Nike. Starbucks. REI. Disney. Amazon.
These brands all have a captivating brand story that puts a spotlight on who they are and what they stand for. And as a result, they’ve earned a massively loyal and adoring following.
As of today, these brands continue to thrive in hooking their audiences with their genuine stories regardless of tight competition and economic downturns.
The key to their success is effective storytelling.
Why storytelling is crucial to your brand story?
A study proves that storytelling can engage, influence, inspire and teach readers.
Therefore, adapting it will help you create a compelling and relatable brand story. Not only can this increase brand engagement and awareness, but also make it more memorable.
Other great impacts of storytelling to consumers are well-explained in the below screenshot.
Humans can immediately detect a good story when they hear it.
So, you want to tell your brand story that will lead to building a stronger connection with your target audience.
Figure out why your story will be interesting to others – and share it as often as you can. This will help you become a better storyteller and brand builder.
For example, you’re writing the brand story for a payment software. Aside from captivating the readers’ attention with their unique and superior features, you can also engage them emotionally.
One simple way to do it is by emphasizing how the product’s simplified payment solutions provide a much better experience for your customers and employees.
What impact has your brand had on people and the community? This is the right time to share it.
By combining the storytelling technique and effective digital marketing strategies, prospects and customers can easily unveil the following:
- Understand the ‘essence’ of your brand and why it exists
- Clearly see the ‘vision’ of your company
- Visualize the experience of using your products/services
How to decide on the right story
Which story is worth sharing?
It’s important to answer this question because not all questions can resonate with your audience. Tell stories that are personal and relevant to your brand.
Consider how your company got started, what motivated you to start it, and the ultimate goal you plan to achieve with it.
Make sure the story can help address the specific needs of your audience. That’s the key!
Share a brand story that’s both factual and engaging. It’s easy to accomplish this when you focus on the clients and customers rather than your business.
How to use storytelling to strengthen your brand
Include storytelling in your brand strategy now. If you don’t know how, here are 8 effective ways on how you can use storytelling to strengthen your brand:
1. Focus on the ‘Why’
Storytelling is all about showing the consumers the big picture.
Though adding the “who”, “what”, and “how” elements are essential in the brand story, you should not forget to focus more on the “why” factors.
The ‘why’ focuses on the company’s belief, cause, or purpose. Putting great emphasis on any of these will help your audience to conceptualize the reasons for your existence and why you do what you do.
On top of that, this will help you attract more prospects and customers whose beliefs align with your company’s culture, mission, and vision.
I found this storytelling strategy most useful in brands that promote healthy eating.
Eating healthy is not an easy feat. There are a lot of challenges to face and temptations are everywhere – mostly deep-fried or covered with chocolate.
But two challenges that affect most of us are not having enough time and money to shop, plan, prepare, and cook healthy meals.
One solution you can greatly offer is a reliable meal planning service. Show your target audience how easy it is to prepare healthy meals that are custom-made for their taste and diet (based on their body type).
You can also make shopping easy by tying up with different online grocery stores.
Whether you’re building your personal brand or your company, this storytelling strategy surely works.
2. Understand Customer Needs
Your brand story isn’t necessarily all about your company. You should craft it in a way that you will build a strong bridge to fill in the gaps between your brand/product and what the customer needs.
You can efficiently do this by understanding the very needs of your target audience.
The logic is simple, you will make more impact and quality leads when you know who you’re talking to.
Not only that, but this also helps you capture the full attention of your prospects and customers.
To become an effective storyteller, you need to tell your story with the hero (the customer) at the center. Let them see how your products and services can help them.
Your customer should be able to see that your brand story relates to them, how much you understand and appreciate them, and that you’re like them.
When your brand’s story connects and penetrates the hearts of your target customer, you will successfully establish rapport with them.
A good example of this is Victoria’s Secret.
When this lingerie company was founded, its brand story centered on men and their struggles to buy women’s lingerie at any store during those times (since men held the purchasing power).
With their genuine, unique, and highly relatable story, they become the “niche player” in the undergarment industry. And they maintain that lead because they keep on revamping their brand story as new trends come in.
- In 1983, when women started to gain purchasing power, Victoria’s Secret revamped their brand story and focused more on targeting women.
- In 2019, they started to focus their marketing campaign on women with different body types.
Remember, people might forget everything about your business… but not good stories.
Adapt this to your brand properly and you will certainly make your audience come back for more.
3. Build Trust through Storytelling
Storytelling serves different purposes in marketing. But one you can take advantage of the most is its efficacy as a trust-building tool.
Now that we cover building trust by creating honest, authentic, and meaningful stories, let’s focus more on creating a lasting, positive experience for them.
Did you know…
No matter how customers love your product or service, they will never make a purchase if they are unsatisfied in their interactions with your business.
Customers are not just about the product anymore. They want to have a memorable experience as well.
How to make a great customer experience?
First, you need to sell your product to the right market.
One smart solution to do this is by creating custom buyer personas. This provides you a better insight into your ideal customer’s interests, purchasing habits, demographic info, pain points, and more.
If you’re selling professional barcode software, for example, you can begin by identifying the following:
- Demographics: Professions and type of company they work for (inventory control and management, business tracking, and so on).
- Pain points: Specific parts of the customer’s job that are time-consuming and difficult.
- Solution: From the pain points, specify all the solutions to help them resolve it.
This is only a quick overview of the areas you need to clearly point out. The deeper insight you get, the more you can build a unique customer experience for them.
Another great method you can use is creating your very own customer journey map. This helps you get a visual presentation of your customers’ expectations based on their interactions through your business’ channels (email, social media, and more).
What’s unique about your product or service? This could also inspire your brand story.
Whether you’re sharing your story with customers, employees, or vendors, you need to add ‘trust’ to the equation.
It’s not going to be easy; it’ll require patience and energy. You also need to be creative.
In the end, you’ll see tremendous results. Here’s why:
- When customers trust your brand, they recommend it to others
- When employees are happy with their work, they share their experiences
4. Reveal your Humanity
Why do some brand stories resonate with you while others flop? You may not have noticed, but irresistible stories tend to appeal to your human side.
Keep this in mind when using storytelling to strengthen your brand.
Modern technologies have come a long way in making our lives simpler. But when it comes to building trust and credibility, revealing your humanity in your story remains to be the best strategy.
Adding human touch makes your brand more approachable. And this is exactly how Everytale online events marketplace crafted its brand’s story.
They never hesitate to show their vulnerabilities, faith, and mission to build the best platform where people (from all over the world) can come together and share their passion.
I must say, this is a smart move. The more people feel that your company contains real humans, the more they will develop trust and empathy in your brand.
In your story, make sure you add an element that customers can connect to. It’ll give credence to the “why” of your story, as we’ve covered earlier.
5. Keep it Short and Sweet
A great brand story can easily capture attention and stir emotions.
Oftentimes, business owners and online marketers go way overboard.
With their desire to go viral, they create stories that are loaded with facts and other information that doesn’t even contribute to the story’s true essence.
In marketing, it’s always best to keep it short and sweet.
As a general rule of thumb, if the story isn’t worth reading in 5 minutes, there’s no need to stretch it.
The most effective stories are brief and punchy.
ClickUp is one of the companies that know how to keep their story short and sweet.
With fewer than 150 words, they captivated the customers’ attention with what they stand for, their primary mission, and the benefits you’ll get when you use their project management tools.
If you intend to showcase your brand story on YouTube, you must focus on grabbing the viewer’s attention within the first few seconds.
Let’s take the Reebok 25,915 Days brand story for example.
Their story went viral for two reasons.
The first one is they have proven that you can engage your viewers even without a single word spoken. That’s right, their one-minute and sixteen seconds video doesn’t include dialogues yet, it manages to touch people’s hearts.
The reason lies in the second purpose – the message.
According to Reebok, humans live an average of 25,915 days. This message creates a positive impact on everyone to live a healthier and happier life.
You, too, can create one incredibly successful brand story like that.
One concept you can follow is created by Buffer. Share a short story with a straightforward approach:
- Identify the problem
- Provide solution
Simple stories are better.
Don’t attempt to pack more information into the story. Otherwise, you’ll lose the momentum that drives customer engagement and conversions.
This is important, especially if you’re in an industry that’s highly sensitive such as personal finance, online arbitrage, relationship, and more.
6. End your Story Right
Every story must have a compelling beginning and a satisfying ending.
This is one excellent way to keep your audience’s interest in your business for long.
In writing the ending, think about this…
What clear message do you want your readers to contemplate after reading or watching your brand story?
To make it easier to digest, here’s one good example.
If you’re targeting Amazon Affiliates for your brand story, your end message should be naturally engaging for them to join your program. You can entice them about the benefits and income they can possibly earn or offer a free consultation so you can personally guide them through the process.
Don’t forget to turn your creativity on.
Written text is the standard content format used for the brand story. But just like how everybody says it, a picture is worth a thousand words.
MoneyMagpie used that to their advantage when they created their “44 ways to make extra money” campaign.
They end it with a custom-made banner where they explain what you can expect when you join their exclusive MoneyMagpie rewards scheme.
Consistency is also the key here.
Make sure you provide all the solutions based on the pain points you’ve highlighted at the beginning of your story. Also, always keep your promise.
If your audience feels dishonesty or you violated their trust, this can ruin not only your brand but for your entire relationship with your customers.
7. Leverage the Virality of Video
Having a great brand story is one thing, knowing how to tell it is another.
There’s a variety of content formats that you can choose from – blog posts, interactive infographics, podcasts, eBooks, and even memes.
However, according to a study, 85% of brands that employ a comprehensive video marketing strategy record significant success. This can only be true considering that one video is worth 1.8 million words.
That’s why creating videos should be a part of your storytelling strategy.
It is a powerful type of content that can build trust and improve consumer relationships. Not to mention, addictive.
So, if you crafted a professionally-made video, ease your mind that it will drive the best ROI.
Imagine how far you can go when you tell your brand story using videos.
Videos are also versatile to use.
Let’s take Recipefairy for example, a one-stop resource for breakfast, dinner, and dessert recipes. They use videos to highlight their latest featured recipe.
They make it irresistible to watch by including the delicious sight of the dish and a simple step-by-step guide on how to make it.
But for most companies, they use videos to teach their consumers about using their products with ease. This is commonly used by businesses that sell modern products and services.
One great example to cite here is the medical alert system video for the elderly.
This type of consumer often struggles to adapt to new technology. Therefore, it would be favorable to them if you can show an engaging way on how to use your product.
If your main goal is to get feedback in real-time, hosting webinars is the ideal video format to publish.
The webinar can be both published live and recorded.
Most online marketers use it for promotional purposes. But it is also proven to be used for creating a professional presentation – event, seminar, workshop, or online classes.
Videos are also proven effective in generating more qualified leads than cold calling or sending emails.
While it’s crucial to use a predictive phone dialer to cut the interval between answered calls to 3 seconds, using storytelling via videos can do wonders for your inbound lead generation and customer retention efforts.
The chances of going viral with an engaging video are high. Make sure to tell your brand’s story in a fun and entertaining way.
8. Tailor-fit your Brand Story based on your Chosen Channel
From #6 and #7, you finally discover the different mediums you can use to present your brand story.
You can create a compelling piece in written words, a collection of relevant images, videos, or a combination of any.
The only question is, what is the most effective medium to use for a brand story?
The answer lies in your chosen marketing channels.
Here are the different mediums you can use based on your marketing channels:
A. Text Format
Writing the story in pure text is the original medium used. It is free and convenient to use.
With word processing software or a pen and a piece of paper for old-fashioned writers, you can start outlining your ideas and goals.
This is the perfect medium to use for blogs and creating a newsletter, article, and online surveys.
Yes, you’ve read it right.
Online surveys may not have a direct relationship with your brand story. But most companies include one at the end of their storyline to gather valuable insights from their readers.
B. Live Videos
Live videos are the type of medium that is commonly used in hosting live events and discussions such as TED Talks.
This is considered one of the most influential mediums because the host’s authoritative voice and emotions can directly impact the audience.
If you’re planning to use this medium, make sure you practice a lot. Since this is live, you have no way of editing any messages you’ve said.
This is best to publish on your website and YouTube channel.
Are you spreading your brand story via podcast? If the answer is yes, then this medium is the perfect fit for you.
This type of medium originally works by recording all spoken words. But thanks to modern technologies, you can now do it live as well.
Simply create and host a podcast, or to other audio hosting providers, and you’re ready to make a wonderful impact on the world.
The digital story format is by far the most creative and interactive of all mediums.
Your emotionally resonant brand story is created with an action or humorous-style animation, skillfully crafted images, and a voiceover. Together, they will engage your audience and ensure to keep them hooked.
Make sure you equip yourself or your design team with the right tools to guarantee success.
YouTube and websites are the standard marketing channels you can publish this story medium. But due to the newest social media publishing tools, you can also add them to your LinkedIn, Instagram, and alike.
With the new digital trends in SEO and internet marketing, it’s a must for every company to adapt to them.
When it comes to presenting your brand story, you can now combine multiple mediums in one content.
Here are a few ideas you can do:
- Text, still images, and videos: This is the best medium combination for social media platforms. Before posting, make sure that your story focuses on building relationships and not sales to avoid getting blocked.
- Infographics (text and still images): Create your story in this medium for your email marketing campaign and ads. Successfully doing so will help you grow your mailing list.
- Video and Audio: This medium combination is also perfect for social media platforms, particularly TikTok and YouTube.
There you have it, the effective ways to strengthen your brand with storytelling.
As humans, we yearn for stories and will pay attention to a brand story that connects deeply with our beliefs.
That’s why you, as a content marketer, should tell real and relatable stories. Don’t invent a story because your customers, employees, and partners will see through your heart.
Tell authentic stories that will nudge your customers to consider buying your product.
What are your favorite examples of effective storytelling? Let us know in the comments below.