Stories are at the heart of every brand’s success, no matter what your industry or niche. And while you may have heard about the importance of storytelling in marketing before, many brands continue to struggle with coming up with effective stories for their business. 

Now, building a powerful story doesn’t have to be difficult – it just takes some thought and planning. Follow these steps to create your storytelling strategy today!

What is Brand Storytelling?

For most brands, telling stories has long been an afterthought. Yet as more and more companies recognize how critical it is to tell compelling stories about their brand, products, and services, they’re finally waking up and reaping the rewards.

But before diving in headfirst, businesses need to understand what a brand storytelling strategy is and how it will benefit their business in all areas—from customer acquisition and engagement to retention

Research states that 80% of people want brands to tell stories. So clearly, we're not alone in believing that story-based marketing strategies can help your company win big with customers and prospects alike. How does one craft a great story though? 

Well, we've found there are four basic steps: Identify Your Audience; Define Your Theme; Craft Your Narrative, and Tell A Compelling Story! Not so bad right? These four steps aren't anything new. It's just that now marketers and brand owners are putting them into practice much more than ever before. 

And why wouldn't they want to? From Hollywood blockbusters to blockbuster sales, studies show that telling a good story can inspire consumers' emotions and influence their decisions significantly. Consumers also respond better when they feel like they're part of something bigger than themselves--which is exactly what happens once someone engages in a meaningful way with a brand narrative.

What is a Storytelling Strategy?

To craft a storytelling strategy, we must understand what exactly a storytelling strategy is. In short, it is an approach that can be used when telling your brand's story to better communicate with your audience and create a better brand image. 

It will help you reach out and grab your audience in a way that no other type of marketing strategy can. A storytelling strategy doesn't mean telling stories; it means strategically planning how you will use stories effectively. This includes knowing why you're using them, where they'll fit into your overall strategy and who they're targeted at. 

The most effective strategies require careful implementation of details like these; without paying attention to them early on, any attempt at implementing them, later on, will be ineffective at best and harmful at worst.

When done correctly, however, they can be invaluable tools for building trust with customers and making sure people know exactly who you are as a brand. 

They can also generate widespread appeal for brands while reducing negative perceptions that some companies might face due to their industry or past mistakes. 

Ultimately, crafting a successful storytelling strategy provides several big benefits:

It makes developing content easier: Stories tend to draw strong reactions from viewers--positive or negative--and their messages stick more easily than simple facts or arguments. 

These are extremely helpful qualities for marketers because they make creating effective content significantly easier. Anyone can tell you about a product but only storytellers can connect directly with an audience by sharing authentic experiences that build emotional connections between themselves and their followers. 

It gives a competitive advantage: While there are many ways to separate your company from its competitors, few methods have lasting power quite like having compelling narrative themes that resonate with your target demographic. 

Audiences respond well to narratives because human beings have evolved to respond well to good stories, including those involving us as actors experiencing twists, turns, and challenges along our journey towards success or self-discovery. 

This fact has helped countless businesses develop new strategies based on connecting emotionally with their audiences instead of coldly trying to persuade them through traditional advertising tactics alone. 

But not all forms of storytelling are equally valuable. An essential component of choosing your narrative theme carefully involves researching which types resonate with various audiences before deciding what type is right for you. 

Knowing which topics to cover within that theme is just as important. There are two main components to determining where/how/when/why you will weave stories into your marketing efforts, one being context and another being the focus.

The context describes each piece of your business' history alongside where it fits within both current events and culture, whereas focus describes which aspect(s) of context should be emphasized in each piece of content produced.

Why is Storytelling important?

Storytelling is important because it’s an effective way to tell your brand’s story compellingly and memorably. Stories, when used correctly, connect with your audience on an emotional level. 

By creating these bonds between your customer and your brand, you give yourself a significant advantage over competitors who use content that doesn’t inspire or move.

As marketing techniques become more advanced and marketers get savvier about how to make stories work for them, more organizations are incorporating storytelling into their marketing plans. 

But knowing why storytelling is important is only half of what you need to incorporate stories into your strategies.  You also need to know how to craft a successful strategy so you can ensure every component—from image selection to copywriting—works together.

Benefits of creating a storytelling strategy 

Tell them what they want. A good brand story uses real people in an aspirational way; it resonates with your customers on an emotional level and creates an empathetic connection. 

When your brand is aligned with their needs, you can be sure that they’ll spend more time with you—whether it’s through your website, social media, or any other form of interaction. 

Remember: You’re not trying to push product (although doing so in a way that doesn’t seem insincere can work); you’re trying to create engagement. And engagement goes much further than sales. 

Being genuine helps establish trust between brands and customers alike. This means that how you portray yourself matters as much as how your products are presented. If there’s one thing companies have learned from recent scandals involving fake news stories, it’s that being truthful is crucial for building customer relationships. 

By communicating honestly, publicly embracing transparency, and demonstrating authenticity, brands can build credibility with customers—which boosts levels of trust within organizations. And then go forth into achieving amazing things! 

How to use storytelling in marketing?

The modern marketing landscape is vastly different from just 10 years ago. Today, customers don’t care about brands, they care about themselves and their problems. To get customers interested in your brand, you need to reach out to them on an emotional level. Stories are one of our best ways of doing that because stories are inherently human. 

They resonate with people because they are relatable—we have all experienced similar situations or emotions at some point in our lives. If storytelling isn’t already part of your marketing strategy, it should be; no matter what kind of business you run. 

It doesn’t matter if you manufacture razors or organic dog treats; your products will benefit from storytelling techniques like these:

When businesses create content for social media channels, there are two main approaches. First, there's promoting (aka pushing out content). This involves pushing links to certain pieces of content in hopes that it'll go viral or being active in responding directly to fans when they talk about products on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. 

Secondly, there's pulling conversations back (aka listening) to engage consumers when they talk positively about something related to a company online. There is a lot of data to support both strategies can work well—but one strategy is always better than another depending on what brands need from their online marketing plan. 

So which one should you choose? The answer depends on your brand’s goals. If you want more direct interactions with customers that lead to immediate sales then leveraging push strategies might be best because you can catch customers at points where they are looking for information about your product. 

On the other hand, if you want to increase awareness around your brand or generate leads for future purchases then employing pull tactics might make sense because these options don’t require people who find your content to be ready to buy right away. 

Regardless of which strategy you chose, it’s important to remember that trying too hard will end up hurting your results more than helping them. You don't want to annoy potential customers by spamming them on social media platforms all day long so try creating a balance between push and pull methods so they aren't overly aggressive or extremely passive either. 

Here are some useful guidelines: 

The goal here isn't just to get visitors interested in giving your business money—that happens all day long already with many companies getting huge traffic numbers simply based on free content alone. Instead, quality over quantity is the name of today's game. 

Companies have seen higher conversions rates when using personable storytelling techniques vs plain facts listing common features available for most products.

How to create a brand storytelling strategy?

A successful branding strategy depends on many things, but no matter what you do it's impossible to pull off without good storytelling. There is so much confusion about what marketing and branding mean and even if they're different. 

The question remains: how can we leverage both marketing and branding to achieve our goals? Well, let me share with you that branding and marketing are inseparable because something can't be effective in branding unless there is also a marketing strategy involved.

It’s crucial for your business/branding to incorporate effective stories (ie: experiences) for customers, employees, investors.

The possibilities are endless. Tell a great story, build a brand! Great storytellers bring ideas to life by creating narratives that people connect with.

Great storytellers influence others by eliciting strong emotions from their audience, whether joy or fear or empathy or inspiration, by telling powerful tales of heroes and villains, of love and loss. 

In building your company's brand you will be creating its story arc over time; therefore, I urge you to make sure it has a great beginning -- otherwise known as an origin story -- followed by a compelling hero(es) who confront obstacles along the way while making a significant transformation. 

Without this third element; change --most companies settle for static legacy brands rooted in past glories. Just look at most companies' mission statements, which are rarely more than generalities about where they want to go instead of why they got started in the first place. Do not be one of these companies. 

Instead set out to create a full-fledged narrative for your business based on what inspired you when you first started, then map out how it will evolve into an epic tale through smart actions. Be bold with your strategic vision and then develop a masterful plan to bring it all together step by step. 

When you keep a big, audacious goal close for your business, yet never forget those small decisions made regularly lead to huge gains in all aspects of your business – from financial performance & partnerships, hiring & training –all the way down to sales methods used per customer segment – meaning everything is impacted by everything else. 

Conclusion

A storytelling strategy is an organized approach to telling stories that highlight your brand’s attributes, values, and core message. Depending on your brand, you can rely on different mediums for story-sharing. For example, if you are an online retailer with a love of technology, Instagram may be your platform of choice. 

With over 1.386 billion active users worldwide, it’s no surprise that consumers often turn to Instagram for inspiration or product research before making their final purchase decision. That being said, marketers across all industries are using various mediums—including photography, video, and text—to tell visual stories. 

It's important to consider what's right for your brand and its followers as well as how budget and resources might impact which medium you use to connect with them.

With every post made on every social media channel, businesses must ask themselves: why am I creating content? What's my goal? Understanding your business goals before jumping into social will help bring clarity to your content creation process.