Brand Storytelling: How to Build a Compelling Brand Story
Stories are an essential part of brands. They help to create an emotional connection with customers, set the brand apart from others, and establish a memorable image. But how do you tell a brand story in an age where there is so much competition for attention? The best way to do this is by telling stories that are unique and relevant to your audience--and then communicating those stories in a variety of ways (such as through content marketing).
How? You need to find the relationship between your brand and what is currently resonating with your customers. You do this by performing a structured content audit!
What is a Content Audit?
Content audits are a critical part of any digital marketing strategy. They can help you assess the quality and performance of your content, identify opportunities to improve, and determine how well your content aligns with your overall goals. A thorough audit can also reveal how many resources you need to create or update your existing content in order to achieve those goals.
Review the key steps in a content audit and then download the Baotris Content Audit Template (it’s free!) to complete your audit.
Know Your Content's Purpose
The first step in conducting a content audit is to know why you are doing the audit. In other words, define your goals and objectives. What are you trying to achieve with this process?
Understand your Assumptions about your Audience
After years of running a brand, you probably have a gut feeling about who your audience is and what they like. Your content audit will help you test if that theory is correct.
Track all Your Content
Assess existing content across all your organic content silos, including email, social media, and web. Look at all your analytics. Create a list of the top performing elements from each content silo. What elements are similar across silos? What types of content perform better on some platforms? For example, do stories about designers work as well on social media as they do on email? This type of work requires both being methodical and exhaustive in tracking down all your content as well as strategic in finding trends and nuances. Given the scope, many brands seek outside help to perform audits. Baotris offers audits as part of our Brand Building and VP of Growth packages.
Learn from your Content Audit
Go back to your goals for your content and your assumptions about your audiences. Did your content audit indicate that you are meeting your goals? Did you find that the audiences for your content differed from your audience? Use these assessments to help you shape your content strategy. Often brands look to consultants to perform strategic planning.
Now you’re ready to conduct your own content audit. Use the free Baotris Content Audit template to get started.
Why are content audits essential?
Content audits can be a lot of work, but they're definitely worth it.
A content audit is an exhaustive review of your website, social, affiliate, and email content. It's a comprehensive look at what you have, how it's performing, and what could be improved. It helps you identify opportunities for growth by allowing you to better understand how your audience thinks about and interacts with the information presented on your site.
What do I do after I complete the Content Audit?
After conducting a content audit, you should prioritize and organize your findings based on the goals of your content strategy. Then, you can implement the following steps to improve your content:
Update or remove outdated content
Consolidate similar or redundant content
Optimize underperforming content with better titles, meta descriptions, and keyword targeting
Fill gaps in your content with new, targeted pieces that align with your content strategy
Develop a content calendar to plan and organize future content
Monitor and measure your content performance regularly, making adjustments as needed
Integrate your findings and recommendations from the audit into your content marketing strategy.
Remember that a content audit is an ongoing process, and you should repeat it regularly to keep your content up-to-date and effective.
Using a Content Audit to Develop Your Brand Story
A content audit can help reinforce and support a brand's story by ensuring that all of the brand's content is consistent and aligned with its narrative. A content audit can help identify any gaps or inconsistencies in the brand's content and messaging, and provide insights into which types of content are resonating with the target audience and which are not. The findings from a content audit can then inform the development of a content strategy that prioritizes content that aligns with the brand's story and reinforces its core messaging.
Additionally, a content audit can help identify opportunities for improvement in the brand's storytelling, such as adding new content that highlights the brand's history or values, or creating content that showcases the brand's personality and unique perspective. By using a content audit to evaluate the brand's current content and identify opportunities for improvement, businesses can create a more cohesive and compelling brand story that resonates with their target audience.
What is a Brand Story?
A brand story is a narrative that captures the essence of a product or service and sets it apart from competitors. It explains the history, values, and personality of a brand. It goes beyond the functional benefits of a product or service and instead focuses on the emotional connection a brand has with its customers. A brand story should be authentic and reflect the brand's unique identity and personality, and should be woven into all aspects of a brand's communications and marketing efforts, including advertising, content marketing, and customer experiences. The purpose of a brand story is to create a deeper emotional connection with customers, differentiate a brand from its competitors, and help it stand out in the minds of consumers. By showcasing a brand story, companies provide a more comprehensive and engaging representation of who they are and what they stand for, beyond just the functional aspects of their offerings.
How do I create a Brand Story?
Identify your brand's values and personality
Determine what sets your brand apart from others and what values and personality traits you want to convey through your story.
Define your target audience
Consider who your target audience is and what they want and need from your brand.
Collect information about the history of your brand and key events and milestones that have shaped its story.
Develop a narrative
Use the information you have gathered to create a narrative that tells the story of your brand, including its history, values, and personality. When developing your brand story, you can consider using the following guidelines to help shape your narrative:
Origin Story: This tells the story of your company's foundation, including its creation, founders, goals, values, challenges, and triumphs.
Hero's Journey: A popular storytelling template that presents a customer as the hero and their problem as the main challenge. It shows how your brand solved their problem, creating a positive transformation.
Brand Personality: A set of human characteristics applied to your brand, based on the personalities of your customers and their preferences. This helps create a deeper connection with customers.
Brand Purpose and Values: Your brand's purpose is a one-sentence value statement that communicates the value you bring to your customers. Your brand's values will guide your storytelling efforts.
Add emotional appeal
Make sure your story connects emotionally with your target audience and evokes the desired emotions.
Refine and refine again
Keep refining your story until it is clear, concise, and memorable.
Integrate the story into your branding
Once you have created your brand story, make sure it is integrated into all aspects of your branding and marketing, including your website, social media channels, advertising, and customer experiences.
Remember, a brand story should be authentic and reflective of your brand's unique identity, and should be updated and refined over time as your brand evolves and grows.
If you need help developing your brand story, book a 15 minute call with Baotris and we'll help you with all your organic marketing needs.