Updated: Jun 13, 2021
Keeping your audience engaged is critical to your brand's success. Simply setting up a business page and showcasing your products online is not enough in 2021. You need to build a life-long relationship with your potential customers to achieve a strong reputation in your niche market. Storytelling is one of the most foolproof techniques to keep your audience hooked without wasting a single penny.
We all relish a good story, particularly when it is unique. Your audience needs to know more about the bits and pieces that make up your brand. I’ve discovered local brand stories through interviews and each of them had a unique story that added character to their brand.
Practically all businesses have fascinating stories that are worth sharing. Stories are impactful and more importantly, they inspire trust.
Storytelling has become an invaluable tool in marketing and it requires creativity.
Forbes defines it as an art that requires no boundaries but three precious ingredients: simplicity, directness, and honesty while Inc suggests:
1.Writing down your past, present, and future story. What got you started, why does your brand story matter, how is your business evolving and what is your brand vision.
2.Formulating a brand statement that explains why the business exists.
3.And finally, writing a story based on the above.
Here are 4 elements that you should consider when writing your story:
Make it about the People
Your audience finds it essential to connect with the faces behind your brand which is why you need to incorporate details that reflect your brand values and this is efficiently achieved through people. People render brands more interesting and this aids in adding a human touch to your products and services. Stories are more appealing when they focus on people who share an intimate experience with your brand.
Customers, business partners, and employees are the assets of your brand and by introducing their narratives into your marketing strategy, you can emotionally connect with potential customers. Endorsements are valuable but storytelling builds a lasting impression on your audience since they can identify with your protagonists.
Let Them Know You Care
In 2020, consumers had the opportunity to reflect on their relationships with brands. Since then, consumers expect brands to actively take action and not just display empty solidarity when it comes to social issues. As a brand, your voice can influence and guide others. Therefore, your stories should be a reflection of who you are. Consumers want to connect with brands that care about causes and not solely revenue.
For instance, if you genuinely care about unfair wages or sustainability, you can provide information about these matters and suggest how you and your audience can help in tackling the problem. When the Wakashio Oil spill disaster struck Mauritius, small businesses like Kotpiale, Cahaya Morphosis showed their support by encouraging others to actively participate in the cleaning process. Storytelling can be a reflection of your brand values, ethics, and more. Remember that it is better to refrain from feigning that you care about causes on social media since it can conclusively lead to a backlash.
Storytelling as a Learning Tool
As a business owner, you have to be steadily aware of current marketing strategies and storytelling is one of the tools that allows you to learn more about your brand and your audience.
Storytelling can focus on educating your audience on the things that make your brand one of its kind. Your stories can focus on first-hand experiences and observations that allow your audience to experience all the elements of your brand while providing you insights into the market and society through research. By inspecting your brand position regularly, you can better understand your audience and address their needs. More on it here. Storytelling is beneficial to marketers and consumers, alike.
Make the Details Count
Small businesses have mastered the art of capturing their audiences’ minds through details. They highlight tasks such as their product packaging or their crafting processes thus, providing deeper insight into production subtly and interestingly. It is a means to promote your products without focusing on the sale or on the product itself. Storytelling has the power to render the plainest of things captivating which is why every marketer should consider it.
If you are not the creative type, I’d suggest constructing a product narrative, you have probably come across those cat adoption posts that reveal their personal stories, consider doing the same with your products, explain how and why your products are worth a try without sounding salesy. Blog posts are often dedicated to that purpose. They offer you solutions through storytelling which is more compelling than product specifications.
Storytelling at Pineapple Cloud Mauritius
The mission of Pineapple Cloud Mauritius is to generate entrepreneurship awareness in Mauritius, and since this is an honest interest of mine, most of my posts are dedicated to the journey of Mauritian entrepreneurs, their struggles, their products, and so on. This, in turn, leads to WOM (word of mouth) which is free and allows me to connect with like-minded people. It’s all about honesty, genuine interest, and simple stories!
Nike is seemingly one of the few leading brands that has adopted storytelling as part of its marketing tactics. The brand is renowned for tackling sports issues such as racism and sexism. Nike has convinced us that highlighting modern taboos lead to life-long customer loyalty.
If you still believe your brand doesn't have a story, it's time to analyze your journey, your brand ideas, and your vision.
Product specifications are outdated, storytelling has become the new norm and you surely don't want to be left out!
Want to discover more about Brand Storytelling, check out some of these links:
Sendible’s Guide to Using Storytelling on Social Media
Sprout Social’s Guide to Engaging customers with Brand Storytelling
Business2Community: The art of storytelling on Social Media
Thank you for reading! If you’re curious about entrepreneurs in Mauritius, take a look at our Small Business Stories posts.