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Brand Storytelling: Skip the Stereotypical Ad — Not the Story

Posted by Rachel McMullen on August 21, 2017 at 10:42 AM

Brand StorytellingIt's estimated that about 200 million people use ad blockers and nearly everyone with internet access will press "skip ad" as soon as they have the chance. This is why telling your story is more important than ever. You should be what consumers want — don't get in the way of it.

Logos, slogans, and images are all effective at connecting with a target audience and leaving a lasting impression. But these assets all gain value when they are fully integrated with the brand's larger narrative.

Because of its reach, digital marketing has been especially helpful to the rise of brand storytelling. With ads and marketing content taking many forms across many channels, marketers face an ever-growing need to unify this content under the banner of a larger, consistent theme/brand. The brand's story serves as a natural solution, providing a direction for ad and campaign creation while laying the foundation for a branded experience that can grow and evolve over time.

Straight to the Heart

Ever cried at a commercial? Good stories have the power to do that. By enlisting emotional appeal and connecting brand missions to larger senses of purpose, brand storytelling can enrich the experience customers have when shopping in a store or even buying products online. Remember, your brand should be less like marketing robots and more like 'friends', telling stories and sharing experiences.

Crafting Your Own Story

Brand storytelling only begins when marketers know the type of story they want to tell. This requires an introspective look at the company's DNA. What makes the brand unique, what's its appeal and what's the brand's voice and mission? These aren't always easy questions to tackle, and they may take time to refine and polish, but you can't move on to a storytelling approach until you know the answers.

When you do, it's time to consider the audience for your storytelling. Who are they, and what about your company appeals to them? Is it that you sustainably source your coffee in the most gentle of ways from the most ecofriendly terrain, or are you a travel company appealing to the wanderlust of instagrammers and bloggers?

Once you've painted a sharp picture of your audience and the stories you want to tell to them, you can focus on specific themes and stories to feature. These stories need to be told across a range of channels. This means not just blogs and video, but your social content and display advertising. You're always telling two stories at one time: The one you're creating in that moment, and the larger story of why your brand matters to your audience.

Unless your incredibly lucky (or viral), storytelling strategies take time to fully mature, but they're well worth the effort when it deepens your relationship with people who will love and trust your brand.

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Chec

Topics: Digital Marketing Strategy

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