Everyone loves a good story, and so do your customers. The art of brand storytelling has been an important way for brands to connect with the customer. It evokes an emotional response and fosters a personal connection which helps to build brand loyalty. Social media has given wings to the art of brand storytelling, proving marketers with greater opportunities to create stories to tell. Brands have used this approach with great success. One great example is Capital One, which saw an increase in ad recall rate by 16% with their #walletstories on Instagram. This is not all-
- Over 92% of users say they want more story-like ads.
- Messages conveyed as stories are 22 times more memorable than just facts.
- If people love a brand story, 55% are more likely to buy the product soon, 44% will share the story, and 15% will buy as soon as possible.
So, the power of stories is pretty evident!
It’s important to keep these basics of brand storytelling in mind-
- Evoke emotions so the viewer is inspired to take action
- Reveal new and interesting information to capture the attention
- Give a complete narrative journey from start to finish to satisfy the audience’s curiosity.
Let’s now jump right to how you can use storytelling on social media to engage with your customers.
Tips For Brand Storytelling
Know your audience
This is one of the most principal factors of effective marketing. Without knowledge of the target audience, any marketing effort will be wasted. Creating personas of your target audience help you understand their needs, wants and emotions better. Personas are nothing but fictional characters, who represents a part of your consumer demographics. The character is based on marketing research and real data. The sole aim of these personas is to create better content that will create greater resonance with your audience. HubSpot’s persona creation tool is a great place to start.
Show your brand’s human side
Creating an emotional connection with the users is an integral part of the marketing strategies today. People like to connect with other people and not just brands. By displaying a personal side of your brand, you are creating a connection with the users. This can be done by sharing team videos, photos, inside news, stories, and anecdotes, etc. A good example is Starbucks. They use their Facebook albums to share stories about the work they do for the community, their employees, events that they organize or participate in.
Before embarking on your storytelling journey, plan your content strategy and create resources that are appealing, provide value to your audience and are helpful to them in some way. Create content for various stages of the marketing funnel. The stories can be created using content such as – podcasts, sales presentations, social media posts, testimonials, commercials, white papers, etc. which help to steer the audience through the funnel. Create resources that are aligned to your target audience, resonates with them, and contains relatable protagonists.
Use a brand character
Using a brand character can help the customers identify with the brand and can give a huge boost to the brand. When Charmin decided to create the character Charmin Bear to use in their brand stories, the brand saw a whopping 585% increase in the sharing of their content. Tony the Tiger did the same for Frosted Flakes, which saw almost a 3 times increase in the shareability of its content. The character of Mr. Clean had a similar impact on its brand. The examples clearly drive home the message that creating characters that are relatable to the brand can be a huge advantage.
Charmin bear- Facebook post embed link
Tony the Tiger- Frosted Flakes- Facebook post embed link
Use strong visual content
Visual material always draws a better response. A stunning visual is more valuable than any heading that you can create. Paying attention to the visual quality of your content can reap rich rewards. It makes your message more memorable and personal. Almost 37% of marketers agree that visual content is the second most valuable content after blogs. Visual content can be used across all platforms to inspire your audience.
For each platform, there are image and video guidelines which are crucial to follow while sharing content to maximise your impact. With time, the viewers have evolved and so has visual content. Ensure that you keep it simple and consistent with your brand identity.
Leverage user-generated content
Invite your users to post their own stories. Curate these stories, images, and videos to create unique content that aligns with your brand’s image. Take a leaf out of Shinola’s strategy. The watchmaker invites its customers to share the watch on their social media with the hashtag ‘MyShinola’. This strategy has paid rich dividends with over twelve thousand posts on Instagram. Intrepid Travel, an adventure travel company, consistently posts images from their past groups that tempt prospective customers with glimpses of what they could experience. Using hashtags is an excellent way to invite your consumers to get involved.
Use a narrative in your posts
Creating short narratives in your posts makes them more interesting for the readers. When creating a narrative keep in mind your brand and its values and align your stories to represent your brand, its value, and uniqueness. Use social media updates to create short blog-like posts that contain a complete story with a beginning, a middle and an end to it. Anne Lamott, an author does it very effectively on her Facebook page. Where she creates short narratives based around a theme to generate a lot of interest from her followers. All social media platforms can be used to create narratives to engage and sustain audience interest.
Use the elements of a story in your posts
All stories have certain elements that make them interesting and enjoyable. The story must have relatable characters with personalities and interests that the audience can relate to. Include a definitive beginning, middle, and end in the story. People love conflict or drama and a resolution; it really draws people in. So, do include some drama to pique their interest.
The entire idea behind brand storytelling is to create an emotional response and connection with your audience. The connection should be strong enough for people to center conversations around your stories.
Brand storytelling allows your users to investigate your soft side, know about your organization’s culture and values. It is a way for companies to build human connections and shows what really motivates you and your team to go on working so hard. So, go ahead and leverage these tips to connect with your audience on social media!
Author’s Bio: Koushik Marka is the founder and CEO of Studiotale, an explainer video production company. He is passionate about helping brands grow with video and has expertise in video marketing, 2D animation, and vector illustration. When he is not working, he loves playing video games and traveling.