Consumers want to connect with brands on a personal, emotive, and human level. It isn’t enough to just spread marketing messages anymore. In a digital world where consumers experience information overload and bombarding advertising on a daily basis you need to stand out and truly connect with your audience. How do you do this? By being authentic in brand storytelling.

Being authentic means being transparent, showing who you are, and what you stand for, and consistently upholding this. Authenticity in content marketing is creating content that is truly engaging and adds value to your consumers, while reflecting and aligning with your brand values, beliefs, and personality. Your content can be entertaining, educational, informational, shocking, or emotional, but whatever direction you go in, it has to be genuine, sincere, and true to your brand. Consumers have trust issues. They block ads and are sick of gimmicks and sales tactics. They want to support brands that prioritise them and offer them value – that’s how you will gain trust and loyalty. 

Authentic content marketing will also help your brand stand out in this very cluttered digital world. It will show people why they should like, support, and get behind your brand. It can humanise your brand, making it more relatable and allowing deeper connections and a loyal following to form. 

What is brand storytelling?

Brand storytelling breathes life into your brand. It helps your brand to cut through the clutter and really stand out. It uses storytelling techniques to resonate with audiences, enabling brands to be more engaging, relatable, and unforgettable. Stories help to stir emotions, prompt action and foster deeper, personal connections. 

This goes beyond marketing. It shows why your brand is unique and it allows customers to get to know and form a deeper connection with your brand through relatable narratives. 

First things first:

  1. You need to establish your Brand Identity – your values, beliefs, personality, and a clear brand purpose. You need to define a voice and tone that aligns with your brand identity and your audience. Your brand’s voice and tone express its personality and values, shaping how your narrative is perceived.
  2. You need to identify your target market – if you don’t know who your audience is, how are you going to create content that is valuable, relevant, and engaging to them, and how are you going to know what they want to see from your brand?

Tips for brand storytelling:

We’ve already established that knowing your audience is essential, so you should start by pinpointing your central messages and themes, and selecting a captivating narrative that will resonate with your audience. 

You need to make sure the story you’re telling is true to your brand values, personality, tone, and voice, and in order to be genuine and authentic you need to believe in your brand story – how can you expect your customers to if you don’t?

It’s crucial to humanise your brand by sharing real stories and focusing on how your product benefits people’s lives.

It’s also essential to have a captivating plot to take your audience on an emotional journey that will enthral them from beginning to end. It’s helpful to use relatable characters to bring your story to life. You should develop characters with unique personalities and motivations, as this will help to build a connection with your audience.

You need to evoke emotions in storytelling, as this will captivate your audience and allow a deeper bond to be formed.

You can also show behind-the-scenes content to involve and engage your consumers as well as humanise your brand. 

People are more likely to trust their peers than a brand so showing testimonials can increase engagement and help build trust and loyalty.

Your brand stories must also be tailored to the different channels and platforms that your brand and audience use. 

You need to be consistent, transparent, genuine, and sincere in order to build trust and loyalty.

You need to stay true to your brand’s values, beliefs, and personality. Don’t copy other brands and avoid being generic – make original content.

Remember to take risks as this will help you stand out.

Engage with your audience, respond to comments, have conversations, and encourage your audience to share with you. In this digital world, it is no longer marketers pushing messages, there’s a 2-way conversation between brands and consumers, so leverage this and get your consumers involved. 

Consumers are tired and distrustful of promotional messages and sales tactics. They need something back – a value exchange – which is what makes content marketing such a necessary and powerful tool. By telling stories and creating content that is valuable, authentic, sincere, and genuine, using emotions and empathy, tailored to specific channels and the correct audience, your brand will stand out, and consumers will want to engage with you and your content.

As we’ve mentioned, content marketing and storytelling are essential for brands and consumers, but it’s also an exciting and dynamic area for marketers to really get creative, stand out, and have fun!