Does your brand tell compelling stories? If not, you’re missing out on opportunities to drive stronger connections. Infusing emotions in brand stories is a distinct strategy that can deliver positive results in engagement and conversions.
So how do you do it well and consistently? Let’s find out.
Storytelling Is Powerful
The human brain reacts specifically to storytelling. A study on neuroscience and storytelling discovered that brains “light up” when fed stories due to a release of oxytocin. This is an indication that we care and want to hold onto the memory.
Brand storytelling is no different than how readers connect to reading tales or watching them on the screen. If you want to foster and nurture customer relationships, injecting emotions into those stories supports this.
Emotional Language Is a Must
It’s hard to interact with any story and not feel something. Much of the time, this has to do with language and how it conveys empathy. Are you putting yourself in the shoes of your audience?
That’s the key to empathetic language. You’ll also be glad to hear that empathy helps you do well in SEO. It’s something Google rewards because its mission is to deliver the best experience to searchers.
A great story plus empathetic language ensures you can develop a strong relationship with your audience.
Next, we’ll review tips on how to insert emotions into brand storytelling.
6 Tips to Improve Brand Storytelling with Emotion
As the great poet, Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
That can serve as a guiding principle for your content strategy when it comes to storytelling. If you can’t elicit the right kind of emotion, then everything else won’t matter. You could have the best product or service, but without a connection to the buyer, they may never consider you.
Here’s how to make sure that doesn’t happen.
- Define your “why” in stories: Every business should have a “why.” This is beyond being profitable or delivering a great solution. It’s what guides your entire brand to improve the world in some way. This message is critical in any brand story you tell. A “why” almost always involves emotion. An example would be a software company that wants to support streamlining processes so users can be more productive and less anxious.
- Understand your characters: In writing a story, you always have characters. The stars of this are your customers. The story is from their perspective, acknowledging their pain points, and provides answers and solutions. It’s not a sales speech or a commercial. Rather, it’s how your brand can change the story’s ending to one that’s positive for the main characters.
- Include a conflict: No story derives emotion without a conflict. It’s the reason there is a story — something the characters need to overcome to achieve their goal. For example, the conflict for many content marketers is not consistently publishing content. That’s typically a result of ineffective or non-existent content workflows. The emotion you’d dig into in this case is frustration and adversity. Now, you just need to serve up a solution that eases those.
- End with a resolution: Every story has an ending, and in brand storytelling, it’s the solution to the characters’ conflicts. Capitalize on emotion here of what would motivate someone to seek out your solution. In the end, why does your brand benefit them? It’s not about features or functionality; it’s back to how it makes them feel to use it.
- Stay consistent: There are lots of stories to tell for your brand. In doing so, it’s a good idea to stay consistent. That typically comes from defining your brand’s voice and tone. When you have this as a guide, all content team members have a reference for how the brand should sound. While each story may be unique, remaining cohesive matters.
- Measure performance: You’ll also want to understand if your emotional brand storytelling is driving results. Look to your content analytics for analysis. Some specific metrics include time on page, conversions from stories, organic SEO rankings for “emotional” keywords, and other engagement metrics.
Where Can You Use Emotional Brand Stories?
Storytelling is versatile, both in format and in channels. Depending on your resources and goals, consider these ideas:
- Video: Telling brand stories through video can drive emotional response and engagement. It also doesn’t have to be expensive, especially if you use animation or your own employees and customers. It’s the perfect visual storytelling format for narratives, and buyers love to consume it. Plus, you can use it in many channels — your website, social media, and digital ads.
- Long-format content: Stories don’t have to be long to be impactful. In many cases, longer may be better here to help you build the characters, conflict, and resolution. Longform content can also be a boost for SEO. For example, software companies often draw on sci-fi themes to create an emotional connection because they know their target buyers find this genre appealing.
- Case studies: The best cases studies focus on the emotion, not the product. While it’s great to have data points in these, tapping into the issues of the customer and the solution to resolve them is key to making sure it’s effective. Your customers can tell the story, adding in anecdotes that express real-life challenges.
Feelings Are Good for Content Marketing
No matter your industry or audience, creating content that focuses on feelings is a smart move. When you connect with buyers, they’ll be more likely to stay loyal and even become an advocate for your brand. In turn, your business will grow, and your content will demonstrate a strong ROI.
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