Stories have always been around—and not just in the form of movies and books. Day to day, everyone is affected by stories without even realizing it.
Take a look back to the most interesting story you’ve recently heard – it was probably through a friend or on the internet. Why did that story grab your attention? Why did it stick with you? It likely touched your emotions and made you think. Even after years, you’ll remember a good story.
This goes to show just how powerful storytelling can be. Many businesses have realized the impact a good tale can have, which is why they started incorporating storytelling to establish their brand image and other marketing tactics. Major companies have even created entire campaigns based on a story concept successfully. A great example of this being Nike, who has been employing storytelling branding since their 1999 Michael Jordan retirement campaign, and have continued to advertise their products through stories since then.
In order to increase your customer engagement, it is ideal to establish an interesting brand story. It’s also widely agreed that social media is the best platform to engage your current customers and attract new ones. By combining these two factors, sharing your brand’s story on social media, is bound to give you positive results. When executed correctly, storytelling branding will keep you on the mind of your customer.
But how exactly do you create your brand’s story to attract customers? Here are some effective tips for storytelling that will enhance customer engagement.
Make the Story Meaningful
The most effective way to tell your brand’s story is by making it meaningful to your target audience. You can utilize all the target market research your business has conducted to understand their behavior. Highlight the key points which you can incorporate in your storytelling to make it relevant and meaningful to these specific customers.
Understand what matters to your target audience, and what makes your services and products meaningful to them. Consider their short term goals and long term goals related to your services and products. For instance, if your target audience is travelers, then don’t just highlight how your service or product is more affordable than others. Instead, show them how it can assist them during their travels.
After you identify what means most to your customers, you will be able to create a relevant storyline accordingly.
Think Like Your Customers
When you update your social media platforms regarding a new product, business information, or other informative content, it is usually simple and to the point. Why not make it more interesting to attract the customers’ attention?
Create a story about the new piece of information you are sharing. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; merely a few well-crafted lines will do the trick. These updates will have higher engagement rates as compared to your previous simple ones.
Try out some short stories that highlight the common problems your target audience face, and how the problem can be resolved after using your brand. Be as creative as you want to be, and you will notice the engagement on these posts increasing.. By treating social media updates like short-form blog posts, you’ll be keeping things interesting for your target audience.
Emotional storytelling has the greatest impact on the audience. This being said, not every post necessarily has to be tear-jerking. Focus on a lighthearted, fun storyline that inspires and empowers the target audience.
Touching the emotions of your customers will form stronger connections and affiliations, as well as enhancing the social media presence of your brand through greater engagement.
Creating such a narrative is not always easy; here are some points to consider when opting for emotional storytelling:
- Keep things relatable – this technique is not going to work if your target audience can’t relate to the content and message of the story. Make sure you establish a storyline that makes them feel supported, understood, and seen.
- Keep it relevant to your brand – creativity is undoubtedly important, but so is relevance. Even if your story is touching, if it isn’t related to your services or products, and your overall brand image, then it won’t be effective. Remember, the purpose of the story is still to build your brand image and sell your product.
- Keep the content authentic – consumers today are smart and can spot a cheap marketing tactic from a mile away. Make sure to keep things original and avoid copying content or concepts from other brands.
Utilize User-Generated Content
Your target audience has many stories; just ask them to share some with you. Make it even more interesting by providing them a concept or a prompt and making it a competition. Social media users love a good contest.
Be sure to give them a word limit so that you can easily share their stories on your social media platforms. Another effective way is to divide it into parts to add the factor of suspense and keep the audience and participants interested.
Your existing audience might have already shared some stories regarding your brand. Repost them. (Be sure to get their permission first and give credit for their work.) For instance, if you sell children's toys, encourage your customers to share videos and images of the kids playing with those toys, or of the kids doing a short tutorial of the toys.
Such posts are definitely going to enhance the engagement levels and help customers to connect more with your brand.
Make Use of Visuals
Strong visuals work best on social media platforms, so when sharing the story of your brand on social media, consider showing instead of telling. How can you do that?
There are numerous ways of doing this, for instance, infographics, illustration, relevant photos, or a compelling video. You will notice a higher engagement on the posts that include some form of visual aspect, compared to that of an all-text post.
You have only a few seconds to capture the attention of your target audience on social media and motivate them to stop and read your post. Simply including a photo can make the story interesting and eye-catching as it encourages the audience to visualize the narrative.
Try using such a visual that conveys the story concept across in a few seconds. Even if the audience doesn’t read the text, the visual will leave an impact on them.
In today’s world, consumers have numerous choices and better control over their purchasing decisions. While this is great from the perspective of a consumer, it makes it much harder for businesses to encourage their target audience to try their brand. This is why the storytelling technique is important: setting your brand apart through creativity and emotional impact will keep you in your audience’s mind and therefore increase engagement and conversion.
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