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3 Reasons Why Brand Storytelling is Essential to Digital Marketing

May 18, 2020
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Stories have been an essential part of human communication since, well forever. When it comes to building a business that connects deeply and creates change, a power brand story is at it's core. In the video below, I'll share 3 reasons why brand storytelling is essential.

Video Transcript: 

As I said in the opener, we're going to be talking about three reasons that storytelling is essential if you want your business to thrive with digital marketing.

A lot of times we get excited about our products and our services that we want to put out there, and we jump right into the tactics. We look at SEO, social media marketing, inbound strategies, email, and the like, we're just excited to go and start getting results.

The important thing though, is to stop at this phase, maybe when you've built a product, you've got something ready to ship and start to understand who is it actually for. Now, this is an important concept when it comes to building your brand story, and then also developing marketing that's going to work for you.

If you don't have a solid story, you're going to be feeling around in the dark and hoping that something sticks now, that can be very expensive and it could also reap very, very low results.

And in order to improve your ROI, you want to make sure you know who it's for and why they would engage with you and why would they buy and purchase your product or service. So, storytelling is something that we've talked about quite a bit on this channel, but today I want to give you three really specific reasons why it's essential.

1. Stories Create Connections

The first reason is it creates a connection.

It allows you to build some authenticity and empathy with your clientele or your customer base and allows them to feel connected to you. Now, people like to be connected. People like to do business with other people, we're social creatures.

And when they feel connected to a brand, it makes a huge impact for them. You can see this all over brands that are really big or not even just big brands, brands that thrive, brands that really build that rapport with customers are the ones that stick around for the long haul. You can look at this with like local restaurants.

Everybody in their town has that one local spot. And that restaurant embodies the town. It connects the town. It's an impersonation of that town. And because it has that connection, a lot of times, those places don't have to do a ton of extra marketing because people in that community eat there because that's what people in that community do. They've created that natural connection.

Now, brands do this online, digitally as well. Hiut jean company's one that does that. They're this jean manufacturer in Europe, if you haven't heard of them, but they've built a community, not just in their physical community, which they've done a really good job as well, but also online of just providing valuable assets to people who are interested in their products and their jeans means something to the people who buy them. The first reason it's important is it creates that connection.

2. Stories Cut Through the Noise

The second reason storytelling is extremely important and will help you thrive is it helps cut through the noise. When you look online, whether it be search results, social media, videos, a lot of the stuff just starts to sound the same, starts to feel the same. It's almost as if the same person is just regurgitating the same content over and over again.

And maybe adding a spice instead of 10 tips, it's 11 tips now or something. And that can really make our brain just start to zone out. We don't pay attention to those things anymore because they are just too common and we see them over and over again. Think about the last brand that made an impact on you.

A brand that took the time to connect with you, like we said before, but also shared a story that was impactful and powerful that caused you to click.

That caused you to engage with them. That's because they took the time to direct a story to you, and it allows your brain to go, "Hey, this is something different." And, "Hey, this is something for me." And brands that can do that and understand who they're marketing to and who they're talking to can start to build that connection and build clientele that they want to do business with. And that's going to be a great fit for them that are going to stick around for the long haul.

3. Stories Appeal to the Irrational Mind

The third reason that storytelling is so essential to helping your business thrive online is that it appeals to the irrational mind. We like to think that we make rational decisions. We like to think that we process things through. And each one of us has our own way of processing information and deciding why are we going to do what we're going to do.

The reality is all of the decisions that we make when it comes to a want, not a need is irrational. A lot of the stuff that, we don't need, but we give ourselves rational reasons to make that irrational purchase. Think about the smartphone. Let's say you upgrade your smartphone every year because it's new technology because you need it to be faster. You need all of these things.

Well, those are not really needs, they're wants. And in order for us to feel okay, a lot of the times with making these purchases is that we have to rationalize it. What a story can do is it can help you to become part of that process. We're not manipulating, manipulating is a terrible thing. And there are people that try to do it. But what you're doing is appealing to the real reasons why people want your products and services and understanding the root pain that they're feeling.

Maybe it's a need to feel important, it's a need to have some sort of significance. Well, that's a need that people have and you could say, well, that's an irrational need. Maybe it is, but it's still a real need emotionally. And so your brand story needs to appeal to their significance, or maybe people want variety and they want something in their life that's going to make them feel like they're having a little bit of a venture.

Well, your story has to play into variety. Those are the irrational forces in our minds that we need to appeal to in order to make a decision. And you can say, "Oh, I make rational decisions because I really think through things logically." Well, the reality is the reason you do that is because that logical processing makes you feel significant or makes you feel safe.

It makes you feel secure, like you're doing the right thing. So brands that build these stories and actually understand why people react the way that they do and understand that we all have irrational motives for purchasing something that it comes down to how we feel. That's going to allow us to build better content, a better website experience, and resources, a better search strategy because search today is all about intent.

And we've talked a lot about that when it comes to SEO, people make decisions based on intent. If you want people to click through, they can't just see the same link every single time, they got to see something that entices them that moves them to take action. Story helps appeal to those feelings that are at the core of why we do what we do.

As you can see, storytelling is essential. It's not one of those things that you can do if you have extra time or you want to be a little creative. Storytelling is essential in order to make sure that your message is getting across clearly to the people you want to do business with and connect with the most.

If you have any questions about storytelling or maybe having an example that you'd like to share, please comment below. We would love to continue this conversation with you. And until next time, Happy Marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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