Why Authentic Storytelling Should Be Your Marketing Strategy

Authenticity is attractive. While most people are inherently suspicious of brands, 80 percent of consumers say that authentic content can compel them to engage with a company. In a world increasingly filled with “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and a deluge of marketing messages, people yearn for what’s real. As a brand, you have the opportunity to cut through the noise and reach audiences by telling an authentic story.

Your story is far more than just a sales pitch. It’s your brand voice — the way you talk to audiences and your internal team. It’s revealed in the imagery and words you use on your website, in your store, and even in marketing collateral. Ultimately, it influences the way customers and potential customers think and talk about your brand.

Ben Horowitz, partner and co-founder of renowned VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, says, “The company story is the company strategy.” What Horowitz and many others have observed is that a brand’s success hinges on its story because that story drives everything from marketing to product development to hiring and beyond. As such, it’s critical that you get it right.

Here are four ways to do exactly that:

1. Create a cohesive brand narrative.

Whether you’re building a brand from scratch or working to reposition a brand that’s more established, your storytelling strategy must be anchored by a cohesive narrative — one that captures the essence of who you are and why you exist as a company.

Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Your brand narrative serves both as a framework for external communications and as a beacon that attracts audiences who share your values.

Of course, telling a compelling brand story isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are plenty of people who can help you do it correctly. Erin Berman, founder and brand storyteller for Blackbeard Studios, uses a multitude of tools, including industry and audience research, customer and employee…

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