Your brand story is an avenue that invites customers to connect with you. As a marketer, your job is to help customers relate to your business, and a brand story will do that and more. The best way to earn the trust necessary to increase your online leads is to put it all out there—tell the story.
A brand’s story needs to be more than just words on a page about how you got started. Your tale needs to be exhibited in every nuance of your business. From you packaging to your choice of employees, all the way up through how you design your offices, your brand story needs to showcase your beliefs.
Narrative is an art. A good story can touch people in a way that triggers something in their brain to create an emotional connection. Be it to the characters, the plot or the theme, connections to narrative elements move customers on an emotional level, which triggers the trust necessary to create brand loyalty.
When people feel this emotional connection to your brand, they become drawn to what you have to offer.
Look at Grounds for Hounds. This company’s coffee drinkers are loyal for far greater reasons than its commitment to abandoned animals. It spans beyond shoppers’ similar beliefs or likes for a cause. It’s because this company’s story is evident in every facet of the business. From its branding, up through its product. The convictions that were born as a result of its story is what will entice customers to remain brand loyal.
The same can be said for your business. What do you believe in, and more importantly, how do those beliefs and how does your story transpire through every nuance of your business?
It’s not enough to simply talk the talk. When your company walks the walk as well, you’ll begin generating leads online as well as more brand loyal customers because their thinking aligns with yours.
To be honest, telling your story requires you to think back to 8th grade language arts. You know all those narrative elements and all those red marks on your summer vacation essays? It’s time to put those skills back into practice.
No writing can go well without a plan. Prewriting and planning are such an underutilized part of the writing process. But, when done well, they can mean the difference between an OK story and one that will tug heartstrings.
To plan your story, start with your theme. Pick one word that you know can omnipresent through every facet of your business. When you think of Apple, what comes to mind? Innovation. How about Disney? Inspiration or magic. How about the example above with Grounds for Hounds? Compassion.
What’s your word or your universal theme?
Now how did this theme come to fruition? Every story has a plot. Break it down. Start with the exposition. This is the beginning. Introduce your characters and your setting.
Next, comes the conflict. What problem did you set out to solve? Where was the struggle that needed to be fixed?
After that, think of the rising action. How did you work to solve the problem? Tell what you did to grow emotionally as a business or as a person while working through the conflict.
Move on the climax. Tell about your epiphany. Talk about that moment that changed it all for you and your company.
Bring things to a close. This is the falling action. Talk about how you got where you got after you had that big realization.
The next to last step, the resolution, should talk about how your original conflict was solved, and your business was born.
The last step in the plot is almost always overlooked. It’s called the dénouement. This is that happily ever after moment. This is where you talk about how/why your theme is now an ever-present part of your business.
The dénouement is what will set your brand story apart from your competitions’. It will show that your universal message is a factor in every part of your business. This step is what puts customers on the path to brand loyalty.
With your thoughts organized and a solid plan in place, you need to put pen to paper and start writing. Tell your story. Remember to add those narrative elements that will bring it to life—setting, action, and dialogue.
These three, story elements will help customers connect with what you are saying. Without them, you are merely summarizing events in the order that the occurred. Adding these elements will make the events real. They will give your story depth.
Your narrative doesn’t have to be too long. Remember, we live in a world where people want things fast and now. Keep your tale short so that it gets thoroughly read. But, give it depth so that customers can connect with it.
During this step of the process, you need to read this story aloud to yourself first. Every time something sounds weird, change it until nothing sounds off.
After it sounds right to you, you need to approach anyone who will listen to it. Read it aloud to them. This is a critical step. Do not let them read it silently. You need to see their reaction to the story.
If the listener is not emotionally moved—be it goosebumps, a heavy sigh, an “awe,” or any other physical reaction—it’s not sufficient yet.
Revise and repeat until you get several emotional reactions in a row.
Hire an editor for this step. The English language is complicated, and the last thing you want is to be judged because you used the passive voice when it should have been active or for your pronouns not agreeing with their antecedents.
Some people are well versed in the English language. Pay one of them to check your work.
Now that your story is genuinely a part of you and your business, it should be easy to share. The first place you want to put it is on social media.
Take some time to see what type of stories are trending. With your narrative complete, you can adapt to suit any media.
Tweet and retweet if you must. Be proud of what has made you-you, and share it anyway people will listen.
Remember how we talked about how your story should be present in all the different aspects of your business; make sure it gets there. Anytime you write a blog post for your business, or when you post on social media, or even when you put your biography in guest posts, make sure that universal theme is present. Be your brand.
Lastly, encourage others to share your beliefs. We all know that word of mouth advertising is the best form or marketing because it involves your customers telling people who trust them that your brand is worthy.
Creating a brand story is a great marketing tool to generate online leads. It’s a way that helps your customers forge a relationship and identify with your brand.
Just make sure that you do more than tell a story. When you are crafting your brand story, start with a universal theme, one that anyone can relate to, and one that is present in every aspect of your business.
When your brand story becomes something that you both practice and preach, your customers will trust what you have to offer, and their loyalty will grow.