What do you remember the most from your days spent as a kid in elementary school? The parts that stand out to me are assemblies, field trips, science experiments, and moments when my teachers would talk about something unrelated to school — like their family vacations, pets, or something silly that their own children had done the night before. I used to love it when my teachers briefly digressed from their lessons plans. Not only would this help to humanize them, but their stories would captivate the students by giving them an otherwise unseen glimpse into their lives.
Storytelling in content marketing has a similar impact on consumers. Before stories were able to be physically recorded, people either shared them verbally with one another or used drawings to communicate their messages. That’s because stories provided (and continue to provide) a format that was memorable, entertaining, engaging, and could be shared throughout the generations.
Entrepreneurs, listen up! The nature of storytelling has never changed. Once you craft an authentic brand story, you’ll begin to reach and build connections with your target audience. Every brand has a unique story unlike that of their competitors. Although competing brands might have similar motivations, core values, solutions to problems, etc., no one else’s brand story will be identical to your own. This gives your brand a competitive advantage by delivering a one of a kind perspective and reaching ideal clients who resonate with your message — and your message alone.
Can I let you in on a little secret? My most popular blog posts over the past few years have had nothing to do with photography. I was so surprised by the stats after I hit publish on my “10 Things You Might Not Know About Me” blog post a couple of months ago. People are naturally curious and want to know about the person behind the brands that they love and support.
What are their values?
What do they like to do in their free time?
What motivates them to pursue their chosen career?
What causes are important to them?
How and why did they get started?
What did they think that they could improve upon in the marketplace?
Gone are the days of solely listing products/services on a website or in an ad and expecting to make a sale. I’m yawning. Sure, you might make a few sales, but without incorporating storytelling, you probably won’t reach the type of clients who you want to serve. And the few consumers who actually do convert might not even think to refer your brand to a friend because because they haven’t established a connection with it.
Why do I publish posts that have nothing to with photography from time to time? It builds trust with my readers, makes me a human, and allows me to share about the things that get me fired up. It also helps me connect with future clients who might be scrolling through my blog posts and think, “hey, I’m a huge fan of chocolate milkshakes too!” 🙂