How to Do Brand Storytelling in 3 Successful Ways


Most manufacturers are poor at model storytelling. They take the “brand” part too actually and make all of it about them. Or they create content material with no actual story.

Done properly, model storytelling might be not solely a differentiator however a memorable alternative to draw and interact an viewers.

Let’s discover three avenues for profitable model storytelling shared at Content Marketing World 2019.

But first, let’s take a look at what model storytelling is.

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What is model storytelling?

On the Scribewise weblog in Brand Storytelling, Defined, Kaitlin Loyal presents this good definition:

Brand storytelling is utilizing a story to join your model to prospects, with a give attention to linking what you stand for to the values you share along with your prospects.

Breaking down the important thing parts of the definition, she writes:

  • “By narrative, we imply storytelling parts. A narrative consists of characters, setting, battle, rising motion, climax, and dénouement.”
  • “By what you stand for, we imply the essence of your model. It’s not the product you promote, and it’s not to earn cash. It’s the driving power behind your online business, and it differentiates you from the competitors.”
  • Values are the character traits of your organization that outline it … An organization’s values are the very best behaviors of your finest staff on their finest days.”

Debbie Williams, in a CMI put up, Find the Heart of Your Brand Storytelling with These 6 Questions, echoes Kaitlin’s sentiments. As Debbie writes:

A model story is made up of all that you’re and all that you simply do. From the corporate’s historical past, mission, inspiration, targets, viewers, and raison d’être, it’s why you exist.

Debbie believes that whereas all manufacturers have a narrative to inform, some don’t know the way to discover or share theirs. To assist, she supplies six questions to draw out model tales:

  • What’s your cause for being?
  • What’s your historical past?
  • Who are your primary characters?
  • What’s your company mission?
  • How have you ever failed?
  • Where are your gaps?

For a model story to work, it should transcend a model’s services and products. “You have to create something that they [members of your audience] want to be a part of and show that you really ‘get’ who they are and what they need,” writes Debbie.

Brand tales work after they transcend services and products, says @DennisShiao through @cmicontent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

As Kaitlin writes, “(F)ocus more on why your business exists at all. When you tell this story and explain your values, you’ll engage the customers who share your values.”

Now, let’s take into account some approaches to model storytelling from the Content Marketing World periods.

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Data-driven model storytelling

In Speaking Their Languages: How to Engage Different Audiences With Meaningful Content,

Annie Granatstein, head of WP BrandStudio at The Washington Post, particulars the data-driven technique her workforce employs for model storytelling.

WP BrandStudio creates investigative items for manufacturers, together with op-ed articles, newsroom-style articles, visually pushed experiences, and bespoke executions. Though WP BrandStudio operates independently from The Washington Post newsroom, it holds to the identical journalistic requirements.

The workforce conceives a model storytelling marketing campaign at an intersection the place cultural insights, model insights, and editorial insights meet.

To accomplish this, workforce members obsess over efficiency information, from the normal newsroom to the customized content material. They additionally take a look at the whole lot in a UX lab to see how readers have interaction with the content material.

Click to enlarge

Annie shares a model storytelling marketing campaign they did with Optum, a pharmacy profit supervisor that’s a part of UnitedHealth Group. They first developed the three-road intersection the place the info/targets meet:

  • Cultural perception – Every 13 minutes, somebody dies from an opioid overdose in the United States.
  • Editorial perception – The Washington Post had over 600,000 web page views from the highest 5 opioid-related tales in a 12 months.
  • Brand perception – Optum makes use of an evidence-based strategy to struggle the opioid epidemic.

.@WPBrandStudio bases story marketing campaign on cultural, editorial, and model perception, says @anniegranat through @cmicontent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Using these insights, WP BrandStudio created a multimedia piece, Working To End The Epidemic. The piece centered on a Massachusetts city with the very best charge of opioid overdoses in the nation. It included interviews with folks fighting dependancy in addition to their caregivers.

The piece alternated between instructional info (e.g., how do opioids work on the mind and physique) and emotional tales – the human toll of the epidemic. The model storytelling challenge earned excessive natural visitors and engagement and was acknowledged with advertising and marketing business awards and even a tweet from Katie Couric.

Audience-centered model storytelling

Marketers ought to take the “brand” out of name storytelling. “You need to let go of your brand ego,” says Raymond Roker, head of AEG Studios.

In his presentation, Content Marketing: Where Branded Storytelling and Music Collide, Raymond notes that customers, not manufacturers, are in management. They have a wealth of content material sources vying for his or her consideration. They don’t want to pay attention to your model. They can skip previous your weblog put up, set up advert blockers, and use any means crucial to keep away from you. They can also concentrate after they discover one thing significant to them.

Lead with viewers wants and let the model path behind. That can’t occur should you’re reviewing your content material to assess how a lot of the model emblem or product exhibits.

Lead with viewers wants and let the model path behind, says @rroker through @cmicontent. #storytelling #CMWorld Click To Tweet

“Your content should first serve your audience with value. Your brand is not the important thing. If you’re starting a podcast or a blog or an Instagram account and your first 200 posts are all giving value back, that will pay off in dividends later,” Raymond says.

An audience-focused strategy requires persistence because it’s typically a protracted play, however the payoff will come. As Raymond explains, “If you think value first, your brand can always follow.”

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News outlet as model storytelling

What if prospects and prospects in search of business information got here to acknowledge your model’s website because the supplier of that information? Wouldn’t that be nice?

Sarah Mitchell and Dan Hatch, co-founders of Typeset, achieved that with Traction News, an business information website owned and operated by Tireweb Marketing, a advertising and marketing company for tire enterprise house owners.

In their presentation, How to Transform Your Tired Blog Into a Powerhouse Brand Newsroom, Sarah and Dan shared the way it works.

Traction News is a web based journal for folks in the enterprise of promoting tires. Coverage of an business convention was a key function of their annual content material advertising and marketing technique. Dan secured media credentials as a reporter for Traction News. He interviewed tire producers on the present ground. As Sarah says, “They were thrilled to get on camera. They didn’t know that they were contributing to somebody else’s marketing. They didn’t care.”

Dan and Sarah additionally launched a podcast and recorded episodes that includes interviews with folks from the tire business on the occasion. Both Dan’s movies and the podcast had been successful. Event attendees appreciated the content material and so did business professionals who weren’t in a position to attend.

Tireweb Marketing took the information website to the following stage and submitted it to Google News. Because Dan used journalist-style objectivity in the reporting, and left any apparent advertising and marketing out of the tales, the content material certified as information. Shortly thereafter, Google listed Traction News as a information website in search outcomes:

Take your information website to the following stage and submit it to @googlenews.@sarahmitchelloz @daniel_hatch through @cmicontent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

The Google News placement elevated Traction News’ credibility. It additionally generated plenty of natural visitors.

TIP: To submit a website for Google News consideration, learn this Google Support web page.

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Dear model, inform me a narrative

In reviewing these Content Marketing World periods, I stored considering of Simon Sinek’s Start With Why and his well-known TED Talk quote, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”

I’ve come throughout plenty of manufacturers that don’t clearly establish or doc their why. Ask an worker of the model to clarify the why and see many clean stares. For model storytelling, defining and documenting your why is a important first step.

For model #storytelling, defining and documenting your why is a important first step, says @dshiao through @cmicontent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

From there, you may apply data-driven insights, give attention to viewers wants and change into the media. How are your model storytelling efforts coming alongside and what are your largest challenges? Share with us in the feedback.

Here’s an excerpt from Annie Granatstein’s discuss:

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Gather useful tales, data-driven insights, and extra in October at Content Marketing World. Register in the present day for the very best charges accessible. 

Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute




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