The Benefits of Storytelling for Your Brand
One thing that many business owners and newcomers to social media have a difficult time grasping is the importance of a powerful story behind your brand. This isn’t just flouncy language and big words; it’s finding a legitimate, interesting and engaging way to put a personal spin on your brand’s conception, creation and journey to what your customers know it as today. Bringing your brand to the masses through a relatable and well-written story is one of the quickest avenues to capturing customer and fan loyalty.
The importance of gaining an emotional foothold with your customer base cannot be underestimated in the age of social media; so much of what people do on the internet is directly tied to their emotions, their states of mind and their current hobbies. If you find your brand struggling to provide a relatable and personalized story for your customers, take a look at our list of tips below.
1. Understand the Art of Fiction Writing
According to Susan Gunelius at Forbes, the art of being able to effectively write your brand’s story, with the flair of a fiction writer, is a skill that, sadly, few marketers possess. Creativity and fresh language, as well as personal style, are all vital parts of creating a brand story that has an impact and reverberates among your followers and customers in an individualized manner. In the world of social media, your story needs to have its own flavor, and without placing importance on the human art of good writing, your brand’s story might not translate the way you want it to.
2. Know Your Story
John Steinbeck once said, “It seemed to be necessary for the writer to know what he wanted to say, in short, what he was talking about. As an exercise we were to try reducing the meat of our story to one sentence, for only then could we know it well enough to enlarge it to three- or six- or ten-thousand words.”
Genuine and thorough knowledge of your brand’s story should be so essential to you that the only real effort in crafting a good story is adding the details. Understand your brand’s history, analyze its journey, and know its aims. When you sit down to write everything you know, the extras will come naturally and, at the heart of it all, you’ll still have a perfectly true and human account of how everything began and how it became the brand your customers know.
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3. Create Characters
Every relatable story must have characters that your audience will want to root for, will identify with and thus become attached to. Gaining your audience’s personal investment via brand storytelling does not necessitate the creation of fictional characters or mascots, according to Gunelius, but it does require that you find the rich characters in your brand’s story and bring them to life, so that your customers can see them, understand them and relate to them.
4. Create Tension
Every great story, no matter how short, possesses some degree of tension, some kind of struggle on the part of a character to gain something in spite of opposition. Again, the art of creating tension in your brand’s story does not involve fictionalizing or fabricating events. You must develop an eye and a sensitivity to each facet and important detail of your brand’s history and be able to extract the tension, the struggle and the triumph therein.
5. Give Your Customers the Room to Interpret
The power of the internet is that it allows customers the power to feel, interpret, think and react to the brands they like in their own ways. Allow some room in your brand’s story for personal interpretation; stray from moral-teaching or explaining the tension to your audience in favor of allowing them room to forge their own opinion and thus determine the ways they would like to interact with your brand. Respect for your audience’s powers of perception will go a long way when it comes to solidifying your brand among their memories.
With social media and online interaction increasing among our audiences and customers every day, we must find fresh and interesting ways to keep our brands relevant. Seeing your brand as an individual with its own rich, evocative story is the first step to reaching your customers on a personal and long-lasting level.
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