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Author: Lyndsey Danberry, MIMA member and volunteer
One of the biggest challenges for content marketers is effectively conveying a brand story. Most stories tend to focus too much on the company and not enough on its customers. But the truth is, the only messages your audience will see, hear and engage with are those they choose to listen to and talk about. Follow these 4 tips to effectively tell your brand’s story.
Too many brands start their stories by answering the “what” part of their business. They go right into describing what they do and how they do it, and it rarely dawns on them that their customers rarely care anything about that. In fact, customers don’t really care about you at all. They care about themselves and how you make their lives better. So, when you set up to create your band story, go back to the beginning and answer the “why.” Why are you in business? Why does your company exist? This passion and motivation is the first step in identifying the fundamental needs of your customers and the core value of your company. Apple does this remarkably well and is what allows them to be perceived as more than just a computer company.
Your brand story should be honest, consistent with your company’s mission, and carry a sense of personality and spirit. You want to build a personal relationship with your customers; you want to make them feel like they’re a part you your story. This is what makes them identify with your brand and connect with you on a deeper, emotional level. Remember, you’re not looking for a one-time sale. You’re looking for a lifelong customer that will help you build your story and tell the evolution of your brand.
Your story is not a sales pitch, nor is it an advertisement. Your customers don’t want to read a story entirely about you; they want to read a story geared toward them. Remove business jargon and unnecessary brand mentions to establish trust and credibility, and always listen to your customers to better understand how you provide value to their everyday lives. Listening and having a genuine story that stands the test of time is what keeps your customers engaged and coming back for more.
Content, language, tone and voice are all important aspects of your story, but so is the design and visual presentation. The way in which your story is designed, along with the medium you use to tell it, is just as important as the story itself. Your brand story isn’t just about the words; it’s about how those words are perceived, displayed and understood. Tell your story using video, photos, or even actual people. Think of your story as a package: your website, blog, marketing collateral, and even your employees should all speak your story and connect with your audience in a meaningful way.
Want more tips about brand storytelling? Attend next week’s event, “Brand Storytelling in a Digital World,” featuring Alix Hart of Symantec.