Updated: Feb 10
I am glad you are here to learn about what brand storytelling is and how you can tell your brand story with more impact.
I am going to assume you want to connect with potential customers and create a brand story to guide people from awareness to advocacy of your brand. If I'm right, you've come to the right place and I am happy to help you. If not, there is lots of information on this site written by various experts to help you create an appealing life, career, or business.
Back to Brand Storytelling
I've searched out the Internet, asked business owners, marketers, and professionals what brand storytelling is and how a brand can make an impact on their audience. There is more than you think to telling a brand story, this article will give you a general idea of what it is and what you need to do to tell your brand's story.
Brand Storytelling and the Bigger Strategy
There are many pieces and parts that come together to tell a bigger brand story. It is easy for all those pieces to end up disconnected, fracturing the brand story and leaving audience members confused about what you do and how you can help them. This is why you need a larger strategy that brings in different marketing theory, processes, and platforms.
You need to bring in content marketing, social media marketing, digital marketing, email marketing, SMS marketing, advertising, publicity, SEO, and different platforms to guide audiences from awareness to advocacy.
Here's a graphic to help visualise all the pieces
Is Brand Storytelling the Same as Marketing?
Brand storytelling happens across the marketing industry in a number of different channels and verticals. It occurs whenever you are communicative with others about who you are, what you do, and how you can help using story structure.
Marketing is the structure of a funnel, the technical parts of customer journey, research of human behaviour, and the message you tell the marketplace.
Brand Storytelling is a technique of communicating who you are and what you do using story structure and story elements. Like marketing, it encompasses everything from concept to advocacy along the digital marketing funnel. It is used by everyone who has a connection with the customer, the potential customers, and the marketplace.
Business leaders need to define the story in the branding process and strategy planning.
Upper management needs to use the brand story to communicate with team leads
Investment relations tell the brand story to raise funds and inform investors
Marketing finds multiple ways to tell the brand story to connect with audiences
Sales uses the brand story to persuade potential customers to buy
Customer Service uses the brand story when helping customers solve issues
Customers tell the brand story when they write reviews or make recommendations
Brand Storytelling includes the following components of marketing:
Advertising: Uses brand storytelling to connect a brand with their audiences
Content Marketing: The whole purpose of content marketing it to tell stories to audiences
Digital Marketing: Lays out the brand story along the customer journey to guide leads
Email Marketing: We send emails to tell followers about our brand stories
Social Media Marketing: Tell brand stories in sound bites on these platforms
Blogging: Platforms like blogs are perfect places to tell brand stories
PR/ Publicity: When Journalists or media platforms publish your brand story
Podcasting: Like blogging a podcast is a great platform to tell your story
YouTube/ Vimeo: Telling a brand story using video is popular
Photography: Telling a brand story in pictures creates visual content
Infographics: Telling a brand story visually using graphics to show the story
ebooks / Digital Magazines: Organise a brand story to guide readers
Website Copy & Design: You tell your brand story on websites
SEO: Crafting a brand story using keywords to drive traffic
If you want to dive deeper into your brand story and how to tell it to the right audience, keep reading and at the end I'll let you know where to find more information to help you tell your specific story and how to become known for a topic, idea, or area of thought. Let's start with defining Brand Storytelling so you can understand what it is and why you need to engage in this type of marketing.
Book a chat with Shannon to talk about your brand story
What is Brand Storytelling
The brand is a company's identity and the story is the narrative various storytellers tell about it to the marketplace.
Most brand storytellers don't know how to tell a brand story audiences can resonate with because they cast the brand in the role of hero and swap out plot for lists of information.
Ever go through a social media feed trying to find something to comment on and all that you see is, “We are Great.” "Buy Now." "List of features" posts? Marketers and content creators think they are telling a story when they talk about the brand’s benefits, features, and how it works but they are not storytelling. They are announcing, lecturing, telling audiences what they want them to think. Many traditional storytellers do the same thing, and the result is a message that doesn’t resonate with the audience.
Trust me it is hard to bring you into a story when writing an article to teach you about brand storytelling or tell you enough of a story that you'll resonate with the problem and want the solution, but that is exactly the goal of good storytellers.
If you are here, I imagine you are struggling with either getting audience members to follow you or reach out to you for your solution to their problem. You are spending resources to create posts on social media to garner brand awareness so people will hire your company. You post consistently. You tell stories. You share photos, videos, and graphics, still they are not converting into sales and you are getting frustrated.
I get it, I've been there and the first thing I'll say is you are trying to get your audience to jump the grand canyon and they aren't Eval Knievel. You need to build a road and create a story to guide your audience through your digital footprint from awareness to advocacy. Sure somethings like a Influencer on Instagram says hey go buy this lipstick and sales go up for a short period of time. NEWSFLASH - The influencer has already told a story to get their audience to trust them, identify with them, and willing to buy something they recommend.
You need to create a story and foster your audience, so people will take the steps with you along their buyers journey. At times they are getting closer to the ultimate conversion point in the story and then, the path takes a hairpin turn and it looks like your potential customer is going the wrong way. Maybe they will fall down the hill or perhaps they will follow the switch backs to get to the top of the hill and end up closer to the sale than you thought. The best stories have switchbacks, obstacles, and that pesky villain who wants to win and the hero to lose.
You as the storyteller need to let the story unfold and guide it as much as possible towards your checkout.
Dive Deeper into the Definition of Brand Storytelling
I've searched out the Internet, asked business owners, storytelling marketers, and professionals what brand storytelling is and how a brand can make an impact on their audience. There is more than you think to telling a brand story, this article will give you a general idea of what it is and what you need to do to tell your brand's story. There are many pieces and parts that come together to tell a bigger brand story. It is easy for all those pieces to end up disconnected, fracturing the brand story and leaving audience members confused about what you do and how you can help them. This is why you need a larger strategy that brings in different marketing theory, processes, and platforms. You need to bring in content marketing, social media marketing, digital marketing, email marketing, SMS marketing, advertising, publicity, SEO, and different platforms to guide audiences from awareness to advocacy. If you want to dive deeper into your brand story and how to tell it to the right audience, keep reading and at the end I'll let you know where to find more information to help you tell your specific story and how to become known for a topic, idea, or area of thought. Most brand storytellers don't know how to tell a brand story audiences can resonate with because they cast the brand in the role of hero and swap out plot for lists of information. Discover more about the definition of Brand Storytelling
What is the Definition of Brand?
One of the things many brand specialists tell me is people come to the to get a logo because they don’t understand what a branding is or what the definition of the word brand is. This is a deep dive into what branding is and what business owners need to know about creating a brand. To me. A company is an independent entity. A person has a personality and so does a company. Like a person has values, so does a company. Like a person has a voice, so does a company. Like a person has an image, so does a company. The brand is the essence of the company and their interaction with the marketplace. Things like logos and websites are the clothes the brand wears, not the brand itself.
How the Experts Define Brand
Seth Godin’s definition of brand describes it as “a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, put together, impact a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” Marty Neumeier’s definition in his book Brand A-Z, where he defines every word associated with Branding. "A Brand is a customer's perception of a product service or company, a corporate reputation." Discover more about the definition of branding.
Why Tell a Brand Story?
Brands need to tell stories to draw people in and captivate them. Studies show that our attention span is less than a goldfish, but this isn’t true. We have an attention span and can focus on things for longer than a New York minute. We just take a fraction of a second to determine if we want to pay attention to the thing in front of us, before moving onto the next interesting thing vying for our attention. With so many brands competing for eyeballs on a small screen, audiences have an infinite amount of content to cast aside when looking for something interesting. Discover what people are saying about why brand storytelling is the future
Brand Storytelling in the Digital Age
We use data to find the best headline, keywords, and a host of other details to get the attention of more people and in the end, every story, every website, every piece of content is being to look the same. I was watching presentations at the AdWorld conference last month and one of the speakers was telling people that due to the data these are the best colours, words, structure for a landing page. Her advice was to find the top performing landing pages and copy them to improve your results. Slap your logo on and Voila instant success.
But it isn’t.
Your brand cannot connect if you hack your way by optimising data analytics to pick details the masses respond to in A/B tests. In one way it makes sense to give audiences what they want, but not if you and your competition look the same and there is no unique distinguishing feature.
Telling stories your audience can personalise can help you stand out and give people individualised reasons to choose you. Here is an example:
Your social media’s reach is low, and your brand story isn't getting seen by the right audience. You work hard trying to get seen by potential customers, but you keep getting a lower return on your investment. Worse, negative feelings are beginning to erode your motivation and the idea of giving up grows inside your mind.
It’s time for you to focus on a strategic process to get the attention of the right audience.
By putting the audience in the situation, I have qualified the audience and those who do not resonate with the story will move on, while those who are frustrated with their results will be curious to discover the solution further into the story.
Brand storytelling enables you to personalize content and talk directly to those who need your help.
Keep telling Stories.