Viewpoints

The secret behind powerful brand marketing content

By Dana Larson, VP, Experiential Content - Brand Experience

Create visual storytelling that builds community and gains trust

What You’ll Learn

We’ve all seen it: Brand content that wows. That gets shared. And shared, and shared some more. It’s that eye-catching, can’t-miss kind that wins new customers and thrills longtime fans.

The kind of content that makes other brand marketers look over, and say:

“Hey, I want that! How did they do it?”

As it turns out, there’s a key ingredient that often gets overlooked: STORY.

Why story must drive brand content, especially at events

People are swimming in content — for up to seven hours a day — jumping from webinars to their phones to streaming shows. Screens overload!

In our content-flooded world, there’s one thing that is guaranteed to make pretty much any person stop, sit up, and take notice: Their own feelings.

As much as people like to think they’re rational humans, we’re all driven by our emotions (and by things that feel familiar), much more than we admit. 

When content makes us feel something – spellbound surprise, a sense of belonging, or just plain joy – we’re naturally more likely to engage with it.

This is why stories are 22X more memorable than facts (yes, we’re proving this with facts.) We remember how stories make us feel. And we want to share that experience with others.

From sketch to soundstage — Cisco's WebEx One uses story vignettes to create experiential content.

A brand storytelling roadmap to success

So, we know storytelling is the key to evoking emotion in your brand content, which makes it more memorable. But let’s dive deeper into what leads from A to Z. 

What does good storytelling look like?

Be real

Leave the polish for your production, not your story. People want relatability and authenticity in their stories. They want to see someone they recognize (“hey, that’s just like me!”) or can relate to personally. They want to hear about the mistakes, the struggles. They want to see who your brand is, without the careful PR-crafted veneer (which can actually make you invisible in today’s market).

55% of consumers who love a brand’s story are willing to make a purchase.

Build trust

With that authenticity and relatability come trust. Over time, as groups coalesce around a brand they love, community naturally forms. 

And these days, consumers are choosing their brand communities based on shared values. Stories express brand values in memorable, shareable ways, making it easy for potential fans to see — and fall in love with – what your brand stands for.

Amazon flips traditional storytelling upside down for a laugh-filled half hour as part of Newfronts

Stick with the theme, create the dream

Over time, even the most strategic brand marketing team finds themselves with a collection of disparate content that while helpful, doesn’t always “fit” with a particular campaign. 

Stories, however, can be used to realign – and then bind together – your content. Not only does this create more value for your audience, it makes your story immersive (while also giving you more opportunities to drive the message home.)

Make them shiver with anticipa…

The best stories leave you satisfied, but still wanting more.

Use your content to dole out episodes or key vignettes of your story over time. It creates a reason to invite your audience back again and again. They’ll be wondering and anticipating, “What’s going to happen next?!”

Spacing out the story creates excitement (and sharing!) when a new episode drops. 

No wonder Hollywood spends so much time and money creating teasers, previews, prequels, and sequels — when a story’s compelling, people can’t get enough!

What’s the magic of stories?

They work across multiple channels…and journeys.

AMD drives story with dynamic content tailored for its audience.

Production matters

Too many brands get ahead of themselves, coming up with amazing brand story ideas that don’t get enough focus or polish to truly shine.

Or they struggle to produce their story in a way that hits the right emotional mark. They spend wasted time and budget scrambling for the right combination of ingredients to make the story sing. 

Working with expert content producers — who know how to use messaging, sound, visuals, and more to heighten emotion — is a great way to right the ship and steer your content production process in the best direction.

With the right creative expertise and support, you’ll save time and get the bigger impact you want.

Then other marketers (and your audience) will see your content and think,

“Wow — I want THAT!”

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