4 Great Ways to Harness the Power of Storytelling
Does your brand have a story? There are few things better than a great movie or a captivating book. But one thing all the best entertainment has in common is a very simple storyline. And this just happens to be one of the most important secrets to seeing growth in your business!
In today’s world of instant information and constant connection, your business or brand can’t afford to be a faceless, story-less entity. But don’t fear! By creating a simple narrative around your brand, you can create unique copy and content for your social media, website, and even video platforms that propel your business.
Storytelling is a proven technique that allows your audience to see how they can benefit from your product or service without you blatantly selling to them.
It’s the ultimate persuasion tool because it grabs your audiences’ attention and takes them on a journey where THEY are the hero! Marketing tactics are everywhere we look, and the easiest way to cut through the noise and stand out in a crowded marketplace is with a story. A story will speak to the emotional part of your consumer’s brain. And it offers an easy-to-follow path that you can use every time you speak to your audience.
So what are the key components of using storytelling in your brand? Effective brand storytelling is always customer-centric, authentic, persuasive, and solution-based.
1. Look beyond your brand and to your customers.
The most important thing to remember is that the hero of your story should always be the customer – NOT your brand. Speak directly to your audience and what their struggles and goals are. Help them to realize what they’re ultimately looking for, and how your solution could help. When you speak to your customer’s current situation, problems, and desires, it will be easier to build a foundation of trust and loyalty with them. Storytelling in this way builds community, and community helps you to create lifelong fans. An example of someone who does this well is author and podcaster, Emily P. Freeman.
2. Be authentic!
Your ability to speak transparently to your audience can make or break your brand! Be conscious of consistently showing humanity through each your brand channels. Doing this places you in a unique position that allows your ideal customer to say, “Me too!” An emotional connection like this can take you beyond constantly having to convince your ideal audience of why they should care about what you do. Instead, they just might begin to champion your cause along with you! Someone who does this really well in the online space is author and speaker Rebekah Lyons.
3. Persuade without being manipulative.
If you want to persuade others to invest in your brand without manipulation, stories will do a whole lot of the work for you! As you develop the framework of your brand’s story, be sure that it shows how your book, product, or workshop will support your ideal customer’s goals. As you decide how you’ll persuade your audience, remember that facts tell, but stories sell! Buying decisions are almost always emotionally charged. So how can you speak to the emotions of those you serve? Someone to watch who has story-based persuasion down is podcaster and author, Jo Saxton.
4. Offer your brand promise as the resolution/solution to their story.
Your story and brand promise are what will set you apart from the competition. So focus on making that promise memorable and effective. Pull out a notebook and write down the pain points and goals of your target audience. Once those are established, it’s your brand’s job to show them how what you offer can help them live a life they love. How would they talk about their pain points? Use that verbiage in your storytelling. The thoughts and words of your ideal customers sprinkled throughout your marketing will always be more powerful than what you say yourself. We love to watch Jen Hatmaker, who does a great job of putting this tactic into action.
What brands or public figures have you seen use storytelling well? And how can you start conversations and build engagement around your brand story? By thinking through these questions, you can build a tribe of loyal consumers who love your brand story and will stick with you for years to come.