There’s one commonality shared by successful brands: a message that’s both simple and clear.
And how do you get such a message?
With quality storytelling!
You see, a brand needs to be able to engage with its customers. It needs to give them a message they can connect with, and which prods them to interact with the brand of their own accord. That’s where the magic of storytelling comes in – telling a story makes for active engagement. By creating content that provides some value to the customer, you inspire them to be a part of your brand. It invites your audience to actually become the protagonist of the story as they effect some change in their lives through the use of your product.
Think back to your childhood. What was the first story that you would beg your parents to read to you every night? No matter what it was, there’s a reason you were so captivated. A good story has just that kind of power. It hooks you in and keeps a grip on you. That remains true even as we mature and our tastes develop. What’s more, you imbibe the lessons they teach. Stories have the ability to pass on knowledge and learning without you even realizing it. And that’s the power a brand should be able to harness in order to get across to an audience.
At this point, you can probably see just what makes storytelling such a powerful way of vitalizing your brand. In fact, it’s the primary component of content marketing. Storytelling provides your products with an identity your audience can identify with. Through creative, inspirational and authentic stories, you will be able to form a deep and lasting connection with your customers. Through the use of storytelling, you shape how an individual feels about your brand. This emotional form of branding has the capacity to increase customer retention and potentially drive revenue through the roof.
Let’s have a look at just what goes into effective storytelling.
First of all, you need to figure out just what your voice is. What do you stand for? Why is it relevant to the lives of your target audience? Remember, you don’t exactly need to invent a story from scratch. Instead, you need to find a narrative that’s in line with your business’s core ethos, and which fulfills the needs of your audience. It should engage with them on an emotional level, and modify itself according to what the audience tells you.. The solutions you provide your audience and your value proposition are all about telling the right story the right way. It may sound like a tall order to achieve all of this together, but that’s exactly why you need to put in a lot of thought into this.
Good storytelling is not necessarily about your brand and your products. But it is necessarily about needs, emotions and experiences. It needs to incorporate images associated with these emotions and needs so the audience can make that connection with your brand.
A gripping story generally has three acts. Act 1 sets up the situation. Act 2 will narrate the central conflict. And Act 3 offers a resolution. Brand stories, however, have an additional act – the call to action. Setting up the story with these acts allows you to inspire the kind of action you want from your audience.
So what kind of story should you be telling?
A personal one.
You can’t connect with your audience using a generic or impersonal story. If you want to keep them interested in you, you need to show them how you are relevant to their own stories. Think about what inspired the brand, and what its grander mission is. You also need to think about what exactly it is that your audience wants. Center your customer in the story – they are the main character. Make sure to listen to the audience so you genuinely understand their desires and pain points, as well as the attitudes and beliefs that guide them. This is an ongoing process – your audience’s needs will change with time, and it’s up to you to always listen to them in order to have your brand evolve.
Finally, consider the medium you’re using to tell your story. You can use just about any medium to tell a story, from film and print to blogs and social media channels. But you need to figure out which medium will most effectively help you elicit the reaction you want from the audience.
Continually adapt to the needs of your audience, and make sure your story fits into the broader narrative of your brand.
How will you be using storytelling to shape your brand?