Planning for your brand story shouldn’t be holding you back from delivering it. View your story as current and ongoing, because that’s what it is. You may not think that you’re actively telling yours yet because you’re in the planning stages… but like I mentioned in my previous post: if you’re not taking control of your story, then other people are filling your story space.
The important thing is to start! Even if it’s super simple at first: start Tweeting. Or post one blog post a week. Share photos of your team at work or having fun, until a more refined storytelling method is able to take shape.
There are a lot of different ways to market through brand storytelling. If you want, get some input from members of your team. You might be surprised at the level of innovation around you. Here are a handful of ideas that can come together in different combinations:
- Start an industry podcast
- Distribute a monthly e-newsletter
- Create a series of explainer videos
- Produce a compelling online course
- Host a webinar
- Create a library of infographics and other visual resources
- Publish a blog
- Hold a Virtual Focus Group
- Design print posters and flyers
- Host an event (in-person or online)
While developing your organizational narrative, ask yourself:
Does it support the brand mission statement — or at least elements of it?
Will it engage our audience? Put yourself in their shoes. Would it catch your interest?
Finally — is there a path for converting visitors to customers?
It might help to search the internet for examples of some storytelling solutions that work. Find out who is doing what, and how they’re doing it. Even bad examples can at least help you decide what not to do.
Here‘s a great example I’ve been checking out lately:
The Story Grid Podcast — The Story Grid is a fiction writing tool developed by author and veteran editor Shawn Coyne. His 2015 book, The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know, launched his brand into the public sphere. Following the book’s release, Coyne chose a great way to tell his brand’s story: showing exactly how the grid works by using it on a “struggling writer” who is working on his first novel. Using a podcast interview format, Coyne walks the writer, Tim Grahl, step-by-step through the grid as Grahl plows through his early story drafts. Each week, their hour-long conversations reach the ears of thousands of writers. This encourages lasting connections with listeners who can relate to the frustrations of writing fiction, while showing the effectiveness of the Story Grid in action. While a podcast doesn’t necessarily mean direct revenue (some choose to charge a subscription, some use it to collect ad revenue), Story Grid’s podcast has grown into a full arm of the brand, occupying just as much real estate on its website homepage as the book itself.
Even if the podcast doesn’t bring in revenue directly (it’s distributed for free), it definitely contributes value to returning readers, attracts new readers, and elevates Coyne’s position of thought leadership in the writing, editing, and publishing fields.