Have you ever found yourself listening enthusiastically to an engaging lecturer relate facts, figures, and huge grammar to personal experiences? If yes, that is the effect of good storytelling. Join us in this article as we discuss The Magic of Storytelling: How to Tell and Sell Your Brand Through Your Story.
Have you ever noticed that, sometimes, you would much rather spend hours reading an interesting novel than a blandly educative book? If yes, that is the effect stories have on people. In addition, did you find yourself, even if just a little, more interested in this introduction because it painted a picture for you? If yes, that is the effect of good storytelling as well.
It might seem a bit hippie, for lack of a better word, but storytelling is indeed magical. It has a way of connecting dots in the human brain, assisting with assimilation, and influencing behaviors, among other things. Journalists understand this and put the most amount of effort into breaking the news as more than facts and figures but as well-written stories too. Other people in other parts of the labor market also are beginning to see it; hence, brand storytelling.
Like some other words/phrases used in marketing, “brand storytelling” is becoming more and more common with every passing day. However, its level of usage does not dwindle its relevance.
What exactly is brand storytelling?
It is a phrase that refers to connecting to your audience by pushing a narrative about your brand. It often involves using conversational selling to market yourself to potential customers.
Brands that sell the most are those that find ways to tell their stories and connect to their audience creatively. The method of storytelling has proven to be effective over and over again in advertising and marketing campaigns alike. The reason behind this is simple. People want to be able to relate to you. No one really wants to have a relationship with a brand that seems like a faraway entity. They want to know your story. Brand storytelling is how you relay those needed information to your audience and win them over.
How do you sell your brand through storytelling?
A good story creates a link between itself and its readers. Whether it is fictional or not, a well-written story appeals to emotion within its readers such that they begin to put themselves in the world of the story. That could sometimes influence their actions. As a brand owner, this could work out well for you because you would be able to persuade them to patronize you.
Unfortunately, creatively telling your story can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. You might have the concept of the story in your head, but you just can’t seem to get it down. If you happen to have that particular issue, here are a few simple tips to help you:
1. Be aware of your brand/story
It is a simple case of “know thyself.” This is the first and most important step for an obvious reason – you cannot tell what you do not know. If people are going to be able to connect with you through your words, you have to be able to tell them about you seamlessly. There can be no plot holes or inconsistencies in the sincerity of your words.
For you to understand your brand in order to tell your audience a compelling story to sell yourself, you have to ask yourself critical questions to form your plot. Who are you? What inspired you to begin? Why do you do what you do? Who do you do these things for? What drives you to continue in spite of all odds, if any? Think of as many questions as possible and answer them as well as you can. This is applicable if you are the brand owner or a hired copywriter.
When you have answered these questions, it is important that you put down your words in writing, so you do not forget.
2. Understand those you want to speak to
They are the ones who would take their time out to listen to you. They are the ones you are trying to generate engagement with by telling a compelling story. They are very important to your brand because they are the ones who are likely to interact with your brand and purchase your products. Considering their importance, it is only wise that you gather as much information about them as possible if you are to sell your brand to them through storytelling.
Find out such necessary information like who they are and what they enjoy. Also, know how they might react to you and where they are likely to be consuming your content. The more information you can get about them, the better.
3. Position yourself properly
While telling your story, you really do not want people to get the wrong idea about you. Unfortunately, many brands make this mistake and end up pushing the wrong narrative. This usually happens when brand owners do not understand the weight of words and how they can be misinterpreted to mean something other than what was intended.
So, while sending across a narrative, you must position yourself correctly. Do you want to be seen as someone who provides solutions? Creatively insert that into your story. Do you need people to perceive you as a compassionate brand who always puts customers first? Creatively put that into your story. Doing so would give you the rare luxury of controlling, or better yet, influencing how people see your brand. Achieving this could be a bit tricky, though. As such, sometimes, you might need a business or design mentor.
4. Always be authentic
There might be a temptation to make your brand an invisible, flawless entity that has never made any mistakes in the past and is incapable of flaws. However, this is not authentic, and your customers would be able to sense the falsehood from a mile away.
It is highly essential that you always sell a narrative that is both positive and authentic to your customers. That way, you would be more human and relatable to them. After all, what is a good story without a good character that the audience can easily relate to?
5. Choose a suitable format for your story
Now, selling your brand through storytelling is not just something you do at once. You do not just put out a nice documentary-like video and tell everyone all that there is to know about your brand and why they should patronize you. It comes out as a series of content sent out through different (social) media platforms. For this reason, you need to choose an appropriate format for telling your story.
You cannot merely choose a format that is the catchiest or one that is the trendiest at the time. You have to consider different factors, such as the type of brand you own. If you own a creative brand that essentially provides designs to people, you cannot tell your story with just texts only. You need images that would provide just as much information as you would need to put out.
Some of the most popular formats include infographics, articles, ebooks, videos posted across appropriate media platforms, etc. Choose whichever works best for you and use it wisely.
6. Do not forget to add your branding
Branding is an important aspect of marketing. People have purchased from brands simply because they were able to project themselves better than their competitors. It is the major reason companies like Nike sell out better than other sports/fashionable shoes that do not have strong enough branding.
As such, while telling your story, you mustn’t forget to add your branding. This includes everything from your colors to your tone. You should also be mindful of the kind of personality you project. There is a certain way you want people to see and remember your brand. Keep those little pieces of information in your story. Besides ensuring consistency, it helps to ensure that customers remember you much longer.
7. Always leave room for growth
Your brand story should never really be final. There should always be some sort of aspect or area that shows that despite all you have to offer, you are still willing to learn. You are still ready to grow and become a better version of you than you were the last time they came in contact with you. Doing so would help you impress a lasting and good image of yourself in the minds of your audience.
When you grow such that you can begin using invoicing software and can start giving out venture debt, your audience can see who you are, compared to who you used to be, and they would admire you for it.
There are only a few marketing strategies that sell you better to your target audience than a good story. It helps show them who you are and how you became that person. Now, when it comes to being creative, there is not much of a right or wrong way to do it. However, in this article, we have listed out seven tips that should help you sell your brand through storytelling.
We hope you have enjoyed reading The Magic of Storytelling: How to Tell and Sell Your Brand Through Your Story. We would love to hear from you in the the comments below.
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Also published on Medium.