The Meaningful Brands’ 2019 study found that brands are missing the opportunity to create content that connects with consumers and cuts through the clutter. 58% of content brands create is irrelevant, poor, meaningless, and fails to deliver. They found that if 77% of the brands currently active today would disappear, no one would care.
There is so much content available that it becomes overwhelming for consumers. It’s also becoming increasingly tough for marketers to connect with their target audiences.
Creating a compelling story can help show your audience why your brand is unique. It can help you make a memorable impression on their minds and hearts. Stories also help you tap into their emotions and connect with them on a human level.
This blog post looks at how you can leverage storytelling to grow your brand. However, let’s first take a closer look at what your story needs to make a memorable impression.
4 Elements of a Great Story
Some of the elements your story needs to have include:
- Emotion: Make your audience feel a certain way by appealing to their emotions.
- Establish credibility and trust: What makes you qualified to offer the product or service? Establish yourself as a credible source.
- Relatability: What is the motivation behind your brand? Identify a problem people relate to and offer a unique solution. Use the story to show your company’s human side.
- Keep it simple: Have a simple and well-explained beginning, middle, and end. Include as much information as you can while helping the audience understand your story. For example, you can show the problem identified, the solution provided, and how the company achieved success. Make sure you show that you’re still using the solution.
For example, Krochet Kids is a nonprofit that produces crocheted clothes and accessories. They have mastered storytelling, and you can get glimpses of it throughout their website and social channels.
They show their uniqueness and how they achieved success. Krochet Kids also encourages their consumers to become a part of their story of employment and empowerment.
Now that you know what to include in your story, let’s take a look at how you can tell a story that will help grow your brand.
How to Use Storytelling to Grow Your Brand
The following are six of the best ways to use storytelling to grow your brand:
- Understand Your Target Audience
- Outline the Purpose of Your Brand Story
- Develop Characters
- Leverage Viral Marketing
- Leverage User-Generated Content
- Distribute Your Stories on Multiple Channels
1. Understand Your Target Audience
The ability to adopt a targeted approach for your storytelling will help you harness the full power of your marketing. Start by defining who your target audience is by segmenting them into personas.
What are their ages, income levels, locations, challenges, and interests?
Conduct a thorough analysis of your current customers and those of your competitors. To do so, you can use social listening tools to gather data on brand mentions. Then use them to find out what type of content your audience prefers, and which influencers would be a good fit for your campaign.
Google Analytics can also help you find out more about who your website visitors are, their locations, demographics, preferred landing pages, and devices used.
Once you have clearly defined and understood your target audience, it becomes easier to tell the right story to the right audience at the right time.
2. Outline the Purpose of Your Brand Story
Describe what your business is about, your values, and what makes you unique. Understand what sets your product apart and then use it to build your story.
Your story should show your audience that you understand their situation and have a better solution for them. Try to shift the context from why your product is a nice-to-have to a must-have. The story should also show the positive outcomes of using your product, the urgency (why they should have it), and the rewards they will get.
Remember that the consumer may not care much about the product, but they do care about how it will help them solve a problem. However, while writing your brand story, make sure you don’t overwhelm consumers with too many details. Instead, provide real information on how the product will add value to their lives.
3. Develop Characters
Your story should have a villain, a hero, drama, or odds you or your consumers overcome. Develop a character your audience can relate to or cheer. It should be someone going through the same challenges they go through daily.
For example, the Peloton Bike commercial told the story of a working mom and all the struggles she faces daily. But it goes on to show that despite all this, she found time to work out on her in-home Peloton Bike.
Peloton Bike TV Commercial Better Is In Us
The story empowers the audience to be a better version of themselves, whether on or off the bike. The story was inspired by the life of one of their customers.
4. Leverage Viral Marketing
Viral content is content that spreads fast on the internet. It gets everyone talking and can help your brand reach new heights. For your story to go viral, it needs to evoke laughter, awe, or another emotion. It should also educate, inform, or entertain your audience.
It’s hard to guarantee that your content will go viral. But you can tap into the factors that drive viral content to generate infectious interactions with your story. To do so, you can use tools such as Cortex to find out what kind of content they like.
This data-driven platform helps you identify videos, colors, and images that would resonate with your audience. Tools like Cortex help you fine-tune your storytelling by maximizing your content’s potential to go viral.
In 2018, Amazon’s Superbowl Alexa ad was the most viewed ad on YouTube. The Ad garnered over 1.5 billion media impressions and got more than a million interactions. Amazon also won the USA Today Ad Meter with a 7.18 rating. The Ad Meter rates the best Superbowl ads based on public opinion.
Alexa Loses Her Voice – Amazon Super Bowl LII Commercial
Amazon tailored its content to relate to its intended audience and made it shareable. They also chose the most commonly asked questions on the ad on topics like food, calling, music, and directions. The ad resonated with millions of potential consumers and current users.
5. Leverage User-Generated Content
You can use customer-generated content to foster emotional investment in your brand. By using their content, you allow them to contribute to your brand-building efforts. This can make them feel valued by your business. They will feel that their opinions matter, and this will lead them to trust your business more.
Using their content also frees up your content team’s time and resources to work on other content. Besides, you’ll be able to give a fresh look to your social media profiles through this content.
A good example is GoPro. They have mastered the art of using user-generated content on their social profiles. The majority of their content is from users of GoPro cameras.
6. Distribute Your Stories on Multiple Channels
Once you create a compelling story, distribute it across various channels for maximum impact. GlobalWebIndex found that 6 in 10 internet users stay constantly connected online. They also found that the average social media user has a presence on eight platforms today.
Combine your social media, email, SEO, and offline activities into one cross-channel marketing campaign to ensure that your story gets to the right audience. You can even use events and TV ads to tell your story offline.
You should also encourage your audience to share their experiences with your brand on social media. For this, you can create and share a designated hashtag with them.
You can also use social media management and automation tools to keep up with all of your social media marketing campaigns. Use them to grow your brand and engage your audience online. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer can help you schedule your posts on different platforms, organize your content, and track your engagement across posts.
Great storytelling will separate you from the pack. It’ll help you deliver authentic and engaging stories that give consumers a reason to care about your brand.
With a good story, you cement your brand perception among your target audience and improve your brand trust. You go beyond your products to create a truly relatable space for your consumers. The stories help you foster stronger relationships that last long and help grow your business.
Are there other ways through which you leverage storytelling to grow your brand? Let us know in the comments.