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Storytelling, Marketing and Your Small Business

storytelling

Storytelling is at play in nearly every aspect of your daily life. From the way your favorite Thursday night drama unfolds to the connection you foster with your insurance carrier's fictional brand ambassador, storytelling has a significant impact on the way you view many elements of the world.

But what kind of an impact does this have on your marketing efforts?

When done correctly, storytelling can be one of the most powerful tools your small business has at its disposal, as this tactic humanizes your brand and allows consumers to connect on a more personal level. But before you adopt a comprehensive new campaign, it's important to understand exactly what storytelling is and how it can be integrated in your physical and virtual sites.

What is brand storytelling?

Chances are, your brand has already integrated some form of storytelling in its marketing efforts. Any campaigns, promotions or advertisements that pertain to the history of your brand, its mission or the values adopted by your company are all part of what your business is and what it stands for.

One of the most notable examples of brand storytelling comes from insurance provider GEICO. If you've watched television within the past 15 years, it's likely the first thing that came to mind upon hearing the company's name was one of its slogan, "15 minutes can save you 15 percent or more," or "So easy, a caveman could do it." GEICO began its storytelling efforts with its spokesman - or spokesgecko - who would become agitated during TV spots, claiming he was tired of getting phone calls meant for the insurance company. Over the next 15 years, GEICO became known for its humorous advertisements, using 21st-century cavemen, talking camels and tech-savvy pigs to promote its products.

By introducing consumers to a series of characters and promotions that were thoroughly developed and consistent across a range of print, TV and online efforts, GEICO effectively spread awareness about its business and introduced a vast range of potential consumers to its services. 

Vamping your virtual presence

As a small business owner, you may not have the monetary means to develop a comprehensive storytelling initiative similar to GEICO's, but there are many ways to leverage your social networks to promote your brand's storytelling efforts. Adopting a promotion or campaign to promote across all your business' social media sites is a great way to introduce consumers to a particular concept and present them with a blanket of information that can fall beneath one particular umbrella. 

It's important to tailor your storytelling to the site at hand, as different sites can aid your efforts with their own unique features. Your brand's Instagram is ideal for posting pictures of a brand ambassador or employees from the office, while your Vine offers the perfect platform for sharing short and sweet videos. No matter which sites you use, adopting a wide variety of networks is a great way to boost your overall brand awareness and provide greater opportunities for spreading storytelling concepts across the Web.

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