As children we grew up with storytelling being a core driver in how we painted the world. We learned about emotions, feelings, adventures and aspirations through storybooks. Fantasy and fiction all portraying the happy ending and idealistic outcome, keeping us eager for more.
More happy outcomes, more heroes, more defeating the evil and more love.
It’s no surprise that when we get into business, the brands that nail their storytelling and vulnerability are the brands that see major success, quick success, with a parade of brand loyalists behind them.
Storytelling is at the core of how we process information effectively. For the brands that don’t grasp this, it’s a no brainer that the hunt for clients and consumers is an on-going struggle.
If you are one of those brands knowing your brand messaging isn’t resonating or hitting your target audience between their eyes, here are some of the best ways to amplify your brand messaging, whether you’re just getting started or looking to reinvigorate your existing brand…
Tell Your Brand Story Through All Mediums
Your brand story is what your brand is built on. It is the foundation of all your decisions at any given point in time. That’s powerful and it deserves and needs to be shared throughout your marketing strategies consistently.
The easiest way to amplify your messaging when it comes to sharing your brand story is by segmenting it out into small portions that can be woven into all that you share and do.
For instance, say you are a launching a new offer or product, instead of simply sharing the benefits, problems it solves, and why someone would need it, paint a picture instead.
Start by narrating the less than ideal situations or circumstances your ideal buyer is currently dealing with.
How are they feeling? What do they wish would change? What are they in need of?
Then segue into communicating empathy and understanding, which leads to the presentation of what you’re selling.
The goal is to create a journey for your buyer to go through so they can start to envision what life is like with the solution instead of just skimming through more content that they’ve likely already spent hours scrolling past.
Your brand story should never be about you. Your brand story’s purpose is to communicate what void needed to be filled and why your brand was the best to fill it. Draw people in with colorful language and you will see an immediate increase in your audience.
Get Vulnerable through Video Transparency
Video content is the name of the game, and I feel the eyerolls and cringes all the way from here. Reality is, people like to see people, especially after the isolating years we’ve experienced in our recent unprecedented times (anyone else get hives hearing that again?).
What video does for magnifying brand messaging, is that it humanizes a brand that allows for consumption and processing to happen at a faster rate. Pair that with engaging correspondence and you are boosting your messaging.
Majority of online users do not like to read. They like to watch. They don’t want to work for their content. They want to learn and be educated in a way that is entertaining and quite honestly rewarding.
Transparency is one of the greatest tools to find your brand loyalists and to keep them. Pair that with emotional touchpoints and you’re winning both attention span time and loyalty.
How many times do you start to tear up when you hear Sarah McLacnlan’s song Angel because your initial instinct is to picture malnourished puppies in the streets of Downtown Los Angeles or its competitor?
Vulnerability = Action.
Get Clear on your Values
In order to have a strong storytelling presence in your branding and marketing efforts, you have to get clear and committed to the values that are deep-rooted into your brand. There is a delicate balance of doing this and it is so very important to understand that as a brand, your core values are seen all day, every day in all that you do.
You don’t have to overtly publicize these core values to where your brands integrity is questioned.
We can use Pepsi as a poor example of not conveying their core values properly which will always do more harm than good. I doubt I need to remind anyone of this but just in case, we are leading into the example of the infamous ad that starred Kendal Jenner.
An ad that one can only hope had good intentions of encouraging unity and equality, missed the mark so much that this ad represented everything wrong with society and its trivialization of police brutality.
When you are clear and dedicated to your core values as a brand, you never have to prove them in anything that you do.
They are easily accessible through your tone of voice, your brand personality, your offline social efforts, who and how you collaborate with others, and your responses to life events that do not match with your stances.
It seems like this is probably the hardest area for brands to grasp. Maybe it’s because those who now sit as the CEO’s of brands don’t share the same core values as the brand itself was built upon, but there are too many examples to pull from to shed light on how brand messaging can get very cloudy in a matter of moments.
Another example we can touch on is any brand that was attached to Ye and their deafening silence before cutting ties.
For a brand like Adidas whose core values are stated as: “performance, passion, integrity, and diversity”, two of those core values were very much not visible for weeks.
Understand that your values as a brand will be the make or break moment for anyone deciding to promote you or stand behind you. Choose wisely.
If you are going to utilize storytelling on Instagram, make sure you are also using it on LinkedIn, and Twitter, your packaging, and your website.
Your brand story should be leveraged in all capacities with the right and appropriate format.
This has become such a useful tool for brand growth and marketing that a newer term has been coined for websites that just get it.
Scrollytelling is the art of altering a long form story into that of an interactive user experience. This is a brand’s dream. Being able to increase consumer attention and retention at the same time? That is powerful.
By utilizing animation, video, audio, and visual effects triggered by scrolling a webpage, you are able to get more information shared that hooks the person behind the screen. This consistency of brand storytelling once again adds to the goal of amplifying your messaging and making sure that it is being comprehended.
Another example of doing this with physical products and packaging is creating an interactive brand piece that comes up from scanning a QR code.
The options of course are endless, but the driving point is to keep that messaging consistent across the board.
If you are going to be intriguing and transparent on social media, keep that same energy in real life.