotional and personal connections your customers are begging for. In a sense, when companies tell engaging stories, they can effectively bridge the gap between their brand and the consumer. In fact, tying stories into the tactics you use to influence buyers can result in a 65 to 70 percent higher retention rate. They’ll not only remember the reasons you gave them to purchase the product, but they’ll also have an easier time recalling your brand. It’s a win-win for both.

Regardless of your current marketing strategy, you need to integrate storytelling as much as possible.

Storytelling lets the audience see a side of your brand they don’t typically see. They get a better understanding of how your brand came to be, your values, and the real people and experiences that define you.

Humans are complicated creatures with intriguing stories. Captivating your audience with stories about your brand allows you to put valuable information in front of them without being overly promotional. Your cohesive brand narrative will serve as a strategic statement that outlines the way your company can enhance their lives.

Your brand has a personality and storytelling allows the uniqueness of this personality to shine. It gives you a competitive advantage by showing the audience your brand consists of much more than automated processes.

Storytelling lets the audience see a side of your brand they don’t typically see. They get a better understanding of how your brand came to be, what your values are, and how your company is comprised of real people with real experiences.

Humans are complicated creatures with intriguing stories. Captivating your audience with stories about your brand allows you to put valuable information in front of them without being overly promotional. Your cohesive brand narrative will serve as a strategic statement that outlines the way your company can enhance their lives.

Stories sell.

Adweek published an infographic detailing the impact of storytelling. One part of the infographic compares a painting being sold online with and without a story. The painting advertised with the artist’s personal story sold for 11% more than the one without a story.

Kickstarter is a company that understands the value of storytelling. Those using the platform tell their stories in an attempt to secure funding for their startups. And if you’ve ever taken a close look at Kickstarter, then you know very well that more than a few startups have had tremendous success in securing funding through the stories they tell.

But can someone please tell me how to use storytelling in my marketing plan?

Including storytelling in your current marketing strategy should be a top priority. After all, branding itself is storytelling. If you don’t write the script, someone else will. Humans place stories around facts. Any facts relating to your business have a story around them, and you need to tell these stories not only to boost brand awareness but to ensure the stories get told right the first time around.

There are right and wrong ways to go about storytelling. First and foremost, never create stories just for the sake of creating them. Consumers are conducting research more than ever and you can be assured that when you tell a story, there’s going to be someone fact-checking what you said.

Identifying your target audience is crucial to good storytelling. If you have a content marketing strategy in place, then you likely already know who your target audience is. If you don’t, then you’ll need to create buyer personas before you hop on the storytelling bandwagon.

Developing personas is necessary for storytelling because it allows you to put the right stories in front of the right audience at the right time. To ensure your personas are well-defined, you’ll need to take advantage of any valuable data your competitors are providing for you.

Look at your competitors’ strategies. What audiences are they targeting? How are they targeting them? What content is working best for your competitors? What’s working best for them will likely work best for you.

Now that you have your audiences pinpointed, it’s time to create compelling brand stories. Statistics show that 85% of companies using video in their branding strategies enjoy success. Telling a story in text format is great, but you’ll achieve far higher rates of engagement if you incorporate video into the stories you tell.

You can use videos for storytelling in a variety of ways. However, being that customer testimonials prove to be the most effective form of marketing, you’ll definitely want to incorporate videos of testimonials into your storytelling strategy.

You can also use videos to show your audience various perspectives of your business from your side of the fence as the owner, such as the ways in which your brand gives back to the community.

Storytelling through blogging can be a very effective way to connect your audience on an emotional level. Throughout the blog postings, you can incorporate images and video clips to further enhance the storytelling process.

With 77% of Internet users reading blogs, it makes perfect sense that you should be using your blog to tell stories. And while storytelling through email can be effective, HubSpot reveals your audience is going to spend three times the amount of time reading blogs than they do reading their emails.

No matter the platforms you choose to share your stories on, it is imperative that you don’t approach the storytelling process as having a beginning, middle, and end. Your stories are ongoing. They are evolving just the same as your brand will continue to evolve as your business grows.

The takeaway

It’s time to stop boring your audience with numbers and product descriptions, but rather, showcase your company’s products or services in action. Further, show them how your brand makes life easier for existing clients.

Storytelling also gives the audience a behind-the-scenes look at why they should establish a relationship with your brand. It shows them you value their engagement and you think of them as much more than a one-time purchaser.

The human brain is wired to remember stories. When you incorporate storytelling into your branding strategy, you can leave a lasting impression by tugging at the heartstrings of your audience.

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