“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” – Seth Godin
What is your brand story? You may think your company doesn’t have a compelling story, or that telling customers “what you do” isn’t interesting enough to sell your brand. No matter what you do, what you make, or what kind of service you provide, your story IS your brand. It’s what connects you to your customers.
How have you made a difference in your customers’ lives? THAT is your brand story. Expand on that, explain it, and use it to drive what you do and to connect with future customers. Your story makes you unique.
Stories that evoke emotion can be powerful tools. Cast your customers in your stories, weave in a question or problem, and show how you solved it. The best stories are those that touch your audience in some way—using humor, joy or inspiration to charge your customers and call them to action. …and whenever possible, give your stories happy endings.
- If you’re looking for Great Ways to Tell a Marketing Story, use the same methods you would when telling any great story: build on a plot, add a villain or a problem, and sweep them off their feet with a solution. Most importantly? Get creative!
- Your brand story makes for the best website and social media content. Use video and photo to tell your stories and you’ll find you can literally sell without selling through great content marketing.
- Keep your story sincere and get your customer involved in telling your story. Telling your story should be your marketing strategy.
- Always have a point and a purpose to your story. It’s not enough to just explain how you got from Point A to Point B. Instead, make your story engaging with rich context, journalistic techniques and analysis throughout. Understand the “why” behind your story.
- Remember: sometimes your customers can tell your story better than you can. Take, for example, this campaign by New York Presbyterian. Turns out, the patients were better at telling the story than the doctors!
- No matter your industry, storytelling is a key strategy for successful marketing.
If you need inspiration to craft and tell your story, be sure to follow Cultivate on LinkedIn or subscribe below to receive full Motivational Mondays posts in your inbox each week.
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Direct mail can be a powerful tool, but not if it’s thrown in the trash without consideration. The best way to keep your direct mail campaign out of the garbage is to earn the trust of your recipients. Powerful brand storytelling is the best way to do that. With the right story, readers will care—and they’ll be interested in your message.
Your brand story is built from the ground up. Here’s how…
Start with Brand Recognition
The first boost to your direct mail campaign comes from simple name, logo and branding recognition. Consistency is absolutely key to building brand recognition. You might send different types of mail, but your logo and branding should be visible and prominent on any mailing.
Customers who know who you are and already view your company in a positive light will be less likely to trash your mail. Perhaps they’ve already been to your website and signed up for an offer. Perhaps they’ve purchased your products or services before. Perhaps you interacted at a trade show. Brand recognition helps you tell your brand story, mainly because it’s the key to getting that direct mail piece in the door and in front of more eyes, unlike “cold call” mail.
Speak to Your Customers—and Your Customer Service
One of the most important services you can offer is fast, friendly customer service. Never underestimate the power of a helpful smiling face or an earnest friendly voice. Your customers are where your brand story starts, because so many great customer stories stem from great customer service.
Great customer stories are often the most powerful brand stories a smaller company can have—and one of the best ways to beat the competition. Build brand loyalty and make prospects and customers alike feel included in your direct mail initiative by telling stories about how you’ve helped people just like them.
Highlight Your Company—and Your Company Culture
Your brand story should be about your company as well—and your people: who you are, how you treat your employees, the history of your company, even your location. It’s the details that pull in your customers and help them get to know and trust your business. Loyal customers aren’t just a faceless mailing list, they are people who care about you, your company, your mission, and your brand.
If you know your customers, you know what’s important to them. Your story should touch on these points. Will your customers respond to green energy initiatives? Support of a political party? How about perks for your employees? Your technical innovations? Find the elements of the way you do business that will most likely appeal to your clients and make them part of your brand story. Customers want to do business with companies they feel good about.
Showcase Your Products & Services
Your customers have certain expectations, and chances are, they can buy what you’re selling somewhere else. Direct mail should showcase your products and services in the best possible light—with stunning, colorful graphics that reinforce your brand story.
No matter what you’re selling, you probably face some stiff competition. If your prices aren’t low enough to write home about, your brand story has to be impressive enough to gain a place in your customers’ hearts.
Powerful brand storytelling sets you apart, forges an emotional connection with your customers, and makes your brand uppermost in your customers’ minds when they think of your products and services or see your mailing. Tell a compelling story and you’ll reap the benefits of getting more eyes on your direct mail piece—and more leads in your sales funnel.
Stop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open! Brand storytelling is an integral part of an effective marketing strategy. Want to learn more about effective content marketing? Whether you decide to outsource content marketing or not, this eBook is chock-full of great information on content marketing. Download this FREE guide, Side Door Thinking, to discover how content marketing can help you ramp up your website and complete your marketing strategy.
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