Brand storytelling on social media

February 25, 2021

The benefits of using storytelling in your marketing and branding

Since the dawn of time, when our late ancestors were sitting around a fire, storytelling has remained basically unchanged. What has changed? The mediums through which we tell said stories.

Social Media and its evolving landscape combined with diminishing customer attention spans is forcing businesses to be creative in how they deliver their story to their customers.

I am obsessed with story-telling. I have been telling stories to my kids since the day they were born and in fact still read to them today as young teenagers. Storytelling is at the root of everything we do as humans, so it SHOULD be for our marketing strategy as well.

The game has changed, we are all competing for the same set of eyeballs, leaving us with only seconds to come out winning.  With millions of bytes of data and information being distributed to us in an on-demand culture, learning to tell our stories with impact and resonance has never been more important. You only have mere seconds to get the job done (grabbing a customer’s attention).

In the end, all that really matters is evoking some sort of reaction from your reader – that’s it! When done properly, when you grab their attention, you have contained that set of eyeballs and they are much more willing to sit down and follow along. When you set out to tell your story don’t focus on quantity consumption, instead spend time on quality distribution – all that matters is if your reader finds the content you are sharing to be INTERESTING. Then they will listen.

So how do you do this?

  1. Understand your brand purpose, set about solving a problem and intertwine the practical with passion – it’s at these crossroads that people listen. You are touching on two things at once – solving a problem with practical advice and resonating with their emotions through passionate delivery.
  1. Document, then redistribute. Gary Vee rehashed this age old principle into much simpler terms. He calls it the Document Pyramid. Instead of setting out to create content, document moments and then chunk it up into evergreen (repurposed) content across multiple channels. Start by documenting the stuff you are really good at, passionate about and where you can add your unique value proposition and share with your audience – no matter how small or large. The more content you distribute consistently and across multiple channels the greater chance you have of being seen.
  1. Understand the nuances of each channel and the unique audiences each hold.  No two audiences are alike and therefore your content has to be written and distributed specifically for each one. Instagram is visual. LinkedIn is intellectual. Facebook is a watercooler of looking glasses, TikTok is an emotional look at me, and on and on. You have to provide alternative visual artifacts that are engineered, rather reverse engineered to the psychology of the audience you are speaking to. Spend more time better understanding where your audience is putting their attention [time] and go play there.
  1. Change your focus to adding value, not advertising. This is an emotional thought paradigm shift. Everyone advertises. Today’s customers are way too smart, they see right through your veil of self-promotion. Add value. Tell a story. Solve a problem. Gain their attention GENUINELY.
  1. Understand context. Context is everything. Then fill that context with a delivery that tells a story and captures their attention while simultaneously entertaining, telling a story, and solving a problem. The sooner you can do that, the sooner you will grow. It’s that simple.

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