How to Humanize Your Brand With Storytelling

You’ve heard it before:  The best way to attract new customers and strengthen relationships with existing ones is by connecting with them in a deeply human way. Often, though, establishing a human connection via digital mediums presents a challenging task for marketers. After all, the Web creates a barrier between you and your audience. Unique, personalized stories that resonate with your audience work to diminish this obstacle, and help to create meaningful customer relationships.

Before we begin discussing strategy and highlighting great examples of brand storytelling, let’s talk about what not to do. “Brand storytelling” might make you think this will serve as a great platform to share your brand’s unique story. While this is certainly important, it is not what brand storytelling is about. Rather, this content marketing strategy is about telling the stories of your consumers so they can feel more connected to your brand.

To use this strategy, you’ll need to be intimately familiar with your consumers. The following techniques can help you understand more about your key targets:

  • Social listening: What are your consumers discussing on social media? What videos are they watching and what types of content are they interacting with most? Employing a technique called social listening—or the monitoring of social media channels to uncover clues about your audience’s preferences—will give you the real information you need to tell more poignant, humorous and relatable stories, depending on your consumers’ preferences.
  • Data analytics: Leverage consumer data gathered from your various marketing technology systems, like marketing automation or customer relationship management, to discover patterns and trends within your audience. For instance, is your audience comprised of a particular demographic, say millennials? If so, the bulk of your stories should feature this specific group.

Once you know your customer, it’s time to show them how your brand story can become part of their story. That is, provide your audience with content that features people like them having relatable experiences, instead of showcasing your product or services. Rather than explain, let’s learn by example.

Check out these wonderful examples of brand storytelling in action:

  • GoPro’s Firefighter Saves Kitten: Spoiler alert—this one could move you to tears, but that’s part of the reason it’s so effective. This example of brand storytelling showcases GoPro’s ability to capture a moment that is bigger than its product and incite audience emotions. Watch for yourself:
  • Special Olympics’ I Am Your Fan: This one will probably make you cry, too. Again, that’s what makes it an outstanding example of brand storytelling. The ad shares a real father’s life-changing experience with his daughter, and ends with a trip to the Special Olympics. All proud parents can relate to this powerful message. Take a look:

If you were touched by the human experiences portrayed in these videos, then our lesson is complete. That’s the goal of brand storytelling: to connect with your audience by finding common ground in the human experience, whether it’s emotional, hilarious or surprising.

Your audience has plenty of stories to share; they’re waiting for you to discover them.

Editorial-Shoot-Diana-3Whether skydiving in Interlaken or free falling into hot oil pizza from Colony Grille, Diana Bishop knows a thing or two about adventure. After graduating from Keene State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in English, she has used her experiences while studying abroad in Barcelona to inject fresh perspective into her work at Content Boost. Admittedly “artsy” by nature, she enjoys painting and drawing whenever she has free time on her hands. Before she joined the team at Content Boost she organized promotions and wrote commercial copy for iHeartMedia, a global entertainment and media company.

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