We’ve got an especially fun topic today as we talk about the idea of a brand story, and which business should think about their brand story if they haven’t considered it yet. But first a little news, as we take a look at what’s going on in the social media world.
It looks like Facebook is making yet more changes to how it shows content – in this case, its altering the ads that show up in Search Results on Facebook, something the business has been tinkering with for a while now. This latest change will open up Search Results ads for all advertisers…think of it as the official launch of a new ad program. Advertisers can select manual placements for target specific audiences (although they can’t specify keywords, at least not at this time), but automatic placement will also be included for all ads. Ads will also extend to Marketplace searches as well as general searches.
Second, Facebook is gearing up for another change at the end of October, and businesses that use Facebook frequently for advertising need to know about it: The way Facebook counts organic Page impressions is changing. Essentially the company is updating how it filters repeat organic impressions, or impressions coming from the same source search for the same thing within a limited amount of time.
Facebook appears to be doing this to make its paid advertising look more attractive to buyers. The short-term result is that brand impressions are going to see a decrease, which means your Facebook metrics may start looking worse at the end of October. The good news is that this is true for everybody else, too, so after a period of adjustment brands should start getting used to it. Other Facebook metrics are not supposed to be effected.
Main Topic: Brand Stories and Your Business
A “Brand Story” is unifying narrative that describes the business, where it came, what’s important to it, and where it’s going in the future. These brand stories do tend to use emotional beats, but they are still very applicable for B2B businesses. In fact, if a business is creating content, it can benefit from considering a brand story.
“We already have all the facts about our business out there!” some brands may say. But there’s a big difference between facts and putting the brand’s vision in the form of a story. People respond to a story – they remember a story more easily, and are more interested in following a story to the end rather than engaging in a list of facts or a mission statement. Stories are also easy to develop in both short and long forms, and a great way to spell out exactly what makes a brand stand out in a highly competitive field. Ultimately, a brand story creates leads and sells
Brand Story and Content Creation
Brand stories can take many different forms. Some businesses may find it easier to talk about their vision for the industry, or how they want to partner with clients. Others may focus on a particular founder or a long story of growth. Some may choose to make their story about community involvement and making the world a better place.
Whichever option businesses choose, we encourage them to create their brand story first, because so much else flows out form that. Your profiles, your blog posts, even your logo and product descriptions, are all influenced by and tied into your brand story. Creating or modifying these things becomes easier and more effective once a brand story has been created.
Next, brands often say, “That’s great, but we really don’t have anyone experienced in creating those types of stories and don’t know where to start. We’re not sure a brand story even works for our company.” Well, the best place to start is talking about it! We work with companies to discuss what is important to them, what moments they are particularly proud, and what stands out about the brand. This creates a good foundation for any company’s brand story! Right now our process includes a creative brief to stimulate these kind of conversations, followed by some storyboarding work, and then a big video day that creates a company video describing the story which can be referenced many times in the future.
Brand Story and Customer Service/Tone
We also want to point out that the brand story isn’t just about the online content that you create. It’s also about the tone, service and information that employees in the business provide every day to leads and customers. This is why it’s important to train employees on the brand story so that they understand it’s part of the identity of the company. In this way, the brand story can affect the tone that the sales team uses, the brochures you create, where you take clients out for food – just about everything!
Finally, as always we’d love to hear about your brand story and how you think about your business’s brand! Contact us @21handshake on social media to start a conversation. If this is something you haven’t really thought about, good news! Brand stories are part of our ongoing discussion about our new 9-step process for generating leads through an effective online strategy. You can sign up for the free webinar on these steps here and learn more about our program and why it works.
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