Your brand story is your last remaining competitive advantage (especially in B2B, where products and features are quickly copied by competitors). If you want to connect with your audience, you need to know your brand story and know how to tell it in an interesting and engaging way. Not sure how to do that? You’re in luck. We’ve spent more than a decade helping brands build relationships with their audiences, so we know a thing about how to tell your story the right (and wrong) way. That’s why we’ve rounded up our top brand storytelling tips for you—all in one place.
25 Tips to Tell Your Brand Story Effectively
Whether you’re short on inspiration or don’t know how to start sharing your story through content, we hope you find these brand storytelling tips useful the next time you’re stuck brainstorming.
1) Build a strong content strategy that tells real, honest brand stories. Did you know that 60% of B2B marketers don’t have a documented content strategy?! Without a strategy on paper, it’s hard to create content that tells interesting, cohesive, and compelling stories that are aligned to your brand story. If this is something you still need to do, use our free content strategy toolkit to get your goals on paper, brainstorm the right story ideas, and get real results.
2) Know your audience. Not every member of your audience is exactly the same. Segment your audience into different categories or personas, then brainstorm ideas for each specific group. Don’t have personas? Uses our free template to identify and segment your audience.
3) Create a brand identity that reflects your brand. No matter how big or small your company is, having a strong visual identity is a huge part of your brand story. Use our free brand identity toolkit to build a visual identity that communicates who you are at a glance.
4) Start with the basics. If you’re fresh out of ideas, make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
- Who you are
- What you do
- Why you do it
- Who you do it for
- How you do it
These are the simplest but most effective prompts to brainstorm great brand storytelling ideas.
5) Tell human stories to humans. Humans are hardwired for story, but so much brand storytelling is robotic and stale. To connect with your audience, see more tips to create human-centric content marketing, and find out how to get the BS out of your content.
6) Ask a question first. Talking at your audience doesn’t work. Instead, share a unique thought or pose a question and allow a conversation to develop naturally.
7) Turn your team into storytellers. There’s a whole team of experts and content creators behind the walls of your HQ…even if those walls are Zoom tiles. Find out how to tap into your team’s creativity and turn them into superstar storytellers.
8) Say less. A good brand story is clear, simple, and succinct. Get more tips to write content marketing that converts.
9) Don’t sell when you should be marketing. Say it with us: Storytelling is not selling. To make sure you’re not turning people off too soon, use our template to map your buyer journey and deliver the right stories at the right time.
10) Be radically transparent. If you want to form a closer relationship with your audience, you need to be open and honest. If you’ve effed up royally (or learned a valuable lesson), share it with others to help them avoid the same mistakes. (For example, find out how we decided to change our own content strategy and increased sales 160%.)
11) Create stories with your audience. Sharing your story is important, but giving the mic to your audience can be incredibly powerful. Find out how to create user-generated content that builds community.
12) Look for ways to use design to tell your story—more effectively. Designers don’t JUST make things pretty! They make stories more interesting, easier to comprehend, and so much more. Find out what you can learn from thinking like a designer.
13) Open up about your past. People want to know how your company started, so share your origin story—the good, the bad, and the embarrassing. (If you’re curious to know how we got to this point, here’s how we built C5.)
14) Be consistent. If you want people to remember your brand, you need to show up the same way each time. Use our free brand messaging framework to articulate your stories and deliver them in a compelling way, and follow these tips to ensure your content is on-brand every time.
15) Know the cheat code. Not every story is a fable with a lesson, but keep in mind that your brand stories should have a purpose and deliver value. Make sure they are:
16) Tailor your story for the channel. We’ve seen great pieces of content crash and burn because they didn’t work on the platform (e.g., an infographic that rendered too small on a blog, or a video that was too long for Instagram). Different channels demand different kinds of storytelling, so match your storytelling format to the channel.
17) Sweat the small stuff. Your confirmation email, your password reset message, your CTAs—every piece of content is an opportunity to show people who you are and what your brand is about. Take a fresh look at those little things and pack them with personality. If you don’t know what your personality is, here’s how to find it.
18) Follow the Big 3. Want your content to connect?
These are the best ways to grab your audience’s attention—and keep it. Find out how these brands do so well with so little to work with.
19) Tell stories to your employees and future employees—not just your customers. According to Pew Research, 57% of people who quit during the Great Resignation did so because they felt disrespected at work. The more you share and tell stories about the people behind your brand, the more you can cultivate a sense of belonging. See our tips to build a strong employer brand that will help you keep your greatest assets: your employees.
20) Speak the way you speak. Why do so many brands sound the same? Because they haven’t identified (or don’t know how to use) their brand voice. Take every chance you can to infuse your content with your unique personality. Not sure what you sound like? See our tips to find your brand voice.
21) Peel back the curtain. Give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at what makes you you. Share your people, your Spotify playlists, your jokes, and more. Get more tips to showcase your culture on social media.
22) Share your brand heart. If you want to connect with people on a personal level, share stories about how you bring your brand values to life in everyday business. If you need clarity around your values, use our free Brand Heart workbook to figure out your purpose, vision, mission, and values.
23) Use empathy. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and give them content that is relevant to their life. Whether it solves a problem, gives them a fresh perspective, or helps them do something more efficiently, empathy is your biggest storytelling tool. If you want to see what that looks like in real life, see how these brands put empathy to work.
24) Share stories of your customers’ success (without stealing the spotlight). Use tutorials, customer feedback, and social comments to play sidekick to your customers’ successes. (Don’t worry—sidekicks are cool, too.)
25) Dig into data to find your best stories. That’s right. From surprising trends to consumer insights, the data sitting in your spreadsheets is storytelling gold. See our tips to find the most interesting stories in your data.
How to Make Sure You’re Telling the Right Story
No matter how much budget you have to spend on marketing, if your story isn’t authentic—or isn’t resonating with your audience—you need to reassess your core brand, then build a content strategy to support it. Of course, doing this deep work takes brainpower and perspective that you don’t always have on tap.
If you need a little extra guidance to get your house in order, find out what to look for in a content agency, take a look at our brand strategy FAQs, or reach out. We’d love to help you tell a memorable brand story that makes people want to support your brand.