Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is Your Brand Telling a Story?

What’s your story?

Since the beginning of time, humans have been telling stories. Carved on the walls in the Paleolithic Era to written on papyrus by the Egyptians, the art of storytelling has existed as long as humans have been able to communicate. Fast forward to 2013 – even though the delivery methods have changed storytelling is just as much a part of our culture as it was back then. Our desire to connect with others through storytelling still remains a crucial element in our relationships.
Everyone has a story to tell, including your company – even if you don’t think you have one, you have one. As a content marketer, your best efforts will focus on infusing your brands story into the content you create. Great content writing will not push a corporate message, but instead focus on making connections through the sharing of your companies values, philosophy, history, and people.
Here are some tips on how to incorporate your brands story into your content.

Take it behind-the-scenes.

Think about who you want to buy an item from. Is it the CEO in a power suit or the friendly employee that you can relate to on a personal level? Chances are it is the friendly employee. In reality, people want to connect with other people, not corporations. Taking your audience behind-the-scenes in your content, perhaps showing employees perspectives or how things work if you produce a product can really help to bring out the story aspect of your brand. Most companies boast how their employees are a huge part of their culture, so use this opportunity to showcase the amazing talent you have working for your brand. Remember, people connect with people, not with corporations. Your employees are a living testament of your brands story. Utilize them wisely.

Be transparent.

Consumers are savvy these days and can read through the smoke and mirrors quite easily. With the anonymity of social media, you will be called out on it quickly, and oftentimes by an unceasingly ruthless crowd. If your company does make a public mistake, be transparent about it and follow these steps during a PR crisis. Check out this advice on how to handle a social media and public relations crisis.

Highlight your history.

Your brand has a whole history surrounding it. It is not one-dimensional, but multi-faceted and should be shared as such. Your brands history is the perfect way to share your story. Utilize your social media for this – especially Facebook, which allows you to share pictures. Think about doing a Throwback Thursday or Retro Friday and show pictures your founders when they first were starting out or even before that, like when they were babies - that's always a fun one! This is where you can let your creativity shine and you can challenge yourself to think outside of the box. At Coles & Colomy, we have each member of our team write a blog. Not only does our audience get a taste of our process in each department, but they get to learn what each member of our team does. By doing this, we share our living history with our audience.

Share your values and mission.

One of the most important things you can do when sharing your brands story is to incorporate your company mission and values. Think of the values and mission as a guiding light for your content. Everything you put out should reflect these. This helps with the consistency aspect that is needed when telling your brands story.

Finally, plan for the long term.

Once you create a strategy to incorporate your brands story, the key is to remain consistent with your message. Consistency projects a professional image and also builds trust with your audience. You can do this by building out your content marketing strategy. Six months is a good time frame for this, as you can plan for any holidays or other special events that will highlight your brands story! Your content planner should be a living document, not static. Use it as a guide for your content with room to allow for changes in case something changes within the company or you have a genius idea that just has to happen!

Originally posted on colesandcolomy.com