Think about your brand for a second. How would you describe it? What makes it unique and memorable?
What about your brand equity? How committed and loyal are your customers in such a saturated market?
A new product or business is created every single day. But let’s face it. There is only a handful of brands we can actually recall in most product and service categories. So how can you make sure people think of you when they are ready to make a purchase?
That’s where storytelling comes in. Just like any book or movie, the goal of a story is to draw in and hold the attention of viewers.
With product and service markets becoming more saturated than ever, developing deeper personal connections with consumers is a critical part of your inbound marketing strategy. Here is how you can use storytelling to tell the story of your brand.
Start with a “Why”
The famous motivational speaker and organizational consultant, Simon Sinek, once said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” And indeed, consumers don’t care what the product is, as long as it serve its purpose and solves their aching problem or need.
Source: Smart Insights
As a matter of fact, everything in business starts with a “why”. Why do you do what you do? Why do you need to achieve a goal? Why did you start this business?
While profit may be the underlying goal for any brand or organization, there has to be a higher purpose for why you began the journey, whether it’s a startup or a full-service consulting agency.
Maybe your competitors couldn’t offer the same level of service and quality, or their product variety was limited, and you felt you can do it better and make a greater impact.
Maybe there was a need in the market and you wanted to bring a solution to make people’s lives easier.
Either way, you’re here to solve a problem, stand out from the crowd, and, yes, deliver value.
But what is the secret to making people believe and trust you?
Through telling your story. Here’s why.
How Storytelling Benefits Your Brand
Storytelling has been around for thousands of years, ever since our ancestors started sketching drawings in caves to communicate. It is in human nature to share their experiences and listen to those of others.
And nothing has changed since then. According to OneSpot, 92% of consumers want brands to make ads that feel like a story.
But what does a story look like?
A story in the business world can mean anything from a product video to a blog post, e-book, and conversations on your social media channels. It can also be be the description you write in your “About Us” page where you tell everyone your history, what your values are, what your mission is and what your brand is all about.
The difference between a simple depiction of a situation or features of a product and storytelling is that stories are meant to evoke emotions. Similarly to a fairytale, brand stories have the main character faced with a problem who then uses your product or service as a way to solve it.
Source: Cooler Insights
Stories develop deeper connections with your audience. Why? Because instead of telling them your product is the best, through a story, you can empathize with people and their needs, motivate them, or show them the way out a complicated situation.
Let’s look at Nike’s brand storytelling for a moment. The reason why we mention it as an example so often is because Nike truly excels at their marketing efforts.
Nike’s most recent marketing campaign dedicated to the International Women’s Day, pulled over 30 million views within the first month of its release. Why? Because it directly addressed the struggle of a large part of their client base. The campaign wasn’t just about selling Nike gear, but was meant to inspire people and make them believe in themselves despite their circumstances or background.
That’s where we reach the second major benefit of telling stories: storytelling moves people to take action.
After you have connected with your audience by continuously addressing their painpoints through valuable knowledge, they will begin to view you as someone they can trust and turn to for help. When they are ready, they will be more likely to take the step to choose you to help them solve their problem.
The rise of Instagram stories has allowed companies to share their stories seamlessly. By inserting direct links to your store into the story photo or ad, you can cut the conversion path shorter and make it a lot easier for consumers to reach the final stage of interaction.
Besides, Instagram by nature is the most engaging social media channel today, which brings out brands’ more human side and gives them personality. This is especially true when you’re working with influencers who become the face of your brand and tell yet another, highly personal story through their lens of how your product or service can save the day.
Finally, storytelling provides you with market insights. The other side of stories is… you guessed it, listening. After developing a deep connection with your audience, they are more likely to share their experience, which in turn gives you insight on what people are saying about your brand, product category, or overall the society. This will help you greatly in improving your game in the business.
Overall, storytelling is a powerful tool in building both brand awareness and brand loyalty by creating that authentic connection and relationship with your audience on a daily basis.
It is important to remember, however, that your marketing strategy does not stop with content creation and storytelling. Communication of your brand’s values should be interwoven into the actions of all the departments. Only then can we really speak about a well-written and memorable story.
by Agnese Zimele,
Blogger and Marketing Assistant