The comprehensive guide to brand storytelling

Sarah Matarazzo
Thursday January 2, 2020

If you’ve seen any of our previous blog posts, you’ll probably already know how important content marketing has become for businesses in the 21st century.

Not only is content marketing huge for lead generation, but it also forms a valuable bond of trust between a business and its customers. Content marketing has become the norm and customers now expect to be able to interact with brands on this level. However, many brands create content that fails to tell a real story. In an age where brand content is everywhere, brand storytelling offers an opportunity to engage with your customer in a memorable and valuable way.

So, what is brand storytelling?

Brand storytelling begins when you put your finger on the essence of your brand values, and set out to share that with your customers in a captivating and engaging way. The brand values that you want to share with your customers won’t be about making money or the products you sell, it is your core USP and driving force behind the business. These core values can then be conveyed to your customers and online audience with content that utilises key storytelling elements, including setting, characters, conflict, climax and a dénouement. Your brand story should factor into everything that you put out, it is integral to your mission and goals. However, many brands can struggle to put their finger on their story. You can help find yours by answering key questions about your company history, main characters in its development, the reason for it existing, how you have failed previously and the evolution of your corporate mission. This story is vital for a brand to have an impact past its products and services.

How data can drive your brand storytelling

Different audiences engage with different kinds of content, and it is normal for businesses to want to cater to their existing audience. However, the method of brand storytelling you choose should be a good fit for the story you are hoping to convey, and when you tell your story clearly and effectively it will attract the most valuable audience for your business. One method of brand storytelling is a data-driven strategy.

Data-driven brand storytelling is effective for brands that can best tell their story through data, not only their performance but the problem they are hoping to solve too. Bringing together data from brand insights, cultural insights and editorial insights can result in incredibly compelling content. This can be done in content that tackles a relevant cultural issue with data to back it up, and how the brand has solved it so far, told through performance data. The cultural insights in these pieces are what will attract organic traffic and high levels of engagement.

"When it comes to successful content marketing, it should be less about what your brand does, and more about why you do it and finding innovative, subtle, yet impactful ways to show it."

How your audience can help tell your story

Another effective method of brand storytelling is to create content that focuses more on the audience than your brand. The truth is that unless it’s crafted carefully, content that revolves entirely around the brand is not clickable. The trick is to convey your brand story without focusing too much on your brand. Consumers are the ones in control, they can choose whether to give your content and your brand their attention, and they will usually choose to read content that is most meaningful for them. Whether writing blog posts or putting out a podcast, brands should prioritise selflessly providing the audience with value, then you can cultivate engagement and capitalise on it later on.

How news can help tell your brand story

One method of content marketing that has grown in popularity is turning your blog into a hub for industry news. This means that organic traffic flows to your blog as audiences seek the latest updates in an industry they are interested in. They read well-written, astute and objective content, and form a relationship with your brand as the reliable provider of such news and content. Many audiences prefer to read objective articles that focus on delivering value directly to them, where the stories do not rely on obvious marketing. Your brand story is then represented by the stories you pick up on, and how you prioritise providing value to your readers.

The main takeaway from this article is that when it comes to successful content marketing, it should be less about what your brand does, and more about why you do it, and finding innovative, subtle, yet impactful ways to show it. Once you have begun by pinpointing your brand’s ‘why’, you can find the best methods, whether through data insights, valuable audience-centred pieces, or industry news to deliver it to gain high levels of audience engagement and lead generation.

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