Stories are important.
Narratives are a big part of how we make sense of ourselves and of the world around us.
A great story resonates with people in a very deep way.
If you really want your audience to genuinely engage with your brand, one of the best ways to do it is to craft a compelling story around your brand.
In today's world, a lot of people just aren't that responsive to traditional advertising.
They don't want to be interrupted with “a message from our sponsors.”
Instead, they want to be informed, entertained, or otherwise engaged.
You have to make them want to check out your content, and in many cases, that means keeping them hooked with a brand story that reflects their own values and goals.
In a recent article in Marketing Land, branding and media expert Peter Minnium offers up five simple but powerful tips for telling brand stories that ultimately lead to conversions.
1. Understand and engage the audience.
You have about five seconds to captivate and command further attention, while telling your story in the right place (where the target audience goes and reveres most), right time (while they are already interacting with their day-to-day platforms) and right context (understanding their needs, values, aspirations, and mapping their feelings, associations and memories with your brand or category).
Once you have attained this trifecta, you can better develop and seed content which affirms or incites loyalty.
2. Define the brand’s role and value.
The value of branded storytelling hinges on the link between the “hook” of the content and how much you can make it ladder up to your brand or product value, so you need to be clear from the start what that value is.
Everything centers around it.
3. Make it meaningful.
Branded storytelling is not a brand message that is positioned as content — that inevitably leads to content that feels like advertising, which few people are receptive to in this era of authenticity and choice.
Content needs to provide value for people beyond whatever it is your brand or product does.
Is it exposing a truth? Is it breaking news?
The story is often difficult to get right because it needs to have the integrity of a theatrical film or piece of journalism or artistic experience, while aligning with the values of your brand.
4. Make it actionable.
What is the desired outcome of the content?
It should include giving people an action to take.
This will not only extend the interaction with your brand, but it will also make the piece of content that much more impactful by making the interaction two-way.
5. Leverage the power of amplification.
Resonance — measured through targets actively choosing to spend time with your brand’s insertion into their day-to-day lives and then feeling compelled to share and discuss content online and off — is the holy grail for branded storytelling and a rich opportunity for ROI in earned media.
The means to effectively seed shareability should be inherently built into any branded storyline.
Once resonance, interest and loyalty are established, branded content is fertile ground for continual storytelling by creating additional opportunities such as new installments of a story line or series or increased events to entertain and share for further amplification.
You can read more about brand storytelling over at Marketing Land.