Once upon a time, marketing was only about sales. There was once a time when street vendors awaited buyers to buy something. Then came increased competition, brick-and-mortar shops, and online stores. With digital marketing, the stage has been set for consumers not just to be sold but to educate themselves through various channels available to them.
Today, there’s no better way to market your products or services than to tell a story. But it can’t just be any story—it has to be a story that is true to your brand and one that connects with your audience. The consumers in your community want to know your brand’s history, current values, and future! So let’s take a look at what makes a good story and how you can best promote yours.
Crafting Your Brand’s Storytelling
What are the elements of a successful story? There are three main elements:
When telling a story, you must start with solid characters. If you’re trying to sell something (even if it’s just the story), you have to offer a “character” relatable to a broad audience. The best brands know how to engage their audience by telling a story about themselves (meaning the founders, owners, and/or employees) or a specific customer who went through a journey, the same journey their ideal audience is going through now. If you need help understanding how you can effectively address the journey, consider reading this book and applying some of its principles.
Obviously, no story will make it far without conflict. Most people face tons of conflict in their daily lives, so there’s no question that they’ll get it when it comes up in a story. You want to make sure the conflict in your story relates to the problem your customer is facing. For example, if you sell hair gel, you could tell a story about a struggling consumer with flat, lifeless hair. Or, say you manage a service that offers cybersecurity plug-ins for websites. You could tell a series of stories about how your employees’ experiences with phishing bots led you to improve your software consistently. Your ideal customer will resonate with that because they face the same conflict.
Finally, you need a resolution to the story. Ideally, you’re going to show your audience how your product/service can solve their problem and end their conflict. In the hair gel example, you want to explain how the hair gel helped bring new life to your character’s flat, lifeless hair. In the cybersecurity example, you demonstrate empathy and solutions for your customer’s conflict and the care you put into your company culture.
If you can incorporate these elements into a story that keeps your brand values as the focus, you’ll be telling the digital marketing story that your audiences want to hear.
Telling Your Story With Digital Marketing
Once you have a story to tell, you need to get it out there so people can hear and see it. Stories are a universal form of education—every society has stories to tell, from origin stories to moral stories to fun bedtime stories. People will be inclined to listen to a story, especially if that story makes them feel like they could live better lives if they listen to the message the story is conveying.
The best way to tell a story these days is to, of course, share it online. According to MarketingProfs, 72% of marketers believe content creation is the most effective SEO tactic. The truth is that at least 49% of people use Google to find products and services. If you want to engage with customers where they are, giving them online content is the way to go.
Here is where digital marketing comes in. What story does your digital marketing tell about your brand? When people seek you out digitally, do they see the story of a character like themselves facing a conflict they face and finding a resolution with your product? Do they know the story of your business and can relate to your values? If not, they need to.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as a business owner:
Who am I?
Who is my audience?
Why did I start this brand (i.e., what conflict in my life did I want to resolve)?
How does my brand help other customers and me?
Why is what I do important?
How do my business operations reflect on my brand’s reputation?
Once you know the answers to those questions, you can craft your story. Then, you must ensure that all your digital marketing aligns with your brand story. Every social media post, email, blog post, and ad campaign should share the story of why your brand exists and why customers need it.
My goal is to bring your story forward and carry it out through various digital marketing channels. Contact me today to find out more about how I can help teach you to promote your brand story and engage your audience.