How marketers can use brand storytelling to engage their audience

By our News Team | 2022

Getting customers to fall in love with your brand is as simple as following the plot of your favourite film.

Unlike a brand story, brand storytelling uses narrative techniques to engage your audience and gain a competitive advantage. 

The concept, according to international web-hosting company Xneelo, draws on tried-and-tested techniques used by script writers in the film industry to mirror the hero’s journey: defining what the hero wants and how they overcome the obstacles in their way to get it.

With this technique, your customer is the hero and you are telling the story of how your business can meet their needs and change their life. Xneelo emphasises that eliminating the complexity from the buying process or slashing budgets can certainly be viewed as life changing.

Brand Storytelling

Photo by Cottonbro from Pexels

Every customer is a hero. Your website is their guide
Customers want something that your business can provide. The snag, however, is that there are a multitude of other businesses out there that offer the same product or service. By using brand storytelling, you can illustrate how your product or service can cater to that need better than anyone else.

Your messaging needs to show the customer exactly how their needs will be met, problems solved and pain points addressed – with the least amount of obstacles. It should also illustrate how that customer’s life will be changed by the experience. 

The intention is to build trust, inspire confidence and ultimately get your customer to take that next step. 

It starts with a website – your personal piece of internet real estate to tell your brand story and differentiate yourself from your competitors. You don’t need to invest a lot of capital or hire a specialist to get your website up and running. A Managed WordPress site, for example, gives you a range of Starter Sites to choose from to best tell your story. The advantage is that you can get your website up and running quickly, without needing to worry about the technical admin.

Brand storytelling in practice
Establish the hero of your story – your customer – and define the problem they are currently facing. Next, establish yourself as the guide who can help your customer get what they want and explain how you’ve cleared the path for them to get it. Include a call-to-action to motivate them to take the final step.

John is running late for work and desperately needs to pick up a gift for his colleague. He Googles ‘florists near me’ and finds your business website. Your website promises a huge range of affordably priced flowers and instant turnaround. John also sees that your mobile-friendly website offers convenient in-store pick up for online orders. He clicks the ‘Order Now’ button and places the order as he travels.

In this example, the customer’s needs have been met as promised and they leave a glowing review, essentially becoming a part of your brand story themselves.

You can also use brand storytelling to illustrate how the customer’s life will be changed at the end.

Sarah has a wedding planning service but fears she is losing business because her catering supplier is too expensive and unreliable. She sees a shared post on Facebook for a local eatery that offers catering and clicks the link. Sarah discovers that not only does the eatery cater for weddings, but they are vastly more affordable, the turnaround time is quicker and there is a gallery of photos showing satisfied customers alongside quotes about how reliable and professional the service is.

Tips to get you started

  • Speak to your customers’ specific needs and pain points. Show them you understand their challenges and are here to help.
  • Explain exactly how you’ve eliminated all the obstacles in their way.
  • Use customer testimonials to foster trust.
  • Share your values to show why you decided to start your business and what you’re about. Add these to your About page.
  • Be human and authentic.
  • Remember that it’s about your customers, not you.
  • Outline the benefits for your customers. In other words, how their life will improve after they’ve used your service or bought your product (the happy ending.)

Unlike your brand story, which is another important way of winning over your customers, brand storytelling involves using narrative techniques to engage your audience and convert them. Used correctly, your customer will soon be part of your story.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.