Why Strategic Storytelling Increases Brand Awareness
Strategic storytelling may be a tool in your branding that you’ve overlooked. Here’s why you should be sharing your story with your customers.Everyone loves a good story. Any time you add a human touch to something, you draw people in.
People want to care about something.
They want to feel invested.
Strategic storytelling is an amazing way to create a sincere connection between your customer and your brand. It is a combination of basic branding practices, with a touch of fictional writing.
Some key things to remember when utilizing storytelling for brand marketing are honesty, relatability, and consistency.
Decent writing doesn’t hurt either.
There are many ways strategic storytelling can increase your brand awareness. Let’s take a look at how you can make this marketing tool work for you.
Don’t Try Too Hard
Strategic storytelling should be done in an engaging, interactive way. Your goal is to draw people in, not push them away with an obvious sales approach. Strategic storytelling doesn’t need a pitch, as much as it needs a storyline.
Sometimes the best story is the truth.
People love to hear how a business got started. Especially if it means a couple of normal, everyday people (just like your customers) with a vision. Down on their luck, but never gave up. Capitalized on an opportunity and developed a multi-million dollar business from nothing!
We tend to root for the underdog, and this is a prime example. You can pull at people’s heartstrings without hitting them over the head with it. Be careful, consumers can tell the difference.
And you don’t need to create an elaborate, emotional story. Simply how and why you started is a great jumping off point.
Make it Personal
Storytelling that lacks emotion won’t get you very far. Creating an emotional connection with your audience opens doors for other connections to be made.
View this emotional connection with your audience as a bridge. Once you’ve built that bridge, it allows for ideas, facts and key messages to get across.
Your story should also have a unique voice. This is where those writing skills come in handy.
No Story is Too Small
Don’t be fooled into thinking you either don’t have a story to tell or that your story isn’t important enough. It is.
It’s important to remember that your customer starts out with a problem before seeking out a solution. And here’s where you come in.
The answer they’ve been looking for.
This is an ideal opportunity for you to use strategic storytelling. Focus on your consumer’s problem and connect to it, using a humanistic approach.
What do you want your readers to feel? What actions do you want them to take? All of these elements will help you craft your story and increase brand awareness.
Character is Key
Creating a relatable character with your strategic storytelling is key. If your audience sees that you’ve bettered the character’s life, they can imagine the same happening for themselves.
Not every brand needs a character like the Aflac duck or Geico’s gecko. Though these little guys sure are cute and entertaining!
There are several ways you can create a character your consumer is emotionally invested in. You can use a previous customer’s testimonial, tell a third-person story or even use yourself!
Strategic Storytelling is Still a Story
Though strategic storytelling is done in the hopes of creating brand awareness, it still needs to have all the components of a good story.
This means a beginning, middle, and end.
The beginning of your story is where you establish yourself. You introduce your character and the setting. The middle needs to have your character encountering a problem before they discover the solution to the problem – your brand!
Once you’ve created all the necessary elements of a good story, your readers should follow your character from beginning to end. Which is exactly where you want them to be.
Stories don’t always have a definitive ending either. Leave the future open to curiosity and build anticipation.
A Story of Hope
Done right, strategic storytelling leaves the reader with hope for the future. You aren’t just providing them with a solution to their current problem, but a positive outlook of what’s to come.
Strategic storytelling connects people in profound ways. If your audience feels they are on this journey together with you, they feel optimistic about what’s to come.
Leave Them Wanting More
Strategic storytelling should leave your readers wanting more. Once your consumer is invested in your brand, you’re in a great position.
From here, you need to create teasers that keep your audience coming back for more. This can be done using perpetual marketing.
It’s important to use multiple forms of media to tell your story. Then you can reach a wide variety of consumers on many levels.
Videos are another great tool. Videos help you show customers your story rather than just tell them. Your audience is paying attention to the story vs. the product, while subconsciously being drawn to the product.
Consider Potential Obstacles
Not everyone will instantly jump on your brand’s bandwagon because you tell a good story. The best way to combat possible pitfalls in your strategic storytelling is to plan for opposition before you encounter it.
Why might my audience disagree with what I’m saying?
What might stop them from taking the action I suggest?
How can I address these objections in my strategic storytelling?
Kindra Hall, a national campaign storyteller and former board member of the National Storytelling Network, says that because she is a public speaker and her business is branding herself, she considers what immediate objections her audience might have to her, personally.
Hall opens with a childhood memory.
“If I tell a story of when I was younger, every person in that room goes back to when they were younger. When we’re younger, we’re all a little awkward. We’re all trying to find our way. So, if I can introduce them to that person, they like me more for the person standing in front of them.”
Strategic storytelling may be a non-traditional way of increasing brand awareness, but it is extremely effective. Storytelling stands out from traditional marketing campaigns.
Your brand story is a powerful marketing tool you need to be using. There are marketing companies and programs designed to help you develop your brand story.
If you’re not sure where to begin, we’re a great place to start!