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When doing a business, most people think that marketing is a critical step to drive sales, but when you want to connect with people, there is nothing better than a brand story. Though you can increase engagement with audiences through social media, a story connects your brand with people on a whole different level.
A story is a powerful tool that urges the human brain to do something. Through story, it is easier to simplify the message for people to easily hear and understand. People are exposed to countless advertisements every day, so it is easy for them to just pass through certain marketing tricks. But a story appears differently, and people understand it better than just average advertisements.
The fact is though you have a pretty website design, it does not magically sell your product; words do. People believe in the power of words, and if it is used properly in a brand story, you can expect in sales increase. The problem with a brand story lies in the creation and how to tell your brand story in the right way.
The Importance Of Storytelling
Let's be honest. Writing a story, let alone a brand story, is not easy. Though you can just write anything in your head, it does not guarantee that the story will properly reach audiences. One example of writing a brand story is using the storytelling technique. Why storytelling? Well, marketing should not be pushy or feel like marketing; it should smoothly deliver a story.
In general, storytelling is the art of using words to sell; only it does not look pushy. Storytelling is a powerful practice for building a relationship. The practice has been done for ages to gather people as well as keep them engaged. Storytelling goes beyond nations and does not matter what languages you speak. A good story speaks big things, especially for small businesses. That is why the right practice of storytelling carries on the company's missions.
Storytelling is inseparable from marketing. Whether you want to create a Facebook profile, an infographic, online guides, or a simple tweet, you need to capture the audience's attention. You need to stand out among spammy advertisements, and that is when storytelling comes in handy.
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What is Brand Storytelling?
Most people believe that a brand story is a story about the company and such. Sorry to break it to you, but brand storytelling is not just about your company. Brand storytelling is a story about the customers and the benefits or values that they receive while using your brand service or product. A powerful brand story tells about the customers and sets them as the main lead of the story.
Most marketers misinterpret this concept while they are too busy thinking of some award-winning story for the brand. Storytelling is something natural that we may not realize that we have done it. Though storytelling is a natural writing practice but writing online content that catches attention is a different story. A story of the brand may be lost in translation or get buried among spammy advertisements. This is when a brand story fails to attract people's interest. Then you are stuck and cannot find any words to describe the brand and its impact on the customers.
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Brand Story Framework
Writing a compelling brand story still feels tough. The story is different from the common blog post or about pages. To help you write a story that catches the audience's attention, here are the framework examples.
This framework to write the brand story is the basic framework of narrative communication. It works well for creating a brand story. When you use this framework, you will be able to simplify the brand story and prevents it from getting too long. Here are the frameworks to tell your brand story:
The hero is the main character of the brand story, which is the customer. Every story has a hero with certain needs of something. Your task here is to define the hero and what they need from you. For a brand story, it is believed that the hero or main lead of the story is the customer. Once again, it is not about your brand or company; it is the story of your customer.
The story starts with the hero and their needs. The hero thinks about whether this brand (your brand) can fulfill their needs or not. Thus, you need to figure out what the hero (customer) needs that is related to your brand. Then you need to determine the hero's needs and wants. How is this different?
Something that the hero wants is an obvious thing or simply tangible, while the hero's need is something related to their survival. You can start with making a list of the things that heroes want for about 3 to 5 points. Then start identifying the hero's needs and use them as the highlight of the story. The needs of a hero should be highlighted as it is the survival factor that leads to a healthy, strong, happy, and safe life. People mostly look for the story that helps them thrive and survive.
While you create the hero and define their needs and wants, it is important to remember that the goal of the brand story is to tell the customers where you want to lead them. That is why you need to identify their basic needs and translate them into the basic human needs for survival.
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After you define the hero and their basic needs, now move on to the problem. Every hero in a story has a bunch of problems they have to face. You need to identify what kind of problems they might have. There are four basic concepts of problem in a story which are external, internal, philosophical, and villain. The external problem is a physical problem that the character has to solve, while the internal problem is the effect of the external problem on their feeling. The philosophical problem is the common sense of a hero who feels something wrong to experience a problem at a higher level. The problem of a villain causes wreaks havoc on the character.
There are lots of types of problems that the character should solve. The more problem that you talk about in the story attracts more audience interest for your brand. So, make sure to take some time to thoroughly figure out what kind of problem the hero has and how it is related to your brand.
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The guide here is about your brand and how it helps the customers solve their problems. This point should be able to encourage the hero and give a solution to the problem. The guide point is the moment where you demonstrate how the brand helps customers in certain ways. This step seems simple as you talk about your brand but do not make a common mistake. Many marketers fail this step because they feel the urge to prove themselves. This mostly results in positioning the brand as the hero, albeit the guide.
In the brand story, the hero is the customers, and they can't look for another hero. Instead, they are looking for a guide to help solve the recent problems. As the brand acts as a guide to help the hero, there are two things you can communicate, which are empathy and authority. The former is an illustration that you understand the hero's pain. This is the step to creating a relationship with the customer as you understand their pain and problem. The thing is, people, trust those who empathize with their problem, and hence they trust a brand that does so.
The latter is the proof of authority. By saying authority, this means that customers need to know anything that you have done before related to their problem. The guide in a story should be someone with experience in solving similar problems for other heroes. The experience gives customers confidence that your brand will also help them in similar ways. There are some ways to illustrate the brand authority, which are using testimonials, awards, statistics, and logos.
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After the customers find the guide, then the guide provides a plan for them to take action. In this step, you know what the customers want that starts the story. Then you figure out the customer's problem and give them a guide and start building a relationship. The truth is a hero prefers a guide with a plan. In this step, you need to illustrate that the customer needs to take action to win.
To make the plan, you can make it as specific as you can to avoid confusion. The plan is to convince that the problems will be solved through this action. You can also assure them to ease customers' concerns.
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The problem here is how to challenge the hero to make the action. People will not decide unless they have some challenges. However, though customers are given the outside forces, the thing is, they have been exposed to messages and advertisements every day. Thus, you have to make the message or call to action in the story as imperative and bold as possible. There is nothing better than making a clear call to action using two ways which are a direct and transitional call to action.
The direct call to action has a clear message that leads to sales and tells people to buy something from you. You can use the words' buy now, 'call today, 'book an appointment, and more. While the latter uses more implicit messages that build engagement with the customers in case they are not yet ready to make sales from you. For this call to action, you can offer something for free such as tutorials, webinars, ebooks, and such.
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In every story, there are only two possible outcomes which are winning or losing. While everyone tries to avoid losing and tragic endings, you need to show the customers how their lives differ after buying stuff from you. Be specific on the impact that the customers will get after you refer to their problems and follow with defining success. As this is the end of the story, be clear in what you want them to do. In the end, the hero should know the clear resolution of the story.
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If the outcome is the ending of the story, the transformation sums up all the scripts of the story. People are always looking for a change or transformation, to be different or simply feel better. Your brand helps people to feel better and is participating in their transformation. You need to tell how far the hero's transformation is. When it comes to a brand's offering, make sure you make it as specific as possible so as not to confuse customers. Participating in customer change gives new meaning and life to the business.
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Steps To Deliver The Brand Story In The Right Way
To tell your brand story perfectly is something else. Delivering the brand story in the right way goes hand in hand with brand story creation. A brand story is a way to communicate the brand's message and values. It should be infused in any copy that you make without making it sounds like a marketing force. Here are some steps to deliver the brand story in the right way.
1. Tell A Story, Less Marketing
The main purpose of a brand story is marketing, but it should not feel like you are doing marketing. When creating a brand story, you need to stop thinking as a marketer and stop pushing people to buy your product. Instead, focus on building human interest and approach customers persuasively. The story should appeal to emotion so that people are interested in your brand because they can relate to their life. Though you try to sell something, make sure you share more about your weakness, strength, and how you get where you stand today. This is when the storytelling method comes to build a relationship with customers.
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2. Be Conversational
Though you are trying to write an outstanding brand story, remember that authenticity is everything. People nowadays are best at spotting disingenuous messages. False promises, fake testimonials, empty messaging, and awkward photos will only make people keep their distance and only hurt your brand. The key to a successful way to tell your brand story is to be real and human.
You can pretend like you are talking to a friend about stuff you both like; instead of worrying about the language, you can focus more on the brand message. Conversational writing is simple and short. Do not worry about word count but do not make it too long. If you write a too-long story for a blog post, the chance is it will make readers feel lost and distracted. Define what you need to say as effectively as possible without trying to sound too smart.
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3. Be careful with the choice of words
The general rule for brand stories is limited to only 26 letters. Choose your words wisely and craft them into a fascinating story that delivers the brand's messages. This is surely a daunting task to carefully choose the words, putting them in the right order to craft a story that somehow hooks customers and holds them.
The problem with words is they can be translated in numerous ways. You may mean something with the chosen words, but other people may misinterpret it, which results in undelivered messages. Though it is a daunting task, it is something that you have to do. To choose the right dictions, arrange it into a story that turns readers into buyers using gentle persuasion.
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3. Make it simple and relevant
Remember, you are taking the audiences' time to read your story. To prevent them from getting distracted or bored, it is crucial to keep the brand story as simple as you can. The story should be simple so that audiences will directly understand your messages. Also, the story should be engaging, which will keep the audience around for more content from you.
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So, how good is a brand story? To tell a good brand story can be difficult since there is no limitation. But to tell your brand story, it has to strike at an emotional level. The story does not have to stimulate the brain, but it has to reach and touch the heart of audiences. In addition, the story should be able to lead people whose hearts have been touched to take action. The good story of a brand should be able to support the call to action. This is because people will not make the actions unless they have a good relationship with your brand.
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Creating good stories takes time. You may not be able to write one on the first attempt, but you can always try again until you reach the goal. Ask other people to proofread the writing to see if you can touch their feeling through the words. The power of an authentic, irresistible, and real brand story can bring change to others that align with the purchase.