Storytelling Techniques: Top Marketing Tips
Storytelling is the future of your business, and it’s time to go back to the beginning. Here are the best business storytelling techniques to use.
You’re at your wits end with your content marketing. You know you need a great brand story to stand out, but you’re sick and tired of wasting your time on storytelling techniques that don’t work.
Good! Because that’s all about to change. Today, you are going to become a true storyteller.
Many entrepreneurs struggle with storytelling. A strong brand story inspires name recognition, connection, customer loyalty, and marketing, so it’s kind of a big deal.
But you have everything it takes to craft an effective brand story.
In fact, stories can turn unknown brands into serious industry players. Just look at Warby Parker, GoPro, or TOMS shoes: three small brands that exploded onto the scene with impactful brand stories.
So yes, your brand story matters, but it’s also your chance to communicate your purpose, journey, and contributions, so the first step to crafting brilliant stories is to have fun!
That’s right. Storytelling is a creative process, but it’s not exclusive. Even the most ardent self-critics can surprise themselves with stellar storytelling skills.
Let’s walk through four storytelling steps you need to know.
Storytelling Techniques Step #1: Get to Know Your Company
So what’s the first step to creating stories that stick?
You devoted a lot of time to building your company, so it’s understandable that branding identity can get lost in the shuffle.
So let’s get reacquainted with your business.
First, ask yourself the following questions:
- What inspired me to create my company?
- What was my journey like?
- What do I believe in?
- What is my company culture like?
- What makes my company stand out from others in my industry.
- What is my future vision for my company?
Now those questions should get the gears turning. Did anything stand out? Did you discover a new angle?
The more questions you ask, the more storytelling material you have to work with.
Moreover, according to studies, brainstorming online is even more effective than in-person brainstorming by 50%! So take advantage of all the digital tools available to you.
Storytelling Techniques Step #2: Research Your Target Audience
Now that you’ve nailed down what your business is all about, how well do you know your target audience?
If your brand story isn’t appropriate for your audience, how can they connect with it?
That’s why the next step is nailing down what your audience believes and behaves.
So how do we do that?
You guess it: ask questions.
What you want to do is build a customer profile, so let’s ask the following:
- What is the target age range of your customer?
- What guides your customer’s purchasing decisions?
- What causes are important to your customer?
- What turns your target customer off?
- What problems does your customer deal with?
- What does your customer aspire to be?
A strong example to look to is the popular glasses brand, Warby Parker.
Warby Parker focused its brand story on solving problems for their target customers. The company targeted three key concerns of their customer profile:
- Affordability: You’re a 20-something barista in NYC, and just lost your prescription glasses. You don’t just want an affordable replacement, you need an affordable replacement.
- Quality: You don’t want to trade in style for affordability. You want a selection that’s inexpensive and stylish.
- Easy accessibility: You know your style, prescription, and budget. You’re done wasting time making appointments, visiting multiple stores, and still not finding what you want. You want a large selection and shopping online is just easier and faster for you.
Do you see a story taking shape?
Brand stories don’t have to be complicated. Warby Parker’s brand story is simple, but it resonates with its target customer.
Storytelling Techniques Step #3: Nail Down Your Message
Now that you have a better understanding of your company brand and customer profile, you need to craft a strong message to communicate.
This will help you effectively communicate your brand story across multiple media channels.
First, try to express the purpose of your company in one sentence. After some refinement, this will serve as your company’s tagline.
Your tagline, or slogan, should check the following boxes:
- Promote the benefits of your company.
- Make it memorable.
- Invoke a positive feeling.
- Trigger a desire to take action.
Let’s take a look at Apple and their tagline, “Think Different.”
It doesn’t get much simpler than “Think Different”, but this deceptively simple slogan perfectly encapsulates what Apple is all about.
Innovation is the focus of Apple’s brand story, and “think different” represents where Apple is currently at and where it aspires to be.
Let’s look at how Apple’s message hits the four requirements of a great story tagline:
- Customers can benefit from Apple’s innovation, and be first in line to receive exciting and different products they can’t find anywhere else.
- The slogan is memorable because it’s short, direct, and speaks to innovation and the desire to be different.
- It’s a positive message. It says it’s okay to be different, and you can be a part of a whole community that thinks different too.
- It dares customers to take action to be different.
Once you hone in on a strong tagline, you’ll find it much easier to craft stories to share with your customers.
Storytelling Techniques Step #4: Communicate Your Stories
Let’s run down what you have so far:
- Your company’s purpose nailed down.
- A strong customer profile.
- A memorable message that defines your company.
Now, you’re ready to craft a content strategy to tell your story.
So what types of content types do customers love the most?
If consumers only hear your story, you’ll be lucky if they retain just 10% of it, but if you communicate your story in a visual way, consumers can remember up to 65% of your story three days later.
This is where the fun really begins. Let’s explore how the following content examples can express your brand story.
- Images: Sprinkle your blog posts with compelling images that communicate your company’s purpose. For example, if your tech company is involved with STEM youth programs, feature a group company photo wearing program t-shirts.
- Videos: Use videos to document behind-the-scenes action, like product development, conferences, charitable partnerships, tutorials, and more. You can also create sleek online commercials with your tagline.
- Infographics: Color visuals increase content engagement by 80%. Use statistics-packed infographics to communicate why our company is relevant to your target customer’s life.
These ideas are just the beginning.
With a great brand story in tow, marketing possibilities are endless.
First things first: discover what makes your company stand out, learn what your customer is all about, fine tune your messaging, and use visual content to communicate your story.
Before you know it, you’ll be a storytelling machine!