Do you need a great publicity strategy to help you sell your products or services? There is only one way to get the word out about your company, and that’s with a powerful brand story.
Back in the early 2000s, the internet was flooded with press releases that no one cared about or wanted to read. PR firms would crank out thousands of these every day, and few, if any, would be syndicated, or read by consumers. PR writers pandered to their clients—it was a terrible strategy.
Creating publicity for your business needs to evolve beyond the traditional press release. A story-based public relations strategy will build long-lasting trust, credibility, and brand reputation to the companies that invest in it today. To begin, you need to know how to write your brand story.
Here is how to create a jaw-dropping publicity strategy by shaping your company’s brand story. Use this to influence, persuade, and spread your message far and wide online.
What Is a Brand Story?
Who are you?
When a person meets someone new, this is the first question that comes to mind. Often, the answer relates to what their motivations are, what they’ve done in life, and what they care about achieving in the future. In other words, the “who” is made up of their past, present, and future selves, underpinned by personal motivations and beliefs.
A brand story is the collection of ongoing stories that helps your company communicate your core motivations—what you’ve done up until now and what your plans are for the future. They give your consumer a fixed personality to relate to, connect with, and support.
Share your brand story, and eventually, consumers will become a part of it, contributing and engaging as you evolve together. Great stories are at the core of all great brands.
So, a brand story is the easiest way to create a strong impression and a predictable reaction in the mind of your ideal customer.
Check out these examples of a brand story here.
Why Does Your Business Exist?
How do you ask a company who they are? More accurately, how does a company communicate who they are to consumers? Businesses are entities, and if people can’t get to know them, they will never consistently support them. Repeat business is the real driver of all fast-growth companies.
A brand story exists as an effective publicity strategy for your small business. The world is overcrowded, and with millions of companies launching products and vying for consumer attention, it takes far more than a competent marketing strategy to attract repeat business.
In 2020, a good public relations plan focuses on “storytelling for profit.” With 89% of marketers saying that brand awareness is their top goal this year, a strong story is more important than ever. Online publicity is fueled by “the story”—the better your brand stories, the further your message goes, and the more people hear about your company.
Brand storytelling exists as a breakthrough technique that promises publicity for any company willing to invest in stories.
Redefining Your Publicity Campaign
There are various methods of publicity available to you as a small company. But any publicity campaign must be built around your brand story to have a lasting impact.
It’s not about individual products or quirky marketing messages or bringing the hard sell. These old techniques simply won’t work online. So, whether you choose a press release, an advertising campaign, or a video—all of these pieces must support your brand story for maximum impact.
The importance of publicity for your business can’t be overstated. When starting out, media mentions and being showcased on different platforms online does so much to help you build trust and credibility for your brand. PR is a vital partner for search engine optimization (SEO).
Plus, online publicity can spark a lot of free media attention, which is great for gaining sales traction, positioning your company as an authority, and making helpful partnerships.
How to Write a Memorable Brand Story
Here’s how to kick off your online publicity strategy by crafting an amazing brand story! Follow these steps and then make sure that every piece of content you create is aligned.
Step 1: Have an Authentic Personality
Your small business needs an authentic personality to gain customers. This means developing a unique and distinctive voice for your company.
Take a moment to jot down a few things:
- Who is your company’s ideal customer?
- What are your company’s core values?
- What do you want your company to achieve in the world?
- What sort of traits would you like to associate with your company?
Remember, your brand story is about values and emotions. Consider how your story will be told and what that voice might say and how it would sound. A distinct personality is a differentiator in a flooded market, so the more you work on your brand voice, the better your stories will be.
Step 2: Create a Compelling Story Arc
Your brand is a story consisting of lots of little stories you—and others—will tell over time. Any good story needs a logical and compelling story arc. Consider your small company’s sequence of events—the origins, the obstacles (conflicts), and the victories.
- Problem – Speak about the problem that your business solves.
- Solution – Speak about the way your business solves it.
- Success – Speak about the success it creates in the world.
Start knitting your story arc together using this formula. Your story is always evolving, and it’s best to keep it short and straightforward. You have a beginning, a middle, and an end—though the end is open and changing. Your business should exist to bring success to your consumers (not to make money).
Step 3: Build a Consistent Brand Narrative
Consistency is probably the most crucial part of your brand story and publicity strategy. All brands need consistency to be recognized, trusted, and valued.
- Make sure every story aligns with your values.
- Consistent voice, mission, and goals are key.
- Every consecutive story should relate to your origin story.
Your brand narrative must always make sense and be true to who you are as a company. Nike values progress, Lego values imagination, and Whole Foods values organic sustainability. These brands use their stories to communicate and support their values.
Step 4: Secure Customer Buy-In
Advertising publicity and the use of media for marketing can be exponentially amplified by using your brand story. To develop customer buy-in, you need them to be a part of your story. When customers buy your product, they’re buying your “why” and supporting your identity.
- Use emotions to relate with and connect to your customer.
- Make sure your stories invite your customer to be a part of something big.
When customers buy into your stories, they will share them, create their own, and contribute to who you are as a company. This is the most effective way to generate free publicity online.
BONUS Step 5: Share Your Brand Story in a Variety of Ways
Your marketing plan and online advertising will have more impact when you shape them around your brand story. Social media communities will grow, engagement will increase, and you’ll be able to share your story in a variety of ways.
- Share newsworthy press releases
- Guest post on niche blogs
- Showcase brand videos
- Appear in podcasts telling personal business stories
- Post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok in your brand voice
- Use every type of content and platform to tell your unique story
At the end of this process, you will have a core brand story called your origin story (the “about page” on your website) that you can use as a model for creating high-impact brand stories for your company. Develop a one-line statement, a one-paragraph explainer, and a simple, rich story for your page. Then, share your brand stories everywhere you can!
Use your brand story to significantly amplify your publicity strategy in 2020.