In the sea of marketing and advertising options out there, many small businesses drown. Yes, they know they need to make noise about what they do. And they try. Really.
But oftentimes, lacking the proper time and resources, they cast their nets in all the wrong places. Or they use the kind of nets that are not fit for their customers.
And even if they hear about brand storytelling, the storytelling marketing technique, the small guys don’t have the time to experiment with it. And if they have, they think it’s just another buzzing trend that does not deserve their attention.
Well, I completely understand you, fellows. But let me tell you why your brand story won’t obliterate the rest of your marketing efforts. It’ll just make them, well, catchier.
The story is the basis of it all
Have you ever asked yourself why you’re dedicating your time to your business, precisely to that thing you’re doing?
Alternatively, if you’ve been thinking too much about the “you” part, have you ever thought about the actual benefit that you give to others through your work?
There are so many similar questions that clarify the reason why your company exists – and they’re all contained in its core story. The real rationale of doing what you do.
And I’ll never get tired to explain this because it’s so important. And so true: when you dig in your past (and in your own head) to connect the dots in the history of your local shop, cafe, barbershop – or even tech startup – you’ll find a true gem.
Not only will you know better the motivation you have for doing what you do, which is always the key to success, but you’ll also have an awesome story to tell people. And on top of all, it’ll be true. (Unlike fishermen’s stories).
And once you have this precious narrative in your hands, transmedia storytelling is yours. You can tell bits and pieces of it everywhere you want: when a client comes to get a coffee; on the wall of your shop or on the new flyers promoting a new product; on your company’s Facebook page or when tweeting back to a client’s question; on your business website.
Yes, I said everywhere. Which means you don’t need to come up with disconnected ideas, publish various random pieces of content and apply different approaches to all the different communication channels you have. They remain just the medium, but the message stays the same – and gains power with every share and print.
The brand story is, in all likelihood, the most important communication asset of your brand. It gives your marketing the purpose it needs to be meaningful – and to work.
A good story keeps people coming back, online and offline
And as I just said a few lines earlier, when you’ve spent some time and found your brand story, you have something compelling to share with people. In this way, the story also gives your marketing efforts a strong hook. Namely, to attract people with stuff they find interesting and engaging, instead of boring them with disruptive ads.
There are plenty of reasons why storytelling works so well as a marketing technique. It’s not rocket science; it’s not discovering the wheel; and it does not mean that all other communication methods should go home.
It’s just really good at making people’s brains work in a way that they enjoy it – and come back for more. We’re geared to experience the world in a narrative form, which makes us easy to please with a good story. Through the storytelling mechanism in our heads, we create millions of small narratives daily: about who we are, our experiences, fears, hopes, relationships. So it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that “Stories are for humans like water is for fish.”
And on top of that, having a clear and well-told brand story is the ultimate tool for integrating your customers in the picture. You just have to make them a part of the story. And who doesn’t like to belong, and to have people tell stories about her? And to have yet another reason to make up the little stories of the day? Yep, I do.
On stories and fish
To give you a hand in the process of discovering your authentic brand story, Edgar prepared the Detective Brand Story Canvas. It’s a simple yet powerful tool that you can use yourself and apply when casting your own marketing nets. Rock on, storytelling fishermen!
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