Social media has changed the way that brands interact with their audience. Instead of simply broadcasting marketing messages, companies can now build relationships with their customers through authentic and relevant storytelling.
Great brands tell great stories. They use storytelling as a tool — a way to connect with their customers on an emotional level and build lasting relationships. However, it involves careful strategy, planning, and execution. When done correctly, storytelling can have tremendous benefits and increase your brand’s audience engagement and loyalty. Here are some tips for effectively using storytelling as a tool in your marketing strategy:
Identifying your audience
One of the crucial first steps in effective storytelling is to identify who your audience is. This can seem like a very straightforward and simple task, but it can be easy to overlook certain groups of people if you’re not careful. If you’re able to identify your target audience — and if you’re able to effectively tell your story to them — it will help reinforce your brand in their minds, and they’ll be more likely to engage with your products and services in the future.
When you know your audience and understand the types of people and businesses they are, you can speak to them on a level that resonates with them.
For example, a real estate company would need to consider which demographics and target buyer personas exist in order to tailor the narrative of the storytelling toward their potential client’s needs.
Establish core messaging in your storytelling
While it might feel like a distraction from the goal of creating effective storytelling, it’s crucial that you establish and define your core messaging. This will be the foundation for your narrative, so make it both relevant and authentic.
The core message will be what you are communicating to your customers, potential clients, and the general public. It is the central idea that all of your storytelling will revolve around. If you’re having trouble coming up with core messaging, don’t worry — you’re not alone. It’s a task that many marketers struggle with, and it’s one that requires careful consideration and thoughtfulness to get right.
Start by asking yourself what the message is that you want your customers to walk away with. What is the point of the story? Is the story selling or explaining a product or service? And is your message aligned with all your content? You should be able to summarise the story in five to ten words. If not, then you should go back to the drawing board.
Define your purpose
Not only do you need to establish your core messaging, but you also need to make sure that your storytelling messaging is aligned with your purpose as a brand.
What value do you provide to your customers? What does your brand want to stand for?
These are all important questions to consider when establishing your purpose for the story. Too many brands today are operating under the assumption that the purpose of storytelling is just to sell a product or service. This has led to an oversaturation of products and services that leaves customers feeling exhausted and overwhelmed by marketing. You have full reign over the creative direction of your story and its end goal. With this in mind, you should decide on what type of reactions and feelings you want your audience to respond with.
Create a roadmap
If you have trouble coming up with ideas for stories, don’t worry — you’re not alone there, either. Many brands struggle with this aspect of effective storytelling, especially if they’re just starting out with the practice.
The best way to overcome this is to brainstorm a wide variety of story ideas and how they can apply to your brand and message you want to get across. When creating your story roadmap, the structure should start with an introduction and end with a call to action (CTA). Create a detailed outline using various tools such a storyboard, presentation or concept map. During this process is also when you should decide on which medium is the most appropriate for the purpose of your storytelling. It is important to consider not only the most effective medium to communicate your core message, but to find where your target audience is most likely to see your story.
Some of the most effective and widely used mediums for brand storytelling include:
Blog posts - These can be easily syndicated and reposted across multiple platforms, making them a great choice for brand storytelling.
Podcasts - A rising trend in modern marketing, podcasts can be closely aligned with a blog, and can be a great way to interact and connect with your audience.
Video - This is one of the most popular and effective ways to tell stories. It’s a great choice for brands looking to build a more personal connection with their audience.
Social Media - This is one of the most basic tools that brands can use to tell stories, but it can be one of the most effective if used correctly.
Once you have a roadmap for your stories, it’ll be easier to develop content ideas that align with your brand narrative and that are authentic to your brand’s voice.
Once you’ve identified your audience, established your core messaging, come up with a roadmap for your stories, and decided on the mediums and tools you will use to tell those stories, it’s time to get the story out there!
However, you can’t just toss out a story every now and then and expect it to have an impact on your audience. You need to regularly be developing new stories that your audience can engage and connect with. It’s one of the most effective ways to build lasting, meaningful relationships with your brand’s audience. If you do the groundwork and commit to effective brand storytelling, you’ll be rewarded with an engaged and loyal audience that will support your brand and eagerly anticipate all your future products and services.
To learn more about how RAW CREATIVE can help you develop your brand’s story, hit us up here.