- 6 Powerful Brand Storytelling Techniques You Can Start Using Today
6 Powerful Brand Storytelling Techniques You Can Start Using Today
Brand storytelling has become a crucial part of marketing in the digital age. If your brand doesn’t have a story – it’s just noise. It’s just one option in the sea of other, more recognizable names. Telling your story in a powerful way is important because it fills the gap between you and the consumer. It engages the sense, as opposed to just the parts of your brain responsible for reasoning. This means that a successful brand tells a story that bypasses the part responsible for reasoning. Instead, it focuses on working with emotions.In this article, I want to walk you through 6 powerful brand storytelling techniques you can start using today and tell your story the way it was meant to be told.
Purely text-based content is out. Social media platforms have allowed us to communicate our emotions with so much more. We constantly use images, gifs, videos, and text to communicate with each other. We also use the combinations of all those to create visual metaphors, that illustrate our emotions perfectly.
The thing about humans is that we are mainly visual creatures. We retain visual input more easily. We process images 60,000 times faster than text. For this reason, one of the most powerful brand storytelling techniques is visual storytelling.
If you want to build a brand, you have to stick in people’s minds. And time and time again, studies have shown that visual input does the trick when it comes to that. Too much information requires time to be processed. The reason we like visual content so much is the fact that we can absorb the same exact information as we could if we read a block of text. This means that one of the most powerful brand storytelling techniques is to show your journey, instead of just talk about it. You can do this by implementing gifs, images, videos, memes, or visual metaphors, like Heinz did in an image below:
Visual storytelling can really establish your brand identity as well. If you’ve done some brand soul-searching, you already know what your story is about. Make sure the design and logo you attach to your brand really tell the full story. It’s your pick between colder and warmer colors, a flashy or a minimalistic logo. Just think about everything your brand stands for, and showcase it
How to Tell a Visual Story in PowerPoint
In your PowerPoint presentation, implementing some of the visual storytelling techniques can really pay out. Plain, bulleted text is on its way out. Slowly, charts, images and other visual input are starting to take up whole slides. After a streak of text-based slides, include an image that illustrates everything you’ve said. This can either be a graph, or a chart that illustrates all the points. It will give your audience the time to rest and take in all the data.
Make the design match your brand’s purpose. Color is a very important factor in establishing brand recognition. WebPageFX, a marketing and web design company, reported that 90% of people judge a product in less than 90 seconds of looking at it. 85% of prospects report that color is the primary reason for purchasing a specific product. Know your brand and what it stands for. Pick colors that are appropriate and evoke specific emotions related to your purpose. If you are out of inspiration, you might find TED’s10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea, from TED’s in-house expert an interesting read.
If you believe we live in the age of information, you believe we live in the age of storytelling. Why? Because storytelling is just an engaging way of delivering information. And it’s the way we were hardwired to absorb information.
When we were children, we were often told stories in order to learn important lessons. We were taught at school in creative ways. Everybody was inventive and playful when delivering information to us. But when we grow up – it all stops. You no longer believe you deserve to be entertained while learning. But it doesn’t really make sense to feel like that.Studies show that storytelling is the most effective way to deliver information, and that raw data just doesn’t stick. This is why informational storytelling is one of the most powerful brand storytelling techniques in existence. And if you are not using it to deliver information – you’re fighting against human nature.
How to Tell an Engaging Informational Story
Did you know that your listener’s brain couples with yours when you’re telling them a story? Some scientists call this phenomenon ‘mind-meld’. This means that the neural activities between the speaker and the listener mirror each-other. So, one of the most powerful brand storytelling techniques is to ‘couple’ some of your neurons with your audience. And one of the easiest ways to do this is to induce trust in your audience.
We live in the age of transparency, and your consumers expect that from you. Think about it. When you have a problem, what makes it easy for you to open up about it? Do you tend to open up to people who are closed off, or to those who are transparent and open about their own troubles? You would naturally want to give something to someone who has already offered something valuable beforehand.
The most successful informational story is one that is full of trial and error. If you want to tell the story of your brand, tell the whole story. Explain all the errors you’ve made. Laugh about it and share everything you’ve learned from it. It might seem counter-intuitive to talk about your drawbacks, but it’s what people need to hear the most. For more on how to tell the most honest story read Neil Patel’s How to Create an Authentic Brand Story that Actually Improves Trust.
What separates a great story from an average one? Well, most people agree it’s some kind of depth.
Depth is what lies behind every human story. And depth is something other people bring to the table. After all, apart from being deep, the best stories are also always character-driven. This separates powerful brand storytelling techniques
High-profile brand consultant Laurence Knight claims that brands need to really go beyond the individual and focus on the community. She thinks that your consumers should be treated as equals in your narrative. The trick is to pull the people in as characters in your brand’s story.
It’s highly effective for a brand to have a back-story and a subplot.
Your back-story is just your resume with depth. It’s all your brand’s achievements but told in an honest and personal way.
Your subplot is your interests beyond the brand’s integral identity. For example, for Dove, the parallel story is the brand’s interest in raising self-esteem in women and girls. That’s the brand’s message. Dove’s integral identity, according to Laurence Knight, is to ‘relax and soothe’. That’s completely different from their core message of self-esteem.
Another technique that helps with brand soul-searching is to have a strong team, united under the same purpose. Know the people you’re working with, and always ask for feedback and opinions. This boost creativity and enthusiasm about the brand and its core purpose. And it does wonders for the perception of your brand. When your team is unified, your brand’s image will inevitably benefit from it. If you’d like to learn more about managing your team, you might find Do you know how to truly appreciate your co-workers?
Have the Connected Consumer in Mind
The connected consumer is the by-product of the digital age. Your brand is everywhere. But- so are many others. For the reason that there are many stories competing with each other, what makes you worth their time? Well, the secret to standing out in the sea of noise is to actually quiet down and listen to your consumers. Know what they think, feel and believe about your brand, not just your products and services.
Your consumers now have an easier way of connecting with you and give you feedback. It’s an inevitable consequence of the social media. This means that their perception of your brand will actually become the part of the brand –and that’s good.
If you’ve communicated the core idea of your brand well, the response coming from your consumers should be aligned with your core values. If it’s not – try to communicate in a different way, until you get the feedback you want. Then – you will have created a brand’s story together with your consumers. This really attracts the right people that will stick with your brand. Because of the interactive way in which you created your story. And people are much more likely to stick with the story they’re a part of.
Find the Language of Your Target Audience
Language is a skill you can’t ignore if you’re interested in telling a good story. Visual information is neat, but you can’t use it to communicate everything. This makes language one of the most powerful brand storytelling techniques you can master.
To be skilled at storytelling is to be good at finding the right words, not the best-sounding ones. Think about it: You change the way you speak depending on who you’re speaking to. We use different language when we talk to different people all the time. You don’t talk to your spouse the same way you talk to your colleagues at work. You don’t talk to your friends the same way you talk to your parents. Your language, self-expression and subject matter change all the time depending on who’s listening to you. Because of that, we say that a good writer isn’t the one that knows complex words. It’s the one that knows who their readers are.
Really study your target demographic and how they communicate, and not just shop, online. This will reveal the broader interests, worries and wants of the consumers. It will also reveal what kind of storytelling they consume, in images, gifs, to inspirational viral videos – whatever it is that people collectively resonate with. If you want to tell a good story, listen to the way people want to have a story told to them.
In order to find the common language with your consumers, you must also go deep. Don’t always assume to tell a story of a brand. Rather, tell stories about people. People that made it happen. People that are still making it happen. And make sure to communicate it in a way they want it told to them.
Embrace Social Media
So, you’ve targeted your main demographic. You’ve discovered what kind of language they use to communicate. As a result of that – you know how they want a story told. They’re waiting for you to sweep them of their feet! The only remaining question is: Where to find them?
The best way to make people actually hear your well-crafted story, you must target their feeds. Depending on your brand, there will be many places for your native content. If your brand’s followers hang more on Facebook, it makes sense to target it as a social media of choice.
If you want to target all the social media, study the different ways people communicate there. Your mom uses Facebook. Your children use Instagram. If you don’t talk the same way to your parents as to your children, you don’t use the same content on all the social media. Get really skilled at native advertising. Know where to tell your story. Know where to tell which part of it as well.
Now you know what the 4 most powerful brand storytelling techniques are, and how to use them. In your next PowerPoint presentation, make sure to get creative with imagery and visual storytelling. Deliver your point in the perfect mixture of information and story. Know what the core message of your brand, and its depth. And make the story, and the process of telling it, interactive! Let your consumers insert themselves into the story as important characters that help you grow along the way.