28 Sep The importance of Brand Storytelling since Social Media arrived
Brand storytelling isn’t a new concept, but with the explosive growth of social media and content marketing, the opportunities to tell stories as part of your brand marketing initiatives has become a strategic priority.
Storytelling focuses on increasing consumer emotional involvement in the brand, differentiate you from your competitors, inspiring your customers and increasing loyalty. This is far easier and more important through social media because you can hold your customers attention over a long period of time (months and years) and not just a 30 second TV ad in between a film when you have budget available.
Due to the opportunity of communicating with your target audience in a way that’s more like a conversation rather than a sales pitch, you are able to get across the real reason as to WHY you do what you do. Simon Sinek explains why this is so important.
Geoff Mead, founder of Narrative Leadership Associates, points out in his book ‘Telling the Story – the heart and soul of successful leadership’, a company’s story must be authentic and not just a sales pitch. It must be based in reality, even if you then embellish it with a bit of creativity.
These secrets include a mix of branding fundamentals and fiction writing basics. Together, they can help you craft compelling brand stories for your own content marketing and integrated marketing efforts.
1. Be consistent and true to the brand
It’s easy to make a story up to make the business sound amazing but if it’s not true, its hard to keep consistent and make people believe. Yes, you’re crafting “stories,” but they need to be based upon reality and stand the test of time.
Brand stories therefore must follow three important rules: consistency, persistence, and restraint. Take McDonalds for example, it doesn’t matter which store or advert in any country you will get the same message and avoid any confusion.
It would be easy to change your brand message because you’ve seen a competitor create a cool websites or social media campaign but stay true to your brand.
Be creative but don’t stray too far from your brand promise. Confusion is the number one brand killer.
2. Allow for your brands personality to influence the storytelling
Remember the simple fact, people do business with people they like. Brand stories should be told with the brand persona and the writer’s personality at center stage. Boring stories won’t attract and retain readers, but stories brimming with personality can. Brand stories are not marketing materials. They are not ads, and they are not sales pitches.
3. Use characters your audience will connect with
Brand storytelling requires characters your audience will root for. That doesn’t mean you’re required to create fictional characters or brand mascots to tell your stories. While characters like the PG tips Monkey can make the nation fond of your brand, you don’t need to create a fictional mascot to tell brand stories.
Instead you can create effective characters from your buyer personas or stories from your employee perspectives. Red bull are the experts in getting across the brand story by creating huge amounts of cool content using their buyer persona heroes as well as regular people, check out their Youtube channel.
The important thing is to create characters that enable your audience to become emotionally connected to them to such an extent that the audience wants to finish the story.
4. Leave them wanting more
One way of making your brand stories page turners is by focusing on the use of perpetual marketing, where one piece feeds on to the next. There are obvious ways of doing this, such as “Watch This Space” hooks on your website or Facebook Page, or teasers via Facebook, email, or Pinterest. OXO tried to use the perpetual marketing back in the 80’s with their TV ad campaigns, effectively creating a TV series over many years.
The ultimate goal is to surround your consumers with well crafted brand experiences that create an emotional connection. Give them various ways to enjoy your brand story, and you’ll find yourself moving closer to achieving the ultimate brand goal.