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Brand Storytelling

a big opportunity for content creators.

The power of story is measured by its ability to capture the attention of its audience. Our brains are hardwired to appreciate compelling narrative. We desire close, personal bonds and information about the things that matter to us so we can forge lasting connections in an ever-changing world. As a content creator, this superpower can be leveraged inside of your content marketing efforts. 

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current chapter: Intro
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build a brand with storytelling

We as humans crave story, our brains are wired to collect a series of stories that make up our memories. Stories are relatable, they are effective, and they bring people together.

Now add a brand into the mix and that is where sharing your story can get tricky. Brands are not human, but they have to connect with humans—and as marketers, it's becoming our job to pull the story out and make brands relatable, authentic, and more human. And as marketers, it’s our job to be the storytellers.

every brand has a story, the problem is, not every marketer is a great storyteller. (not yet).

To be a great storyteller you’ll need to clarify the brand's message in a way that connects with the audience. Have you ever watched a commercial that seemed to be very good, but by the end you had no clue what they’re selling or how it could help you?

That's a missed opportunity, which could have been solved with a crystal clear message - clear messaging doesn't confuse.

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PRO TIP:
When brands simplify their message, it keeps them focused on what they do best.

the art of storytelling

captivation

Picture yourself in front of the t.v. watching your favorite movie. Your eyes are locked and never leave the screen, and at times you may not even blink. Why? Because you’re captivated by the story. Captivating stories present a problem, solution, and a resolution in a way that captivates its audience. With all the noise and chatter in the world, everyone is on cognitive overload, challenging brands and marketers to get creative if they want to capture the attention of their target audience.

connection

People are drawn to relatable experiences, either by a personal or close connection to feel what another person is feeling. Story is a powerful way to connect humans on a deeper level. Especially if you can connect to an experience, memory or an emotion. One of the most powerful ways to bring people together is if they’re fighting for the same resolution and invested in the journey. Brands today are connecting with their audiences on a much deeper level because they are communicating what is important to them, they are not afraid of standing for what they believe in and it is creating not only a message that resonates but a bond that connects. Bottom line—humans want to connect with other humans.

Tools For Effective Storytelling

The type of content shared, how it’s shared, who receives it, and how it’s received, can all be properly managed with an effective content strategy.

buyer personas

Understanding who you are talking to, what they care about and the best channel to engage them are all essential to mapping out the right content strategy. The buyer persona tells the story of your target audience—who are they? What position do they hold? What are their goals, challenges, and growth opportunities? How do they consume content? Having these pre-identified will help you with the direction and flow of your content. Creating content without a buyer persona is like baking a cake without flour.

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content creation

Most companies are surprised by how much content they have, that can be repurposed for marketing. We always start with the sales team—what questions do they get? Are they answering via email? If so, you’ve got a great start to your content creation process. From blog posts, to videos, to e-books—all content should be geared towards answering questions. Your prospects are on a journey, this journey includes tasks, and these tasks are typically centered around gathering more information to educate them on what to do next.

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PRO TIP:
Ask your team to write down the top 10 questions they get asked, and how they answer. This is a quick way to generate content that will be helpful to your prospects and customers.

content promotion

Content promotion needs to be organized and planned. Refer back to your buyer personas and determine what is the best format to reach them. A good strategy starts with knowing how and where your audience consumes content whether it's on a website, social media, radio ads, or t.v. commercials and provide the content in the best format.

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A content calendar helps track organization and provides a great aerial view of all content assets and channels for the week / month / quarter.

measuring success

Content should be evergreen, engaging and updated regularly; there’s always room for improvement. Measuring content effectiveness means you’re checking on your web traffic, engagement, bounce rates, and conversions. You can determine what is working well by talking to your sales team about the quality of your leads. With this information, you'll be able to adjust your content strategy effectively.

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A good metric to watch is the time a visitor spends on the page, as it is a good indicator if your content is being read. If your bounce rate is high, take another look at your page and make small incremental changes until your bounce rate decreases.

Content Strategy + Storytelling

We can all agree that a good content strategy starts with being data-informed. From there, a plan is crafted that includes choosing consistently published, relevant content. However, very few marketers do. When they do, it's magical. When people read engaging content that uses storytelling, it sticks with them and they start to see themselves within that story—they become invested in the outcome, and they connect. Compelling, relevant content will always win because it engages people and drives them to action.

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PRO TIP:
Remember when you’re writing that you are speaking to humans — not search engines.

finding a framework for content strategy + storytelling

As marketers, we are always looking for ways to push through the noise and rise above the competition; competing for the spotlight in a noisy world has become a real challenge. So, in 2016 we at Media Junction set out to find a solution to help our clients. As a HubSpot partner since 2011, we were invested in the Inbound Marketing methodology; but that only solved half of the equation. Our quest began after attending WistiaFest 2016 and hearing Kindra Hall speak about The Irresistible Power of Strategic Storytelling, the only problem was, we weren’t great storytellers. In 2019 we were introduced to “Building a Storybrand”, a book by Donald Miller. After reading the book, we knew he was on to something. In 2019, 20 individuals from our team attended a two day workshop and learned the 7 part framework for implementing effective storytelling into our brand messaging.

what is StoryBrand®?

StoryBrand, a 7-part framework that is used by thousands of companies worldwide, helps companies clarify their messaging; making it fresh, and easy to understand. The idea came from an industry expert—Donald Miller, author of Building a StoryBrand who developed a framework to share his ideas with businesses to help them grow. His theory is that storytelling is effective when the messaging is clear—in short, simplicity sells.

the storybrand methodology: survive + thrive

As humans, our brains are wired to constantly evaluate what can help us survive and thrive. If we can't quickly determine if something will help us survive and thrive, we throw it aside so we can conserve brain calories. People don’t buy the best brands and products, they buy from brands that cut out the clutter, are easy to understand, and have clear messaging.

the storybrand methodology: customer-centric messaging

StoryBrand invites the customer into the story as the hero. It is better to place your customers into their success story, instead of being the sole reason for their success story. As a brand you want to share your story with everyone. Customers fail to see the connection to your brand when we over-communicate. Instead of over communicating your position, you must position them as the hero in the center.

Storybrand Guide vs Storybrand Certified Agency

A StoryBrand Guide is a person who has become certified on his or her own, individually. If they work at an agency, they are typically the only one who is certified. Soloprenuers, freelancers or moonlighters are typically best fits for smaller businesses who have more time than money.

A StoryBrand Certified Agency is typically a larger full-service agency with a well rounded team of professionals who can support sales & marketing efforts—and most everyone in the agency should have gone through the same guide certification training. One of the benefits is having a sales team, a design team, and a marketing team working together to achieve results.

Combining Inbound Marketing + Storybrand Frameworks

HubSpot is an all-on-one, inbound marketing, sales, and service tool focused on helping businesses grow. HubSpot’s software enables marketers to communicate with their audience in a more human way. With personalization tools focused on contextual marketing, sales enablement, and websites that deliver exceptional user experiences, it is by far the strongest tech stack today for savvy marketers.

software should solve problems, not create them.

That is why we have partnered with HubSpot to offer our clients best-in-class software to power their businesses. As a Diamond Partner, we know and ❤ all things HubSpot—but we admire them the most for how flexible the platform is. We were inspired. Introducing flexible agency services—you will love.

what is HubSpot®?

HubSpot is the premiere all-on-one marketing software platform that puts your customers at center stage. At its core, it features a robust content management system (CMS) and streamlined customer relationship management (CRM) software. In addition to the CMS and CRM software, the platform features three Hubs—the Marketing Hub, the Sales Hub, and the Service Hub. The three Hubs combined are called the Growth Stack. Within each Hub, there are also three different levels of service you can choose: Free, Professional, or Enterprise. Request a Free Trial at www.freehubspottrial.com