Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to firmly establish and breathe life into your brand. In marketing and branding, you need to tell stories about your business in order to make a connection with your audience.
But in order to create stories that form the personal connections your audience is wanting, your stories need to be authentic and inspirational.
Great storytelling is good for business because once you establish a loyal audience, it has the power to turn your loyal readers into leads and customers- And everyone loves a steady flow of followers and customers.
So, what makes a good story? A good formula. Read these tips on how to tell stories that matter and make your brand stand out.
Reading time: 3 minutes
Does your story have the 5 C’s?
The influences of storytelling can be seen in all aspects of our daily lives, and stories can be incorporated into all forms of your content with the aim to captivate your audience and invite them in. From your slogan to your social media posts, blogs, e-books, ‘’About Us’’ page on your website, and even to the way you present your offers- You have endless opportunities to tell your story.
First things first, does your story have the 5 C’s? Circumstance, Curiosity, Characters, Conversations, Conflicts. Ensuring you have the 5 C’s will help you tell any story better.
Circumstance defines the when, where and why the story is taking place. Give your audience information that will help them understand the story.
Curiosity is the most important aspect of storytelling when it comes to drawing in your audience and keeping them interested. This is where you create the gap between what you let the audience know in the beginning and what you want them to know in the end. It’s good to keep your audience guessing just a little bit at the beginning, but be sure you don’t leave them hanging in the end.
Characters are important for any story, because your audience wants a connection. Be sure to include a human element to your story. Give your audience a character that they can fall in love with, relate to, or aspire to be. Are the characters in your ads relatable to your target audience?
Conversations are what you want out of your stories. Is your story buzzworthy, will it get people talking? Is it worthy of being shared again and again- whether it’s through social media or a personal referral. In order to have a story worth sharing and remembering, you need to evoke emotion in your audience. People will always remember how you made them feel, even if they can’t remember your exact words. Dig deep and take the effort to be authentic, this way you’ll relate to your audience much better and spark some emotion in them.
Conflict is the one C that many people try to avoid, but without it you wouldn’t have a story to tell in the first place. Identify the conflicts your audience is facing, and that is where they will find the solution (your services).
Don’t brag, relate.
Nobody wants to see a commercial with a man popping out at their screen, yelling at the top of his lungs about all the great benefits of his awesome mattresses. ‘’We have the greatest mattresses in the world, we are the number one mattress company on the market and we won an award for it, we have the softest beds you’ve ever felt, you haven’t really slept until you’ve slept on one of our mattresses!’’
No, that doesn’t work. That was then, and this is now…
Instead, try relating to your audience. You see a woman, and she has two kids, a husband, a full-time job, and a household to take care of. You start off the ad by seeing her and her husband arguing. Next, we skip to her tossing and turning at night because she can’t sleep. This results in her being tired and stressed and she’s falling asleep at her desk. Her work performance is failing, and she’s grumpy when her family comes home because she is irritable. Many people can relate to this character. Now imagine she’s suddenly more alert on the job and happy when her family comes home and kissing her husband to sleep instead of arguing. And in the end, it’s all because she changed her mattress and can get a good night of sleep.
This example contains the 5 C’s and doesn’t brag, it tells a story and it relates to the audience. The circumstances are given, the curiosity is set as you see the woman arguing with her husband and falling asleep at work. Then, it connects the audience with the character and they can empathize with her, they can see a common problem and conflict through the challenges she faces. Now, all this gets you thinking to yourself and talking about how important sleep really is and how a good mattress can have a big impact on your life.
Over time, you can see the way ads changed. Take a look at this commercial from 1970. Now, can you imagine Beyonce singing and dancing around on a mattress telling you to ‘’Buy, buy, buy!’’ – no, that would not work these days. Consumers are turned off by ads and calls to action telling them to ‘’buy, buy, buy!’’
So don’t brag or ask your audience to buy anything, just walk and talk with them instead of at them.
Don’t be afraid to add emotion
Many people may think being ‘’emotional’’ is negative. Maybe you’ve had someone tell you, ‘’Don’t be so emotional.’’ Or, in many movies when two unlikely characters finally connect and bond in a special and unpredicted way, you hear them saying, ‘’Don’t go getting all emotional on me.’’
But that’s not the case when it comes to branding and telling your story. You should always put emotion into your branding and marketing efforts.
Relate to the stories your audience is already telling. Look at the stories your audience is sharing on social media and to the personal stories they share themselves. Identify your brand’s personal story and your buyer personas and stick with relating to them and targeting this audience.
Let Us Know, What Do You Think?
In order to be a good storyteller, you have to be a good listener. By listening to your audience you’ll be able to genuinely understand their beliefs, desires, attitudes, and concerns. As you go through the process, you’ll see how your story will unfold more naturally. Then, you’ll need to continue gauging the reaction of your audience to help determine how your brand will evolve over time.
Let us know if you need any more tips on how to help your brand stand out, we’re always happy to help you and we’re just an email away. Contact us and let us know if this article was helpful or what you’d like to hear about next.