5 Steps to Creating an Authentic Story Around Your Brand

If you want to appeal to your audiences on social, it's not enough to be engaging. It's not even enough to publish a lot. Today, savvy marketers know they have to capture users' attention through storytelling - and the more authentic they sound, the better the results. Read on to learn how to create a compelling story for your brand in five easy steps.

The marketing technique of telling stories is all the rage on social media. Companies are increasingly recognizing the potential of this format to bring about a whole range of benefits - from grabbing the attention of their communities to gaining customer trust and enhancing brand image.

But while many are well aware of the advantages of storytelling, few know how to actually craft stories that are compelling and - most importantly - authentic.

Here are five steps to creating a relatable, authentic story about your brand that will allow you to stand out from the crowd and build meaningful relationships with your audience.

1. Create a Brand Persona

Creating a brand persona, that is a set of selected brand personality traits, should be the starting point of any business storyteller. That's why it's essential to know who you are and what is it that you stand for.

In order to create a convincing personality for your company, try imagining it as a real person. Ask yourself these questions during a brainstorming session:


  • Would you categorize your brand as a man or a woman? 
  • How old would they be? 
  • What would be their interests and personality attributes? 
  • What type of language would they use? 
  • How would they be different from your competitors?
Answering these questions will help you create a solid background for your story and figure out a consistent tone of voice.

Bonus Tip: Don't forget to think about your target audience, too, and determine what type of person they would like to hear from.

2. Highlight Your Personality

Once you come up with a powerful brand persona, it's time to show it to the world. At this stage it's especially important to build credibility by using consistent messaging across platforms.

So how exactly do you shine the spotlight on your personality?

One word: language. It should be reflective of your key traits, aligned with your target audience, and threaded through all of your brand comms. This way, you'll be able to sound authentic and relatable.

Fast food chain Arby's is a great example of a brand that has streamlined their voice across social media platforms. On Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Arby's is using the same geeky tone that strongly resonates with their community.

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Learn how to craft effective posts that reflect your brand personality in our guide on the essentials of creating great social media content!



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3. Appeal to Feelings and Emotions

Emotions are the cornerstone of any good story. They play a significant role in building a relationship between the storyteller and listener and surpass information in their ability to influence customers' choices.

That's why feelings and emotions (especially feel-good ones) should be present in your messaging. Once you have identified which emotions you want your brand to be associated with, think about how you can develop a content strategy that will help customers clearly make a connection between that feeling and your brand.

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For example, cosmetics brand LUSH has done an excellent job of positioning their brand as natural and ecological. This is done mainly through their how-it's-made videos showing the organic ingredients the company uses in their cosmetics. As a result, LUSH is able to connect to their environmentally conscious community on a deeper level and make them feel good about buying organic products.

Storytelling is not the only thing LUSH has mastered on social. See our in-depth analysis of the company's social media strategy and discover some of their best practices you can successfully apply to your business!

4. Use the Right Storytelling Structure

Although your story makes sense to you, your audience might need some help to understand it. Using the right storytelling structure will help your messaging be clear to all users, regardless of how familiar they are with your company.

Setting up the right context is everything when it comes to making your story digestible. Start by letting your community know why you're telling them a story. As you progress, link back to these introductory posts to give the newcomers a full picture of your messaging.

The next step should be evoking interest - for instance by addressing a common problem your company is aware of. Finally, move to the resolution and offer your audiences something of value, such as a solution to their difficulties.

Following this simple structure will enable you to keep your audiences interested and coming back for more. You can also monitor their responses to your story more in-depthly with a social media analytics tool to measure engagement, fan growth, and more.

5. Encourage Your Audience to Share Their Stories

Storytelling doesn't have to be one-sided. In fact, turning it into a collaborative process can add a lot of depth and authenticity to your story.

Chances are your stories might remind your audiences of their personal experiences. Including these experiences in your narrative is a great way of demonstrating that your company and your community have a lot in common, which plays a critical role in developing strong brand-consumer relationships.

Birds & Blooms, an American bird and garden magazine, regularly publishes fans' photos along with detailed descriptions on their Facebook Page:

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This type of user-generated content perfectly fits into the messaging of Birds & Blooms. Featuring readers' tips on the subject allows the magazine to show appreciation for their community's expertise, and give a fresh perspective to their story.

Interested in learning some of the most effective tactics of visual storytelling? Get a behind-the-scenes look at the social media strategy of National Geographic!

The Takeaway

Today's consumers are increasingly looking to bond with companies before hitting the "buy" button. That's why it's more important than ever before for companies to grab their audiences' attention by creating compelling stories. After all, they're one of the most effective ways of improving customer relationships and boosting brand image.


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