Marketers and branding professionals love to talk about telling a story to reach your target audience. And while the idea of storytelling isn’t new, there are nearly endless ways to pursue this idea. The number of options can be overwhelming, and it might be difficult for a business owner to decide which approach would speak most powerfully to his or her particular customer base. Here’s a quick overview of three proven storytelling methods that can help you share the heart of your brand and amass a wider following.
Rely On Others
Most businesses understand that customers are their lifeblood. But does any of your external messaging or marketing show this? Customers not only want to hear that they’re valued, but they also want to see that they matter through your actions. One way to convey this very important message is by showcasing the stories of your customers. While formal case studies and testimonials surely have their place, informal videos or notes about a customer’s experiences can go a long way in improving your image and showing customers (and prospects) how much you value them.
Airbnb does an excellent job of this, by devoting a section of their website to what they call “Community Stories.” Their renters and buyers alike can share anecdotes about what Airbnb has meant to them, and having a space created just for this communicates how much these personal stories mean to the brand.
Reclaim a False Narrative
Sometimes, your company might face a negative public perception that needs to be corrected. This can be tough because you know the truth and are often eager to shout it from the rooftops. But coming at a public misconception must be handled in the right way or it can just cause even more damage to your brand. Instead of getting defensive or trying to bash the false narrative, consider using storytelling to reclaim your business’ image.
An example of this in action was how Amway handled an untrue belief about its business model. The company directly addressed the issue on its official blog and provided relevant historical information that corroborated the truth. By doing this, Amway set the record straight in an honest, gentle way. This approach also demonstrated that Amway was aware of the misconception and felt compelled to share the truth with its audience.
Recreate a Feeling
Another useful way to employ storytelling to reach your business’ goals is by evoking a feeling. Google did this beautifully by telling a love story through nothing but search terms typed into its search engine. By using specific words and locations, the brand dropped clues about a Parisian love story, evoking feelings of youth, love and romance. If you can get your audience to feel a certain feeling, especially one that is nostalgic or warm, your story can really stick with them.
There are countless ways to tell all the stories your brand has to tell. Try one of the approaches outlined here, and see if it resonates with your customers. It just might help you connect with some new people and spread further awareness of the great brand you’re building.