Companies that have been listening to their customers on social media and other online channels might notice that people are less likely to trust brands that speak only about their products or services. Modern marketing is not about brands but people. A human focus becomes key.
Therefore, a marketing story must deploy not around the product itself but around the people whom it targets and who have created it. Human connections matter more than ever.
Many companies struggle to tell good stories and build meaningful connections with consumers. To tell a story is not much of a challenge. To tell a great story is the art you must master well to make an impact.
After assisting many companies in the US and the Asia Pacific in marketing storytelling, I understood one key thing – great stories are only told by brands that do care about the people they create their products for. The common good must be a basis. Otherwise, the story will lack a “soul” and cannot make an influence.
We need more stories reflective of existing economic, social, and environmental problems, providing solutions to them and reminding us of the values that remain important through the decades and even millenniums.
Understand people you’re targeting
Exploring the target consumer’s lifestyle, preferences, and interests is key for marketing storytelling. Whether you’re telling a brand story in an animated video, article, presentation, or any other content type, it should be able to interact with the listener, intrigue them, make them involved.
How to achieve that? The intrigue commonly starts with a minimalist hint at something that matters to your audience. Are you sure that you know what it is?
Many brands may run marketing without having content persona research completed. I highly recommend creating a content persona that is similar to a traditional customer persona but is rather content-oriented than sales-oriented.
It includes information about the consumer’s demographics, occupation, marital status, interests, daily struggles, lifestyles, types of content they usually consume, the social networks where they are the most active, favourite reading, topics, etc. It will help you better understand the people that your brand targets and create a story that resonates with them.
It’s the core value that matters
In these times, purchasing decisions are mainly based on trust and value. Although customers are more price-sensitive amid the Coronavirus recession, they prefer brands that bring a sustainable mission rather than those offering cheaper products/services. COVID-19 has brought suffering to many people, but it also has given us the necessary time to think of what’s really important.
Modern society has experienced massive re-estimation of personal values. Businesses should be too. Formulate your brand’s new values and clearly communicate them in your story. Let consumers know that you, as a brand, care about the same things as they do and that you both speak the same language.
Be authentic, honest and simple
We already have so many copies in the markets and in the crowds. Creating the new ones is not an option, be unique. Be honest and speak boldly about what your brand stands for and how your business solution can help accomplish that. Be honest about current problems that your audience might face in daily life. Be honest about your product.
If you’re a young brand, your product is still rough and imperfect, but it constantly evolves to become the ideal solution for people – don’t be afraid to say it. Let consumers know that you’re honest with them and that your brand is working to make their lives easier and enjoyable.
The marketing magic happens when the story is true and tells about the customer problem solution in the context of the brand’s bigger mission and common social values.
Clearly articulate your brand messaging
Make your message as simple and clear as possible. Approach consumers with a language that they can understand easily and that are close to them. If your target audience uses specific professional slang, you can use it too in order to transfer the idea better.
Also, you can use examples from their daily lives and depict situations that reflect their reality. Moreover, every brand has its unique messaging style and mottos. It’s important to articulate them right to be able to express the brand’s mood, style, and vibe.
Find the right people to tell your story
As mentioned above, a good story is about the people. But I haven’t yet mentioned those who tell the story, and they also matter a lot. Under the storytellers, I mean content marketers who shape a brand message, voiceover artists, and even video production companies that your company partner with. They all contribute to the brand story creation.
While it refers not only to marketing but to every area, my piece of advice would be to collaborate with people with the same values. Sometimes, it matters even more than the years of professional expertise.
It helps set your collaboration like clockwork and co-create something great. And, of course, it allows telling a better brand story if you’re working on it altogether.
Make sure you believe in the story that you tell
This tip had to be the first, actually. Make sure you believe in the brand and the product that you’re telling about in your story. Be aware of all benefits, advantages and goodies it delivers to customers. Be sure you understand its essence and value well.
Without believing in the product, good storytelling becomes impossible. However, it’s just a little objective opinion lost in the ocean of stories: good, bad and life-changing.
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