Storytelling is an intrinsic part of what makes us human, and in this digital age, it’s more imperative than ever before. Businesses cannot afford to be faceless, and brand storytelling allows them to connect and engage with their audiences on a deeper level.
Brand storytelling is not just a critical part of your marketing mix but also your brand identity. Emphasizing your brand’s story will not only allow you to forge stronger relationships with your customers – it’ll also differentiate you from the crowd.
What is brand storytelling?
With brand storytelling, you’re communicating your company’s values and what your brand stands for. It’s a narrative that weaves together not just the facts but also the emotions that your brand elicits so that you can attract your ideal customer.
Communicating your brands’ values in a meaningful way not only impacts customer behavior, it’ll also maximize the visibility of your business and increase profit. It’s an integral component of your marketing strategy, and an authentic and memorable brand story will form a lasting connection with your target audience.
Why is brand storytelling important?
Instead of just throwing facts and testimonials or focusing solely on your product, storytelling humanizes your brand and makes it more thoughtful and genuine. Research has shown that storytelling is up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone.
A variety of emotions can be part of your brand narrative, from joy to excitement and even sadness.
To start, here are a couple of things you can ask yourself:
- What do you want your brand to be remembered for?
- What message do you want to convey to your audience?
- What sort of emotion do you want to evoke in your audience when they interact with your brand?
Remember, your target audience may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.
It creates an emotional connection
When storytelling is done right, it forges a deep connection beyond what you’re selling. It engages your target audience with your business, and there’s a higher chance of them becoming loyal advocates of your brand.
Customers also gravitate toward brands they feel an emotional connection to. By sharing a memorable brand story with your audience, they’ll be left with a lasting impression of who you are and what you stand for.
It differentiates you from the competition
It’s a crowded marketplace out there with a plethora of content and brands vying for their target audience’s attention. Businesses are spending billions of dollars fighting for a piece of the pie – making it exceedingly difficult for brands to stand out. Without storytelling, you’ll just be another faceless business that offers the same product or service as numerous other companies out there.
By telling your story, however, you’ll differentiate yourself from the crowd as no other brand will be able to replicate the story you tell.
Brand Storytelling and Content Marketing
Let’s get this out of the way: Brand storytelling and content marketing aren’t the same things. Here’s a quick overview of the differences between the two:
Content marketing involves publishing content that’s educational and promotional, not just for your prospects, but also for your customers. With content marketing, the goal is primarily to attract and engage new customers.
Some examples of marketing content include:
- Blog posts
Brand storytelling is a much broader category. In addition to the marketing content that you produce, storytelling also focuses on:
- Your core value proposition
- Your unique selling proposition
- The experiences and emotions your customers have while using your products
- Differentiation messaging
Here are some great B2B examples that all types of companies can consider adopting.
Showcasing star employees
Microsoft is one of the largest software companies globally, and they’re also a big advocate of storytelling. Their Microsoft Story Lab platform highlights various employees within the company. Each of these profiles tells an in-depth story that shows how unique and gifted each individual is.
Learning solution providers can consider adopting this technique to add a human element to their brand and establish a connection between brand, employee, and consumer.
Salesforce is a B2B company that’s known for prioritizing its customers and share these success stories on their website. Highlighting the stories of customers who are succeeding with the Salesforce platform communicates the value that Salesforce has added and the relationship they’ve built. It helps that these stories are written in a way that doesn’t feel stuffy or forced.
This is a tactic that learning solution providers can easily replicate. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to your top customers and asking if they’re willing to talk about the success they’ve had with your product – similar to a case study, but much more personable and less rigid.
The power of social media
Even as a B2B company, you can very much harness the power of social media as part of your storytelling. General Electric is an excellent example of a B2B company that regularly posts stunning videos and photos to demonstrate how their complex projects have impacted day-to-day lives. They involve their customers and make highly technical ideas appear far more relatable.
Achieving your goals with brand storytelling
Incorporating storytelling into your business isn’t something that can be done quickly. Just like any relationship, it needs to be honed and built over time. By being consistent, speaking your customer’s language, and understanding them on a deeper level, you’ll cultivate a compelling narrative for your brand that will help attract the right customer.
While it’s by no means an easy process, it’s a worthwhile one. Successfully integrate brand storytelling into your brand, and you’re sure to see improvements in your brand’s overall success.