In an era where technology and social media have made it easier than ever to connect with others, it's paradoxically becoming harder to truly feel connected. We scroll through our feeds, seeing snippets of other people's lives, but often feeling more alone than ever.
A key reason why I co-founded Impact was to address this issue. I observed, far too often, the superficiality between people, the growing disparity, the polarizing beliefs, all because we humans have lost the art of connection.
During our initial strategy and branding sessions, we looked to find a real, tangible solution to humanize the 'sell, sell, sell' pushy tactics we oftentimes saw from brands (you know, those YouTube ads you're clicking incessantly to skip).
In an era of modern-day capitalism, where people turn to brands to be inspired and to be a 'part of something', brands have an opportunity to step in and create real connections with their audiences. It was clear to us that one of the most powerful ways that they can do that is through storytelling.
And that clarity brought a commitment to bringing a more human, emotional, connection-creating way of marketing to the masses, as brands, audiences and employees alike deserve it.
If you're not familiar with the recent buzzword, storytelling is the practice of using stories to build emotional connections with your audience. Whether it's through a social media post, a video, or a piece of content -
a good story can transport your audience to another world and make them feel like they're a part of something bigger.
Storytelling in itself is an art form, has much depth and a science behind it, and, through our blog, we aim to teach the foundations of storytelling marketing so you can effectively start implementing it in your brand.
However, this post is more a call to action, a call to give your audience what it deserves - a sense of community. I've listed a few ways that you can start using storytelling to create audience connection:
Share the story of your brand: People want to know who they're doing business with. By sharing the story of your brand, you're giving your audience a glimpse into who you are and what you stand for. This can help to build trust and loyalty. For example, Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company, has been vocal about their commitment to environmental causes. They have shared their story of how they started as a small company with a big dream of preserving the environment and how they use sustainable materials to produce their clothes. This helps the audience to understand the brand's values and mission and creates a deeper connection.
Highlight the stories of your customers: Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, and their stories are incredibly powerful. By sharing their experiences, you're showing your audience that they're not alone and that others have gone through similar struggles. For example, Warby Parker, the eyewear company, has a program called “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair”. They share stories of how their customers' purchase helped someone in need, by providing them with a pair of glasses. This creates a sense of relatability and community for the audience.
Use storytelling to build empathy: People are more likely to connect with a story that they can relate to. By sharing stories that elicit emotions like empathy, you're giving your audience a way to connect with your brand on a deeper level. For example, TOMS, the sustainable shoe company, has a campaign called “One for One”. They share stories of how every time a customer purchases a pair of shoes from them, they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need. This creates a sense of connection and empathy for the audience, as it highlights the social impact that the brand is making through their business model. This helps to build trust and loyalty with their audience, and it makes it clear that the brand's mission is not just about making profits, but also about making a positive change in the world.
In a world where human connection seems to be lacking, storytelling marketing can be a powerful tool for brands to create audience connection.
By sharing real, relatable stories, brands can build trust and loyalty with their audience and help to fill the void of human connection.
By doing so, they can create a sense of community and relatability among their audience, that in turn, can lead to increased customer loyalty and sales. Start by identifying the unique story of your brand and think about how you can use it to connect with your audience. Share your customers' stories and think about how you can use storytelling to build empathy. Remember that the goal is to create a sense of community and relatability among your audience that will lead to increased customer loyalty and sales.
By the way, storytelling marketing doesn't just wow your target audience, but it gives your employees a reason to be loyal to you. Check out an article we recently wrote on why storytelling is the key to unlocking employee engagement.
To help you take the first steps, we've created a FREE Masterclass providing you with the roadmap to more emotional marketing. We uncover the secret formula for telling stories that make customers and employees FALL IN LOVE with your brand. Sign up here to gain access for free.
PS - If you're looking for a partner to tell your brand's story even further with proven, effective strategies, then click here to book a call with us today.