“Content strategy.” “Influencer marketing.” “Artificial intelligence.” If you are a marketer (or even if you’re not), you probably have heard all these buzzwords – and more – countless times in meetings, newsletters, or on social media.
So when it comes to brand storytelling, it seems like just another phrase in the long list of things that we should be doing to make the most of our marketing strategy. But, storytelling is much more involved than it may seem.
This article will define what a brand story is, detail the importance of brand storytelling, and explain how to craft your organization’s story.
What is Brand Storytelling?
Adjacent to content marketing, your brand story is the foundation for your marketing strategy. Where content marketing typically focuses on the creation process, brand storytelling is useful across all channels and types of marketing.
Your brand story encompasses the origin story of your organization, your values, purpose, and future direction.
It also incorporates the customer journey into the narrative, using your target audience as an integral part of the brand.
Your brand story uses each of those elements to create a fluid narrative about your brand, your customers, and the relationship between the two.
Why a Brand Story?
Though content marketing is an incredibly important piece of your digital marketing toolkit, your brand story can help you level up and take it one step further. Numbers and analytics might be a great way to drive a sale home, but communicating a more complete message builds a stronger bond between your brand and your target audience.
Providing your audience with relevant and consistent information about your brand builds a sense of authenticity for your brand. As your brand grows and develops, it can also help to build a sense of trust with your audience.
Engaging with your audience through storytelling brings out emotions that traditional marketing tactics may not. Creating positive emotional associations with your brand makes your target audience more likely to remember you in the future and have a larger sense of brand loyalty.
An added bonus? Your brand story’s success is measurable! SEO efforts can be improved by brand storytelling initiatives on your web platform.
Brand Storytelling Basics
Once you have established the need for a brand story, you can start by gathering some of the essential information to build your story.
A brand story creates a meaningful connection between your target audience and a series of plot points surrounding your brand. Built from your organization’s history and values, your brand story embodies the deeper meaning and purpose of your organization.
It’s all about building bridges between what your customers need and what you can provide. Reinforcing your brand’s role in your customers’ lives is as simple as showcasing how you are unique.
Aside from the importance of the characters, plot, and content of the story, there are a few components that are crucial to consider. It should be relatable to your target audience without feeling like a sales pitch. It should also provoke relevant emotion and encourage action in line with your business goals.
As you would with any new campaign, measure your KPIs and adjust accordingly. But, be aware that it takes time for measurable change to appear. Components of your brand story can (and should!) be incorporated into multiple different marketing campaigns once you have found what works best for you.
Crafting Your Narrative
Now that you have a better understanding of your brand’s story, reliant on the foundational values and history of your brand, you can start to write your story. Understanding the meaning behind your organization will help you to successfully build a story true to your brand. The following steps can help you to create a narrative that works for you.
- Build your brand persona. By using a tool like Carl Jung’s archetype framework or by coming up with something new, decide what persona your brand takes on and why. Is your persona based on specific values? Or does it take a more practical approach to solving a problem?
- Define your why. What is your purpose? How does your brand’s history reflect that? What is the story behind your product or service? Asking these questions helps to fill in the gaps of your brand story.
- Start writing! Try to keep it no longer than 300 words, and be intentional as you write and edit. Choose words that most align with your values and purpose without trying to overpower the story itself.
- Fill in the blanks. If you chose to use a spokesperson or character to illustrate your brand story, are they relatable to your audience? Make sure that they can fill the same shoes as your target audience. Can your story clearly illustrate how you provided a solution to their problem? Your organization is unique, so showcase how you can deliver a unique solution.
- Finalize your story. Do final edits and make sure that the draft is in the best shape before sharing your brand story.
Sharing Your Story
Once you have written your brand story, it is time to decide how to share it with the world. Thanks to the uprise of digital technology, the options are endless. At the top of digital trends right now is short-form video– which is a great way to share your brand story and connect with potential customers.
Combining your social media strategy with your brand story is a great way to employ digital storytelling. But, there are lots of other options for integrating your brand story. Consider utilizing blog posts and intentional design to reflect your brand story across all of your platforms.
Your brand story is so much more than just your brand. Your history, purpose, and direction can all influence the way you are perceived by your customers. Incorporating your brand story into the rest of your marketing materials can improve your brand image, increase customer retention, and create brand loyalty.
As an experiential marketing agency, we are all about incorporating your organization’s brand story into every aspect of your business. If you need help or don’t know where to start to tell your brand story, contact MARQUEE by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 330.234.9396!