Eight Tips for Improving Your Brand Story with Content Marketing
People have been telling stories since the dawn of time, and there is a reason.
A good story will entice, they will intrigue, and they connect – and if you can connect with your market, you’ve checked off your first task. When you’re creating content marketing material for your business’s marketing strategy, a story can take so many different forms that it’s impossible to subscribe to a single outline for each article or post. So how can you be sure you’re on the right track?
Whether you’re writing a blog post, publishing on social media, or cultivating a series of videos, here are eight tips you can use to get your brand story heading in the right direction.
Understand why stories are essential.
So why do brands tell stories? Some of the main reasons include:
- Stories are easy to remember – People are much more likely to remember something they’re emotionally invested in, and you definitely want people to remember your brand.
- Stories are relatable – People understand things that are relatable to their own lives. When you tell stories, and they relate to your audience, it makes a significant impact.
- They simply things – Some products are more complex than others, but even when they’re not, it can be challenging to articulate without jargon, and in a way that resonates with the demographic. A well-told story cancels both of these issues.
- Stories inspire action – A good product story will show people what the future could look like with your exceptional product or service. With a purposeful story, you’ll entice them into taking that first step.
Know your audience.
If you don’t get the fundamentals right, you’re setting yourself up for failure. So, if you haven’t already, do some vital research to:
With this in mind, you’ll have the intel you need to accurately shape all the stages of your story.
Think before you create.
Everyone has their method to accomplish this step, but before you write, snap a photo, or come up with a new hashtag, you need to plan the content you are creating.
Why does it need to exist? Who is going to appreciate it? What do you hope to accomplish by putting it out there for the digital world to see? The answers to these questions will help create a basic framework for you to follow before you publish your content to the internet’s probing eyes.
Stick to the rules.
Even writers of the most outrageous fantasy have rules to follow to ensure their stories make sense. When it comes to content marketing and brand storytelling, you’ll want to establish your own guidelines to keep your story on track and sensible to your audiences’ perception.
During your initial planning stages, while you’re answering those questions mentioned earlier, must-haves and don’ts will crop up in addition to the general plotline your story will need to follow. Jot these down along with your basic outline, and your content is more likely to stay organized and cohesive.
Play on emotion.
You will want to infuse your content marketing strategy with the appropriate amount of emotion to enhance your stories and make them more appealing to your target audience. A travel agency might gear its stories toward possible vacation destinations’ sentimental value, reminding potential visitors of the tranquility of the mountains or fond childhood experiences they had at a beach.
Not only will those emotions forge a connection between your business and your audience members, but they set you apart from the stark facts of your industry to craft the image of a relatable human, the loveable hero of your story.
Speak like a human
Audiences can smell an insincere story from a mile away, so make sure yours has all the ingredients of an authentic one. Some important tidbits to keep in mind include:
- Write as you talk – Read what you’ve written aloud and if it’s not something you’d say in a conversation, keep working on it until it does.
- Contractions are friendly – You’re sounds more approachable than you are, they’ve more than they have, etc. Don’t be scared to sound relatable!
- Rules can be broken – And this applies to grammar rules – and sometimes your writing sounds better for it!
Embellish, but don’t detract.
While it may be tempting to pad your content marketing stories to make them more entertaining, needless “fluff” doesn’t have a place in most of your materials. Social media posts are meant to be short and punchy without losing impact, and even blog posts should have a distinct point that you don’t bury in overwhelming detail.
Remember the questions we posed to help you build a framework for your story; if you can’t feasibly answer them by the end of the article or post, you somehow got lost along the way. That means it’s time to backtrack, take out the irrelevant material, and recapture the heart of the matter. Use emotions and relatable anecdotes to make your points, but don’t craft the story around them.
Work with the endgame in mind.
Any good storyteller knows how to guide the audience toward the main idea behind a tale, and it’s because one of the golden rules is to weave it while always keeping the result at the forefront.
It’s the same concept as having a goal in mind while running a track or knowing what you want to gain by following through on a New Year’s resolution. With your endgame always in mind, you can mold your storyline to seamlessly reach that conclusion, which in turn creates a much more fluid experience for your intended audience.
Your story may not include knights in shining armor or daring escapes from mythical monsters, but you can create them to be just as engaging in the eyes of your particular readers.