Did you know narratives are 22 times more memorable than a standalone fact? Research also shows that storytelling engages emotions, prompting consumers to engage with brands in more meaningful ways[1].

This means that brands can no longer be faceless. They need to have a personality; they need to have a story.

Success in today’s digital world relies on an integrated mix of storytelling across many channels. Communication professionals now must manage a brand’s narrative across multiple media types to connect with their audience and break through the clutter.  It takes a blend of paid, earned, shared and owned media to truly reach your audience in today’s crowded digital world.

So where do you start?

Owning Your Story

The logical place to start telling a brand story is through the organization’s owned media channels, the vehicles where an organization delivers content to audiences directly, unmediated by a third party. Without compelling brand content, there is nothing to share on social, pitch to the media or promote in an ad.

Ask yourself…

Are you more likely to hire a lawyer because they have a flashy website with very little information about the firm and a ton of info about their services and pricing? OR are you more likely to hire one whose website showcases the story about how they started in a one-room office with three phone lines, the people and services who make their company unique, and how they solve problems for customers? It’s a no-brainer.

While there will be a focused and overarching message to a brand’s story, effective storytelling requires multiple narratives to provide engaging experiences to your target audience continually. Outdated brands that communicate like monotone top-down robots do not resonate with audiences. This is why brand storytelling is imperative. Humans thrive on connection and relatability. Weaving compelling stories into a marketing mix will elicit emotions, transform a brand’s image, and drive consumer actions.

Brands that leverage their owned channels like their website, blogs and newsletters effectively create a hub of information and narratives that lay the foundation for meaningful communication.

Drive Traffic & Increase Reach Through Shared Media

Once a brand develops an owned content strategy and cycle, they need to drive people to view said content. The obvious way to do this is via shared media aka, social media. Sharing compelling owned content not only strengthens a social strategy but it provides ready-made content to share, maximizing your time and efforts.

Continual storytelling on social increases awareness, multiplies reach, drives traffic and engages consumers directly.

Amplify with Paid & Earned Media

Marketers should also weave storytelling into their paid media to amplify their message and drive consumers to act. Paid media is any media where you pay for placement. This can be anything from a commercial, a social ad, sponsored content or a digital banner ad.

Again, ask yourself…

Are you more likely to buy a truck from a manufacturer because of a flashy ad? Or from a manufacturer whose ad showcases the factory worker who’s been proudly building trucks for decades?

To further strengthen your brand presence, storytelling goes hand in hand with earned media efforts. Without a compelling story, your pitching efforts will fall flat and be unsuccessful.  Whether it’s an interview with an executive or a segment about an employee being a hero, all of the earned key messages will revolve around a brand’s narrative.

Start Telling Your Story Today

A solid media strategy weaves a brand story across all channels – paid, earned, shared and owned. Strategic storytelling allows brands to bridge the gap and communicate directly to their customers while building trust and adding a relatable, human element to their business. This is what Taylor West believes lays the foundation to market with “meaning.”

Does all of this storytelling and media management sound overwhelming?

That’s where we come in! Taylor West has decades of experience guiding brands and refining stories, as well as developing them from scratch for startups.

Contact us today to market with meaning through storytelling today!


[1] Stanford University research on “Harnessing the Power of Stories”