People have been using stories for centuries in all cultures and walks of life to convey a message, a lesson or impart knowledge because it has proven to be the best tool for retention and understanding. From childhood to adulthood, something about stories captivates us, be it in the form of books, articles, audios, movies, or shows. This is probably why businesses also use stories in one way or another. How do we leverage people’s love for stories to promote our brand’s story? What outcome can we expect? What are the benefits of this over traditional marketing strategies?
Storytelling plays a vital role in any content marketing strategy. However, not just any script will click with your audience. Your story must be about the people- the customer is your protagonist and you need to tell them what they like to hear.
Why do we need stories for marketing?
The idea behind using this technique is the understanding of how compelling a well-structured narrative can be. People get engaged in the story which deepens their thought process, focus and retention capacity.
- The human mind retains content that has a definite flow in the form of a story better than straight data or statistics.
- Our brain makes little distinction between our memories and the stories we hear which makes it a personal affair.
- It has been proven that positive emotions towards a brand have a huge impact on customer retention and loyalty.
- The aforementioned positive emotions and likeability are directly proportional to the chances of making a sale.
I’m sure at least the last one caught your attention and you’re convinced about the power of storytelling so let’s move onto to the ‘how’.
Creating a brand story is the first step in the content marketing strategy.
So how is it done?
Start with the basics- the reason behind the existence of your brand. This doesn’t only involve the people and information regarding your brand but also tells people why they need your brand and how it can benefit them.
The second is the brand’s values and vision. Before you go to this step, you must have a clear idea about the brand’s core message, its values, beliefs, and mission. This aspect helps people understand what your brand stands for and how it is different from its competitors, which could lead to a considerable competitive edge in the market.
Your brand’s history and its people. Embed the history of your brand into the story to humanize the brand and let people know how the brand came into existence- why and how it is what it is now. The people in your story should be an embodiment of the values of the brand and these characters must be consistent in all the stories you tell.
Here are some points to be kept in mind while creating a brand story:
- Convey your brand’s personality through your story- Instead of simply selling your products or services, convey your brand’s personality to your audience, let your brand’s voice come out loud and clear for people to hear, understand and connect.
- Strike the emotional chord with your audience through your story. Create a story combining factual and creative elements that makes it not only interesting but also evokes feelings among the mass. Most importantly, be honest, consistent and reliable- never tell fake stories because you can be sure that people will see right through them.
- Centre your story around your target audience. Although your story is about your brand, it needs to cater to the likes of your target audience and ensure that the content is share-worthy. Often user-generated stories have a greater impact on people than one from the firm’s end as this gives first-hand information from the consumer’s end on the brand and its products. This can prove to be a huge selling point for the brand.
- Focus on solutions you can offer your target audience. Rather than rambling about the benefits of your product/service, focus on a user-oriented story where you pick real problems faced (or that could probably be faced) by people and how your product can solve that problem. This strategy can have better results in your sales than the former.
To sum up, a compelling story builds trust among your audience or consumers, humanizes the brand, allows people to connect with it and ultimately leads to a great brand image and of course, makes you a better seller.
How successfully you weave this story into your content marketing strategy decides its success and impact on your audience.