Great stories make for memorable movies, books and TV shows. Similarly, arresting tales and compelling narratives help us remember iconic brands.
The corporate world spins similar yarns in the form of marketing, advertising and promotional efforts. A brand’s story can convey its message, build credibility, establish a vision, motivate
Help shoppers better identify with the ideas you represent, while generating lasting enthusiasm and empathy for your enterprise.
1. Rise above problems and offer meaningful solutions.
Build credibility and interest for your business by demonstrating how it overcame challenges through applied effort and ingenuity.
Consider presenting problem- and solution-based content, for example, whitepapers, post-mortems and case studies, which – like client testimonials and behind-the-scenes examinations – can narrate how your brand tackled real-life problems through ingenuity and insight. When paired with video clips, quotes and commentary from actual customers, testimonial videos and other personal details, the practice helps put a more human face on your organization.
2. Take viewers behind the scenes.
Add a personal element to your online brand by highlighting the people and teams that make your business so successful.
Consider letting an employee with an authentic tale share his or her story, whether it involves personal insights, humorous anecdotes or recent professional exchanges that relate to your company’s mission or core competencies. Doing so not only helps put a more memorable and human face on your organization; it also communicates that your employees share similar interests, trials and triumphs as its consumers.
3. Act as an industry insider.
Another effective way to tell your brand’s story is to reinforce your expertise by offering industry advice, insight and innovation. Providing employees with a public voice – by letting them pen industry-related blogs, film Q&A videos with leading experts or author whitepapers that showcase new developments and insights – creates value for readers, listeners or viewers.
Bonus: doing so can build a compelling content library that establishes thought leadership. Demonstrate your team’s unique perspective and talents, but also reinforce its position on the cutting-edge of your chosen industry. Showcasing key data, research and findings, or providing headline-grabbing articles, video clips and visual assets will add substance and credibility to your business’ outreach efforts.
4. Find unique ways to recount your origins.
Like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg and Craigslist creator Craig Newmark, look for new ways to recount your company’s humble beginnings.
Don't be afraid to reveal some of the personal and professional struggles you’ve encountered. It not only puts a more personal face on the business, but also helps viewers empathize and boosts likeability. Just be sure to remain positive, straightforward and self-aware – the point isn’t shameless promotion or self-aggrandizement, but rather, telling a story others can learn from.
5. Explore interactive solutions.
To make your business or brand’s story truly stand out, translate its ideals into more than mere words. Providing interactive options – e.g., apps, video games, customizable visuals or videos, surveys, quizzes or user-generated content programs – will boost audience engagement and enhance learning and retention.
Allow fans to contribute to the conversation by entering their own submissions (via voice, video, votes, visual contributions or otherwise) and allow commenting/sharing to heighten interest and uptake.
6. Discuss your future.
Sometimes, it’s not enough to cover where your business has been. Share where you want to go and what’s next on your business agenda.
Likewise, consider soliciting consumer input and feedback – public opinion is the best focus group money can’t buy. All reinforce the point that you’re listening to customers, value their opinion and create the impression that the best is yet to come.
7. Salute your community and your heroes.
Everyone has someone he looks up to – businesses are no different. Take some time to highlight key community members and fans that have supported your journey, and discuss the organizations and leaders who’ve influenced the way you operate. Make sure to point out why you admire the individuals, companies or leaders in question, and how you’ve worked hard to adopt some of their principles into your operations today.
8. Speak about topics close to your heart.
Touch upon something that drives or inspires you and use it to explain your brand’s positioning.
For example, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased — this seed idea generated an entire company. Its philanthropic mission not only drives the business’ core values, but the tale behind it indelibly wound its way into the public vernacular, where it’s become one of today’s most memorable case studies.
By speaking passionately about values and causes that are important to you and your organization, you gain more than a few new admirers; you'll inspire others to take action and support causes they believe in, as well.
View the full article here: http://mashable.com/2013/03/21/marketing-storytelling/