Are you building a brand? Then tell a story.
Welcome to our first blog post. For the past three years that we have been doing business (we are a content agency), it never seemed to be the right time to start a blog – or so was the thought, even as we churned out blogs for other businesses.
Well, it was a mistake. When you start a business or run a business there is a story to tell everyday. There is a story that every business owner has to tell about the first deal signed and the several deals that went bust, about the great idea/product that got launched or faded away, and of the lessons learnt through the victories and the failures. Finally, its those small stories that shape your company’s identity and its important to recognize those and put it in front of the people recognise those and put it in front of the people.
Telling your story can make a difference since people relate to a story and identify with a brand. They don’t just buy your product or service, they buy your conviction of ‘why the product or service will sell’. By telling the story about your brand, your also giving your customers a lot more to remember about you (the brand) and allowing them to think that they know you.
In my previous job at 9dot9 Media, where I was associated with the India version of the US-based Inc. magazine, which provides fantastic content about growing companies, I edited a lot of stories about brands and their startup days, and sometimes about startups that were trying to become brands. In the process, you come to feel as if you know what they are doing and talking about; you relate to their experiences. And that’s where the connect with your audience is established.
In today’s fast-moving hyper-connected world, it is not enough to just publish content to build your brand. You need to engage with your audience, and allow them to form an emotional connection with you and your organization. And that is where the story-telling part comes in. By sharing your company’s story through effective content, you are effectively transferring knowledge and emotion to your audience – in the process allowing them a deeper identification with your brand.
Here are three tips to help you get started:
1) Get your story right. Know your ABC’s:
Don’t rush to tell a story before you know what to say to the audience. Writing for the sake of just publishing content and attracting search engine attention is not likely to get you anywhere. When you are telling a story, you are dealing with the emotional heart of your brand. Be honest about it, and write with a clear plan in mind about what will be your core narrative. Think of your company’s ABCs – Audience, Brand, Category – before creating your content. So here are the questions you should think about. Who are your targeting? What is the USP of your brand? Where is your audience and how do you want your brand to be perceived?
2) Choose the right channel:
There are far too many channels nowadays to publish your content. The trick is to find the platforms that suit your product/services. Its not necessary to be on every platform, its necessary to be where your audience is. So find out which are the channels they use the most, and how do they like their content served. If you have not started with anything, go with the fundamentals – a good website and a Facebook page. Both are prime real estate on the internet for your brand.
3) Be consistent in serving content:
There is no point in telling a story that you don’t want to continue with. Starting a content marketing plan is also about making a commitment to be regular with your stories. Its about continuous storytelling – a steady stream of engaging and entertaining ideas and innovative brand narratives. All of this must be backed with proper planning and resources to keep the content cycle alive – basically, continuous story telling. If you ditch your readers midway, they are very likely to never come back.
Telling brand stories is an evolving process but the success of content marketing also depends on how honest and dedicated you are to your story and its planning. So what is your story?