Updated: May 30
Tell your brand story using these four essential components.
A survey conducted by SEMrush found that 77% of the businesses that responded said they have a content marketing strategy. While 39% rated it as average, only 9% considered their business's content marketing strategy above average.
Storytelling can provide a map to align content and strategy that increases audience engagement and brand recognition.
A Great Brand Story Can Elevate Your Marketing Strategy
Your audience is like a protagonist in a movie. They're searching for answers. While they might not literally be fighting a bad guy, they need information, products, and services that can help them overcome a problem.
Storytelling and engaging narratives evoke empathy and make your brand memorable. Likewise, using a storytelling content strategy works for blog posts and web pages as well as YouTube videos. By the same token, a great brand story can connect you with your audience across platforms.
"When we position our customer as the hero and ourselves as the guide, we will be recognized as a trusted resource to help them overcome their challenges." ― Donald Miller, Building a StoryBrand
Read Up: Building a Story Brand
One of the books I recommend for aspiring content writers is Donald Miller's Building a Story Brand. Miller explores age-old storytelling techniques that work to make content more engaging.
Your brand story can capture your audience's imagination. You can take them on a journey where they discover solutions and become the hero.
With this in mind, create informative blog posts, a guide, infographics, and how-to videos. Truthfully, it's the combination of words and visuals across platforms that tell your story and keep your audience engaged.
Use your website, blog, industry sites, and social pages to spread the word.
How Storytelling Can Inform Your Brand's Content
Miller says that you can grab your audience's attention by first asking yourself these three questions:
What does your hero/audience want?
Who or what is the opposing force that keeps them from getting what they want?
What's at stake?
And, just like any fiction writer, you need to understand the hero, what stage they are at in their journey, and what motivates their actions.
Storytelling in Business: Your Ideal Customer Is the Hero
Before you can determine what your customer wants, you need to know who they are and what drives their decisions. For example, do they want to save money? Maybe it's time they need the most.
Do they want to learn more about holistic healthcare? Or are they looking for ways to assist their employees in working remotely? Regardless of your service or product, you can offer additional value by producing content that addresses your audience's needs with educational information.
Make a list of the needs your brand can fulfill. Now narrow your focus on taking care of one at a time. Keep it simple. If you clarify your message around a single need, you invite the audience into the story.
Consider Your Hero's Internal and External Challenges
The antagonist or opposing force can be internal or external conflict. Who or what is keeping your audience from getting what they want? If the conflict is internal, maybe they need more education.
On the other hand, an external problem may require a product or service. Either way, your hero needs a way to untie their hands and get on with their business.
Develop a deep understanding of the opposing force that you will help your customer/hero overcome. It's essential to position your brand as the way for your audience to rise and take the necessary action to meet and beat those challenges.
The Bottom Line
Your audience wants to understand how you do business. The bottom line? They want to know what you stand for and how you treat your customers.
Content marketing provides value. Similarly, a compelling brand story inspires engagement, builds trust, and increases brand loyalty. Provide people with usable information, and in return, you get a loyal following who trust your recommendations and become brand ambassadors.
These days, who you are is as important as your services or how your products are better than the competition. Become your customer's sidekick and make them the hero in your brand story.
Please read my blog for more storytelling tips and tricks.