October 3, 2018

storytelling

It is interesting that no matter how many changes and advances our culture goes through, the fact that stories still resonate the most with every person has never changed. Every human decision, no matter how logical or practical or systematic, is always influenced by emotion. Numbers and statistics show what the facts are and validate; but stories will show us why it matters.

One recent study revealed that adding an artist’s or painting’s story beside the art, made the value of it to go up by 11%. Not only that, businesses that focus on their key differentiators and display the story behind it (such as ethnically-made or locally-sourced products), will actually be able to affect the perceived value of their brand.

Websites

Nearly all communication nowadays happens online and company websites are now a basic necessity for consumers to interact with your brand. Every marketing plan will always tell you to audit your website, your online presence, your brand perception. As fast as new products come out, in the same way marketing strategies, designs and processes update and change.

It seems that, our products and solutions and benefits have nothing different to offer, until it is put into context. What differentiates brands is the story behind how it was created and how specific customers use it. So maybe, it is time to update and transform the standard ‘About Us’ page from what a company does, to share a story about why a service or product exists. Take the customer through the hero’s journey – from when did the first problem arise to what needs to be done now.

Now websites also give your content a home. This can be a blog or article section that provides updates and industry awareness, as well as educate and provide thought leadership. Not all stories are one time discoveries, but grow from one chapter to the next. Use different blog series or podcasts to explore multiple layers of a certain topic and its implication in specific areas. Making it look nice helps and attracts the user but relevant and useful content will drive your website to be an online machine to create and stimulate referrals.

Social Media & Videos

Anything shared on social media via photos or videos is basically the start of a long conversation. Inviting users and viewers in, they are asked to play with the story you have just shared. Without the playfulness, good creativity is lost and no motivative impression is left on the consumer. Especially when the message is short and simple, successful posts show how their brand is necessary and believable. In every social media interaction, your brand should not be an afterthought.

Social media, as well as videos and podcasts, provide a way to continuously contribute to your brand image overtime. Videos are more engaging and provide very easy ways to be shared and distributed via embedding and popular platforms that use for your business. Using your videos to also create a series of podcasts on relevant and important topics, also add to your value proposition. Using video and podcasts need to be more than just stating what you do and what your mission statement is. Start creating conversations around the things that you and your company care about and can impact. Don’t forget to add a little playfulness in your videos as well.

Events

As much as online interactions have grown for networking and communication, still attending conferences and events have a place in all business and social interactions. Maybe it has made attending events more valuable. The most important aspect in all interactions and communication is consistency in messaging and design. Managing and attending events help build additional cues in the consumer’s mind that are not directly related to your product or service.

Some events will include speaking engagements, where you can sponsor a certain session or seminar, while others can also be working alongside local events that your community regularly attends. That’s why banks sponsor Jazz festivals and concerts that bring local communities together; building a broader brand image and expanding beyond their industry category. This is also part of building and developing narratives for your brand. Every story, whether with a positive or negative tone, are effective and memorable.