Strengthen Your Brand's Story through Content
July 16th, 2014

Strengthen Your Brand's Story through Content

by Ashley Bullin

Many people associate storytelling with beginnings such as “once upon a time” and endings like “and they lived happily ever after.” But in marketing, brands can tell stories in a variety of ways. Brand storytelling is so much more than explaining how a company came to be on an “about us” page—it’s a unique style of marketing that uses content to humanize a brand. There are many misconceptions in the media landscape about what brand storytelling is and isn’t, and we’re here to help clear up the confusion.

With a growing emphasis on social media and content marketing, brands are using storytelling to share their core values with their customers. The overall concept isn’t new, as brands have been telling stories for years through advertisements, but putting those stories into effective pieces of content that appeal to consumers—that’s the challenge marketers face. By conveying stories behind the product or service a company sells, the employees behind it and the customers that benefit, brands create a personal identity that people can relate to.

Brands Doing it Well

One of the best ways to give life to a brand is by injecting some personality into your social media and content development strategy. Our staff recently weighed in on what not to do on social media, which provided a glimpse into the creative personalities of our employees. We value the voices of all team members, which is why you’ll notice input from the CEO, account executives and marketing specialists. Our working environment is relaxed and innovative—and we crafted a piece of content to portray that.

Birchbox

Sharing the views of the people behind companies is a popular form of storytelling, and many brands are doing it extremely well. Birchbox is redefining the retail process by offering consumers a personalized way to discover and shop for cosmetic products. And many pieces of their content and social media strategy involve the perspectives of their employees. Consumers catch a glimpse into their lifestyles as they try different products, provide helpful how-to’s, share beauty secrets and even how they celebrate the almost-weekend.

Birchbox Brand Story

Starbucks

Brands can also share their customer’s stories— especially those that show the value customers find in their products and services. Incorporating user-generated content into your branding strategy is a great tactic. Not only are you showing the world how people are using your product or service, but you’re also “rewarding” loyal customers by giving them a voice through your brand. Starbucks recently ran a campaign in which they asked users to share artwork of their coffee cups by using #WhiteCupContest. Throughout the campaign they shared many contest entries through their social media outlets, such as Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

Starbucks Brand Story

Helpful Tips

Ditch the Sales Pitch

It may seem like second nature to push your product or service in all your marketing efforts, but storytelling is an exception. Brands should ditch the sales pitches and instead focus on developing genuine interest. If you can build trust in your online community, they’ll remember your company when it’s time to purchase.

Help People Solve Problems

All products or services are born to help people solve a specific problem. Sage Island is here to help businesses market themselves more efficiently. Of course, we’re not giving away all of our secrets to success, but we share helpful marketing tips quite frequently. Focus on developing content that helps your customers solve their problems. This goes a long way, and just as we said before—if you can build their trust they’ll naturally think of your brand when making a purchase decision.

Be Authentic

Being authentic is also an important facet of brand storytelling. Using stock photos or fake customer reviews may seem like an easy way out—but consumers can pinpoint what’s real and what’s not. And it will usually result in more harm than good for your brand.

Keep It Simple

Keeping content simple and conversational is a good rule of thumb. Make sentences as easy to read as possible, and don’t overwhelm your audience with industry jargon. Being overly formal or technical can result in a loss of trust with your audience.

Building valuable content for your brand in the form of storytelling is relevant and timely in today’s marketplace. And sharing that content with the world through blogs, videos, social media posts and more is an important part of strengthening your brand’s identity. For more information on how you can incorporate storytelling into your marketing strategy, contact the experts at Sage Island.