18-Jun-2019 04:29 PM Lead Generation
Brand storytelling shortens the time taken by your target audience to understand the value your brand brings to them and it also tells why they should buy from your company. Here are keys things and features of brand storytelling.
Storytelling in business has gained traction lately. Not many have accepted its effectiveness, but it has elevated the value of brands. We already know that today’s youth will not read boring and soulless content. A piece of content must have a flow that connects with the audience in some way or the other, cutting through the clutter.
Storytelling can be used for lead generations because -
Understand the audience
Understand the audience, their pain points and what they value is key. Knowing who you are talking to is a crucial first step to storytelling. Find out the topic of interest of your target audience and their trusted brands.
Story must have purpose and structure
The story must have a purpose. Understand what are you conveying to the audience and how your story relates to the actions you want the audience to take. Create the story with a structure which includes specific time periods and relatable characters. It must have an arc, ie, a beginning, a middle, and an end.
For example, a story can start with how something was not working for users and how the company applied innovation to make it work. Other examples are old way of doing things versus the new way, with versus without, and so on. Your writing must sell the story attached to the product, not the product itself.
Make your audience believe in your brand
Articles that resemble a hard-sell with usage of some words do not interest an audience. A writing with a focus on the result or outcome of the product or service is what your audience wants to read. Such a writing can be used to persuade the audience to use the call-to-action button.
Add creativity and authenticity to the writing
A business story must be creative. You could use a plot and a story arc in the writing by introducing characters. These characters must be someone your audience relate to. They must also be authentic allowing the readers to provide you with a response.
Business storytelling is also never fictional. It involves a character talking about real events and situations. The writing about a product or a service must answer possible questions that the audience has, through the character.
The characters can be similar to the audience, one who has the same problem but has overcome it due to the usage of the product or the service. Like a novel, a business story must have a conversational tone. It must talk to your audience like you talk to your family and friends.
One such character creation was for Vodafone called zoozoos which are humans in animated costumes acting out a story. These characters have created a strong brand recall offline and online. They are everywhere, on TV and in social media. Their Facebook page has more than 19 million fans.
Story must have perspective
Tell the story with a new perspective. Create a scenario where the objective of your blog is to market the product or service. If possible, add twists and turns to the story to enhance your audience’s imagination, and open their mind to the product/service.
Use visuals to augment your storytelling
Help your audience visualize the story through GIFs, images, infographics or videos. We have already discussed why publishing a wall of text will not work for everyone. Some readers scan, not read. Sometimes stories must be told with many images and less text.
Inspire your audience towards your cause
The most effective stories are inspiring. Your stories must speak to the audience without being preachy if you want to pull them to your cause. Through the character you have created, you can tell the story of your business, the hurdles the company overcame and what not.
By writing content and driving traffic to your website with amazing stories, you can collect your audience’s emails and make sales. According to 62% of responders of a Gallup survey, social media content creation does not influence sales, but social media content can be used to drive traffic to the sales page.
It is true that colors and fonts in a website keep the audience longer, a Hubspot study says companies publishing 16 articles a month will get four times more leads than companies publishing zero to four a month. Successful entrepreneurs know this. Once the visitors are on your website, you must make offers for the audience to buy your products or services. Or else, you will keep creating content, but stay broke.
Storyteller 1 - Richard Branson and Virgin Group
The Virgin Group are marketing experts. They have grown their company since day one through storytelling. Their blog, email newsletters and social media accounts are filled with dynamic and interesting content. All their stories are conversational in nature and narrates true events.
Throughout his life, Branson has inspired entrepreneurs through stories. However, his social media profiles, which has millions of followers cannot make sales, which Branson already knows. So his social media profiles have links to Virgin’s website where his audience are made an offer to buy his books.
Storyteller 2 - Jeff Bullas
Jeff Bullas is a social marketing influencer and another example. Throughout his web writing career, he has garnered enough followers on social media. He inspires his readers by telling stories about his ventures. He is also a proponent of business storytelling and has written and spoken at length about it in his interviews and workshops.
Jeff Bullas also writes to generate leads to his website where the audience are made an offer to join his webinars, and he has a page where he can be booked to speaking engagements, and more.
Storyteller 3 - Nike
Nike has been leveraging on storytelling since the late 90s. In the 2018 season, NFL superstar Colin Kaepernick protested against racial injustice and police brutality. Nike used him in their 30th anniversary campaign. With ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything’, it was clear that Nike stood with Mr. Kaepernick.
In the ad, Colin talks about his story of passion and sacrifice. The ad suggests the viewers to go beyond any prejudice and discrimination. The ad ran on social media. Nike received threats of boycott for the ad. However, it received leads, spiking sales of shoes endorsed by the superstar athlete and it also caused Nike’s stocks to rise to an all time high in September 2018.
Storyteller 4 - Airbnb
A platform to share living space, Airbnb’s blogs have stories of travellers using Airbnb to book space. It also used persuasive techniques to turn people into hosts. The company’s social media channels have rich content with millions of followers.
Airbnb’s audience is composed of both hosts and guests, its content has in-depth features and videos offer insight into both experiences. They also work with local photographers and directors to connect with hosts and guests to tell moving stories. It also curates user-generated photos and videos to use them on the website.
To conclude, storytelling is an investment and is sure to pay off.It is essential to differentiate your brand with storytelling. Ready to implement storytelling in your content marketing?