- Storytelling is nowadays the best and most effective way to connect with your audience and has never failed to help brands establish themselves as relatable.
- It’s crucial to show your audience your authenticity, how genuine your brand is, and how easily people can relate to you.
- In order to master the art of connecting with your audience through storytelling, read these 4 easy steps that will help you along the way.
Storytelling is the oldest and most engaging form of communication, and when it comes to marketing, the more engaged your customers are with you and your brand, the more likely they are to give your goods or services a go.
Any successful marketing strategy today should contain a robust approach to content marketing, which is the thinking behind the content you’re putting out there. Who are you connecting to, and how?
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to bring your brand to life and amplify your content strategy. It humanises your brand, makes you relatable and authentic – all crucial elements in creating genuine and long-lasting connections with consumers.
Brand stories, or brand journeys, particularly in the digital age, are all about the user experience. Providing something that resonates with your audience is far more effective and progressive than your standard traditional advertising, which is often a one-way communication. Emotional branding is what drives the modern consumers to develop brand loyalty, as these days audiences want to know more about you and your business and what makes you tick.
The basics of storytelling
Humans have always been captivated by stories. Stories celebrate our culture, give us hope, inspire us, enthrall us, and teach us. As a brand, your stories need to be engaging and offer something of value to the audience. When creating your brand story, you must find your unique perspective and voice, and explain who you are and why that matters.
The foundation of storytelling is understanding that stories aren’t always works of fiction. Storytelling is about emotions and experiences – that is what you add to the brand narrative; that is how you add value to the message you want to deliver. You evoke emotion in your customers with the stories you tell about your business and your company journey.
What stories to tell
Deciding what stories to tell about your business can seem difficult, but ultimately it can be any moment in your business journey, as long as you can make it personal and authentic. Think back to how your company or brand was born, where your inspiration came from and what you hoped to achieve. This is the essence of your story.
Try and think about it this way: your customers are the main characters and your business is the supporting act – the trusty sidekick always on hand with the solution to the problem of how to save the day.
For example, say you donate some equipment to a local school; the story focus should be on why the equipment is needed and who benefits from it, not you and what you donated. Hone in on two relatable, compelling characters who benefit directly from the donation and concentrate on highlighting the difference it will make to their lives. Ideally, you would get the testimonial or praise line from someone outside of the company for more authenticity.
Where to tell your story
A story can be told anywhere from blogs to videos to social media posts. Each platform will have a certain type of audience, so be conscious of that and tailor your story to suit the audience you are targeting. Knowing which story to tell on which platform is crucial to getting the most out of your interactions.
Great storytelling includes listening to your audience properly to ascertain their feelings. With an understanding of their reactions and opinions, you can redraft your story to better connect with your audience.
It is important to keep listening as the story develops to gauge their reaction and thus grow your brand and evolve. This is one the benefits of the digital world we are in – you can literally see your audience’s reaction with your eyes!
The fourth act
The rules of storytelling haven’t changed much since the dawn of time. The key ingredients remain emotion, authenticity, relatability, and connections; that’s what storytelling is all about. Like all stories, the best brand stories are told in three acts: the set-up, the conflict, and the resolution. However, business stories have a fourth act – the call to action.
Without a call to action a business story is rather useless. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to inspire and encourage people to buy a product, use a service or visit a store. The call to action is the most crucial part of the storytelling process. Only with a great call to action is anything converted into a sale.
So, give your audience a reason to move beyond the story and off to wherever you want them to be, whether that’s signing up to an email or committing to buying something.
Storytelling may seem old-fashioned, but it’s actually the most contemporary form of marketing that inspires people where data and plain information fail. After all, it’s all still just people communicating with people.