4 Tips for Effective Brand Storytelling

Brand storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? We tell a bedtime story to our children before bedtime, and as adults we read fiction, which is in fact a long story. Storytelling is a masterful way to generate long-term loyalty and involvement with your brand.

There is no simple equation regarding successful storytelling. For one thing, using trial and error, each brand must find its most effective form of storytelling. In addition, by nature storytelling should be fluid so that it will continue to engage and meet changing customer needs and desires.

What is brand storytelling?

Storytelling is a vital tool that connects your customers through shared values and ideals that serve as the basis for your brand’s existence and its inherent benefits. Your storytelling may relate to some interesting aspect of brand history and culture, why your offering matters, and how it provides unique value to your audience.

The principle behind storytelling is personal engagement. Its aim is not to introduce a new product but rather to arouse emotion and involvement. Nevertheless, storytelling can be educational and informative when presented in an engaging way.

What storytelling methods should you use?  

Before deciding on your storytelling method, you must first define your audience and determine what it needs and expects from you. Once you have built and understood your customer persona, you can create an inspiring message.

Here are several tips for effective brand storytelling:

  • Provide testimonials – One of the best ways to create emotional involvement is to feature customers who have used your brand and derived significant benefit from it. When a customer tells a story of personal gratitude and pleasure, it goes a long way to generate empathy and involvement in other people.
  • Use your main message and subplots – Your brand has a main “raison d’etre,” its reason for  existence. For example, both Volvo and Subaru are cars built for comfortable personal transport. However, in order to encourage emotional involvement, each brand created a unique subplot. Over the years, Volvo generated a sense of security by sharing a history of its safety innovations from anti-lock brakes to crumble-free zones. Subaru, on the other hand, chose to base its customer message on love. Love of life, family and children, and the reliable Subaru.
  • Humanize it – In order to really touch your audience’s hearts you need to humanize your story. Humorously share mistakes you made along the way, lessons you’ve learned, and how you’ve applied them to your offerings. People like to feel that there are individuals behind the brand who enjoy sharing  experiences with their audience, even temporary failures.
  • Spice it up – As you have a very limited amount of time to capture your audience’s interest, spice things up. Use your pain points to create conflict right in the beginning and introduce an element of surprise if you can. Build up tension and ultimately provide your brand’s solution in a way that your audience can identify with and enjoy.

Your customers are constantly being bombarded with assorted ads, content and emails. Storytelling is a unique way to connect with the customer on a personal level and build up anticipation for the next creative brand story coming their way.  

6 Common Website No-Nos and How to Fix Them

User experience

You are undoubtedly aware that your website is the face of your brand and one of the primary forms of contact with both veteran and new customers. So you have probably put a lot of thought and money into making it as attractive as possible for your target audience. Then why are your conversion rates so low? Let’s examine some issues that can drive prospective customers away and discuss ways to correct them:

Confusing user experience 

One of the most crucial issues today is to provide your visitors with an easy journey on your website. (Just so you know – this principle applies to every device your customers use, from laptops and tablets to apps and smartphones.) Navigating your website should be smooth and quick. Lead your prospective consumer to where you want them to be as seamlessly as possible, with a maximum of two clicks. Any more than that and you’re likely to lose them.

Outdated graphics

One of the most common problems in the digital age is that website “fashion” evolves rapidly and a website that looked innovative and sleek only a couple of years ago may seem dowdy now. Users will engage with a website that features graphics and design that appeal to their tastes, and won’t even bother to go into a website that looks dated. Consumers also dislike clutter. They want to reach their objective without going into visual overload or getting lost among a plethora of banners and offers.

Technical problems

Website visitors are deeply annoyed when they encounter technical errors such as 401 (Unauthorized), 403 (Forbidden), 404 (Not Found) and 500 (Internal Server Error) pages. For various reasons, the user is typically unable to access a web page, which can be a very off putting experience. Many of these errors are fairly easy to repair, and you should get your IT team or an external consultant involved in resolving them.

Payment hurdles

Even if your cross-border website is attractive and easy to navigate, if you fail to provide an easy checkout process, you may fall victim to shopping cart abandonment. Provide as short a checkout form as possible with local payment preferences, from regional credit cards and e-wallets to alternative payment methods and debit cards. Generate customer trust by being transparent about conversion rates and local taxes.

Ineffective SEO 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital tool that keeps your website high up in the search engines. It is important to keep up-to-date with your industry’s keywords and use them correctly. Whether you have an in-house SEO expert or hire an external consultant, make sure to keep following the most recent trends.

Insufficient content 

Content is crucial to get the right message across and increase conversions. You have probably invested much thought in providing concise but attractive copy about your products and services. While engaging messaging about your offerings is crucial, it is not enough. Google likes quality content and so do your customers. By regularly generating interesting and informative new content on your website, you are establishing yourself as an industry leader and promoting ongoing involvement with your brand.

 

4 Tips to Make Your Brand Stand Out

While having a great product or service is definitely a good start for any enterprise, it’s successful branding that will make your business take off. Branding speaks to both your customers’ feelings and minds, so your message should be consistent across channels and appeal to them on a personal level.

Here are 4 tips that will help your brand stand out:

Define and Understand Your Target Audience

The very first step of branding is to determine who your audience is and understand them. What are the ages and professions of your prospective customers? Where do they live and what do they do in their spare time? What are their purchasing habits? Where can you connect best with them? What problem are you attempting to solve for them and what message do they want to hear?

Once you have answers to all these questions you can create your “brand persona,” which is basically the entity with whom your customers can identify and connect. Keep in mind thpersonaat in order to truly engage, your aim must be to generate an emotion and personal involvement, as opposed to just an intellectual response.

Stand Out in Your Market

When it comes to establishing your brand in a crowded market, you come up against a new set of questions that need to be answered: What is your special appeal? How are you different than your competitors? What can you offer that will connect your audience to your product?

Before answering any of these questions, you need to determine the image you wish to convey: If you are luxury brand, you will want to establish that you provide exclusive, incomparable products for premium prices. But if you are a brand that strives to appeal to struggling young couples, you will want to convey a message of unfailing product reliability at affordable prices. Now that you have established your basic image, position your brand’s personality and offer a unique option with a deep understanding of your customer’s needs.

Establish Your Presence Across the Board

In order to get your message across, you need to establish a consistent brand voice across all devices and communication channels. If your target audience is teenagers, for example, target them on the social media platforms that they prefer like Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram, and use influencers who can sway their opinion. However, if your audience is made up of Millennials, for example, make sure to reach out to them across the board on their laptops, smartphones, apps and tablets. Address them on Facebook and Twitter, their favorite social media channels. Send a message that is customized to appeal to their taste and needs.

The main goal is to convey a consistent message at every location where your customers make contact so that they will feel comfortable with your brand and seek it out wherever they prefer.

Check Out Your Data

You can gauge how well your brand is performing by studying data your systems have collected about your customers’ actions, their purchasing habits, and revenues at different locations. By understanding your customers’ preferences and comparing sales performances for different audiences and markets, you can tweak your branding and its related messaging to involve your customers more successfully.

Using this data, you can create active, personalized interaction with your customers. Talk to them, ask them questions, engage them in discussions on their favorite platforms – in short, make them feel that your brand regards them as individuals worthy of personal attention and not just another sale.

Branding in 2019

The secret of successful branding is the ability to generate a sense of belonging. A buyer who visits your website or store once or twice is a random purchaser. Through careful branding, you can turn that accidental buyer into a loyal customer who will keep returning because they have formed an attachment not only to your products but to who you are.

Digital Marketing Predictions for 2019

Marketing approaches have evolved dramatically in recent years. Marketing has become almost completely digital – that’s a fact of life. But now it’s time for the next stage, which could be described as technological marketing.

Concepts which have to date been associated with IoT, autonomous vehicles and futuristic high-tech are becoming an integral part of today’s marketing strategies. With 3.4 billion people worldwide identified as social media users, the perception of social media as the optimal arena for advertising is a no brainer. But strategies are changing and technology is about to claim a central role. Let’s examine how:

4 Key Tech Trends to Adopt this Year

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) analyzes data from social media platforms and blog posts to understand consumer behavior and search patterns. Merchants can then customize advertising according to specific customer habits and locations.

AI also offers information and tips to users by entering conversations. It serves as the basis for chatbots, as well as for personalized advertising. The result is one-on-one interaction and greater consumer involvement.

Chatbots

Chatbots, which are based on AI technology, use instant messaging to chat in real-time with your customers or website visitors. Chatbots are steadily gaining popularity. According to recent research, 1.4 billion people are already interacting with chatbots, and the global chatbot market is projected to reach $1.25 billion by 2025. 80% of businesses say that they are already using or plan to use chatbots by 2020.

Why are chatbots so popular? Customers like interacting with chatbots because they provide immediate and accurate responses and have complete recall of their entire buying history, These virtual assistants offer an excellent personalized customer experience, and can also promote certain services and products.

MIcro-Moments

According to a recent study, users spend an average of 3 hours and 35 minutes on their smartphones every single day. But the reader’s average attention span is only a few seconds. This means that any form of advertising on this device must be short and sweet.

Google describes Micro-Moments as a consumer behavior which conveys a personal and concise marketing message at precisely the right moment. This kind of one-on-one messaging is an excellent way to nurture customer loyalty and ensure return customers.

Voice Search

The use of voice search and voice commands is growing as mobile users increasingly access information online while on the go. A total of 35.6 million Americans use this service at least once a month and by the year 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. Voice search requires digital marketers to change strategies. Unlike online searches, which generate many pages of results, voice searches only provide the top, most relevant answer to a query.

Digital marketers will need to optimize their content to accommodate the requirements of voice searches. Natural conversational language is recommended for this type of search, and longer phrases or full sentences are more effective than short key words.

The increasing use of voice search will undoubtedly have a significant impact on digital marketing strategies in 2019.

Technology Paves the New Digital Marketing Path

Your customers are technologically savvy, which means they are expecting an automated customer experience that is personal, quick and sleek. To gain a competitive edge, you must develop an interactive relationship with your customers using the most sophisticated tools available today.  

4 Steps to Link Building

One of Google’s algorithms determines that the more top-quality websites that link to any given website, the better and more reliable that website is. Thus, if a website links to yours, it is to be considered a form of recommendation for your offering.

In theory, this makes sense, but over the years some web promoters learned how to “cheat” the algorithm and build bogus links that boosted their rankings. Google’s Penguin update mostly put a stop to this type of spamming. So how do you build the kind of cooperation Google favors? By working with the algorithm.

 4 Ways to Work with the Algorithm

Offer attractive content
What is a key tool in organic promotion? Good content. Content refers not only to articles, reviews and blog posts – this term also includes videos, infographics and other other attractive visual means. Content should not be uploaded for its own sake. It should be thought-provoking, relevant and offer a special “twist,” which can serve as a hook for your audience.

Target the right audience
The type of audience that will be willing to share your link is most likely made up of businesses that operate in a related field or are interested in the area that your content addresses. Nurture cooperation with these businesses and try to develop mutually beneficial connections. In this day and age, when most consumers seek reviews and opinions on social media before making a purchase, influencers can have a major impact on your brand and the amount of effective traffic coming into your website. Convincing relevant influencers regarding the relevance of your content can serve as a major impetus for your sales.

Keep the links relevant and alive
Don’t try to circumvent the algorithm. Make sure that links are placed in websites that are relevant to your field. If you deal in online payments, don’t have your link placed in a gardening website.

Make sure links leading to your website are live. Sometimes, due to changes that you have made in your website, links leading to it may cease to be functionable. Review these links every so often so that they continue to lead to the right pages. Broken links make your website seem unprofessional.

Become a thought leader
One way to make a name for your website is to position yourself as a thought leader. Make an effort to take part in discussions on online forums and social media that relate to your industry, and add a link to your website with your post. Be sure to sound professional, and offer constructive advice when possible.

Get ready for the long haul
The vast majority of websites do not hit the top of the search results overnight. Google has its algorithms and rules, and if you want your website to soar, it is best to stick to the guidelines. However, by doing the proper research and thinking out of the box, you will eventually reap the fruits of your efforts.

 

Don’t Write Facebook Off Just Yet

Until recently, Facebook was considered the wunderkind of social media advertising. It paired third-party data with its own, enabling even small advertisers to target segments of audiences which had never been within their reach. After the latest data breaches, Facebook is restricting advertisers’ access to third-party data which previously enabled highly effective segmentation.

Not so long ago, Facebook was an advertiser’s paradise. Has Facebook lost its effectiveness? Definitely not, and here’s why:

Small businesses vs. large enterprises

If you are seeking to advertise a local business (for example a gym), then you will be interested in targeting people with athletic interests of a certain age who are located in close proximity to your business. This kind of advertising should be unaffected by Facebook’s new data restrictions.

While large companies will have less access to data in order to create tight segmentation independently, the Facebook algorithm is known to provide solid marketing segmentation to meet campaign objectives. In fact, the algorithm might well improve ad performances.

Facebook for e-commerce

Social media and ecommerce go hand in hand. Facebook is the most natural space for online advertisers to go for lead generation. It also enables you to test out ads before a campaign for free. In fact, you can turn well-performing Facebook posts into promotional ads very easily.

A common model is to run a Facebook ad leading to a high-converting landing page that offers a lead magnet or a bundle product such as free shipping, ebooks, product coupons and more. Second stage nurturing can include a targeted autoresponder introducing your brand, services or products.

Diversified ad types

Facebook is developing an increasingly diverse ad inventory that enables merchants to achieve specific business goals: It has enhanced features such as augmented reality ads, Facebook Stories ads, playable ads and redesigned pages on mobile.

A few examples of engaging ad types are carousel ads, which include multiple images and multiple offers; collection ads that enable users to browse through multiple products in-app; and canvas mobile ad formats that enable a full screen, scrolling experience.

Greater transparency

Facebook has announced its intention to make ads more transparent. If there is a political ad, it will be labelled as such and even include “paid for” information. Facebook pages also need to undergo verification in order to share posts so that fake accounts will be eliminated. While this may demand more preparations from advertisers, customers will undoubtedly be inspired by a new sense of authenticity and trustworthiness.

The breathtaking Facebook evolution

Since its inception, Facebook has evolved and recreated itself multiple times and in multiple ways. It is constantly offering new concepts and features and has a unique ability to anticipate marketing trends and comprehend developing consumer behavior. When it needs to incur greater trust, it tightens up its privacy policies. To rephrase Mark Twain’s famous quip: The reports of Facebook’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.