Every day we tell each other stories.
From a young age, stories are how we learn to understand the world around us as well as providing us with a rich literary tradition enjoyed by all humanity.
Many of our daily interactions have a story at their core. Think about the conversations you have with loved ones at the end of a long day.
Human beings are immersed in a narrative world, with these tales acting as neat little packages containing a wealth of information.
You should treat your relationships with your customers in much the same way as you would treat others in your life.
If your friend were to quote a selection of facts and figures, you would remember very little before long. However, if the same information were communicated as part of an anecdote, there would be added significance to the facts, and they would remain in your consciousness for longer.
Marketing and advertising have provided a platform to broadcast your brand stories. Social media has given companies instantaneous and immediate channels to turn your brand from a distant concept into something more intimate and relatable. Brands are becoming like extensions of friendship circles, and if you are doing it right, your fans will get a warm fuzzy feeling when they see one of your updates.
Here are just a few of the ways you can get your story out there in the digital realm.
UPDATE YOUR FACEBOOK DESCRIPTION
Make sure your Facebook description is up to date. It’s here where people are properly introduced to your business before they even know your website exists. Recount how your business began, what made you want to get started and what your mission is.
TELL IT LIKE IT IS ON YOUR BLOG
The simple things are still the most reliable, and what can be easier than telling your company stories on your blog? From your humble beginnings to lessons learnt to customer stories, you can write almost anything you like and share it on social media to generate website traffic.
DOCUMENT YOUR HISTORY THROUGH PHOTOJOURNALLING
From ad-hoc Facebook newsfeed photos to full albums about an event to photo stories on your blog, you can detail the life and journey of your company, documenting the business breakfasts you host or training days you attend.
Show people the life and soul of your company as it grows. Find the day to day stories in your organisation that will generate interest. This content will also make for excellent #ThrowbackThursday or #tbt material in the future.
CONFRONT YOUR CAMERA PHOBIA USING INSTAGRAM VIDEOS
Share your business news or nuggets of wisdom with a short Instagram video update. This could be as straightforward as a face-to-mobile camera setup or if you are shy, use Adobe Spark to mesh photos and video clips with a text overlay and music.
SHARE YOUR SLICES OF LIVE ON INSTAGRAM STORIES
Instagram Stories are perfect for a technically pared down “slice of life” or “everyday moment” clip. This needn’t be as professional as other video material and is an ideal way to record a short-lasting snippet of the personality within your office.
Now Instagram lets you save Stories to your Story Highlights so keep those moments that best illustrate what life is like in your company for prospective job candidates.
DIARISE YOUR PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY WITH LINKED IN ARTICLES
Linked In is a great way to get a glimpse into people’s working lives and professional journeys. Using your personal profile, you can craft an informative piece alluding to experiences from your life in order to educate aspiring entrepreneurs. Anecdotes and humour can be your best friend, so don’t be afraid to make it light, however always stay professional.
Want to shout about your business and attract top employees? Get your staff to compose “A Day in the Life of” texts and get sharing.
TAKE TURNS AT TEAM INTERVIEWS
Your business is comprised of a tapestry of mini-stories that even you probably don’t realise exist. Why did your retail assistant come on board? What was the impetus that drove your sales director to leave their old company? Does anyone in the office have a past life in the West End?
Do some digging and find out what weird and wonderful stories hold up the fabric of your workplace.
Consider filming interviews or create a podcast that incorporates the interview into a wider discussion around your industry.
REVEAL THE EXPERIENCE OF YOUR PRODUCTS
Are your materials imported from somewhere exotic? Do they make a transatlantic voyage? Or is there someone in Somerset lovingly crafting them in their cottage home studio? Help your customers get to know the provenance a little better through short videos or a sequence of emails.
SERIALISE YOUR STORIES
So far we have talked about stories in isolation, but we all know that soaps are popular for a reason. That is because, by not finishing a story in the course of a single episode, they leave you hanging on for more. The result is you tune in the next day.
The same format can be applied to your company content. Why publish one update when you can create two, three or more posts relating to the same scenario?
If you want to recount the experience of struggling, fighting and succeeding in setting up your company, split it up. End each chronicle at the most emotionally charged points so that your fans and followers will hunt down the next instalment.
Likewise, if you are interviewing your business hero, you can break it up into two halves to keep fans wanting more.
GET YOUR CUSTOMER’S SIDE OF THE STORY WITH TESTIMONIALS AND CASE STUDIES
As your business grows, it becomes less about you and more about the stories you create every day in the lives of your customer. Get your happy customers to write a testimonial, or better still, create case studies as downloadable resources to educate people about your business and how it might work for them too.
DISPATCH STORIES TO THE INBOX WITH MONTHLY NEWSLETTERS
An email can contain a curation of all your current stories in one place. Newsletters offer teaser text introducing your other marketing channels. For example, one section can link to your website, while another goes to your YouTube channel. Don’t forget to include your social media buttons.
Since story is in everything we do, it should form part of the lifeblood of your brand. In social media, you ought to be sharing two updates on your business life per week, so we hope you have found these suggestions useful in complementing your existing digital content strategy.