Twice a month, our content + social teams meet for a strategy session, to discuss the latest wins + challenges we’re having with clients, as well as to share resources, ideas + tips with each other! Earlier this week, I invited the rest of the team in for our session about storytelling. As a content team, we love a good story, but as a marketing team, we’re always looking at how our content converts. Finding that perfect middle ground, that story that educates, entertains + persuades is no easy feat! Bringing that framework to every aspect of our client’s marketing programs can be even tougher. Here’s a recap of what we discussed + some tips to help your brand tell better stories!
We didn’t spend a ton of time trying to convince one another that storytelling is important, it’s pretty much a given here at epower at home. Stories allow us to spark an emotional connection with our audiences, a connection that can drive them to act + even pay more for our client’s products in some cases. They let us relate to them in more entertaining, engaging ways. Consumers today aren’t nearly as interested in the brands that yell at them about low prices as they once were. They’re looking for the brands that can help them cultivate a lifestyle, elevate their experiences + solve their problems. If you aren’t illustrating just how your brand + products can meet those needs, you’re not telling the right story.
How Are We Using Stories?
While we all agreed that storytelling was important, there are different opportunities + challenges across the various channels. While Emily + I have very few restrictions when it comes to writing a blog post or content piece, the ads team has strict character counts + limitations when working with different ad channels. Choosing the perfect phrase or description for a product can feel like a great creative exercise on social, but the content on the site is usually much more influenced by the SEO team’s key phrase research. We talked through some of our favorite projects that we’re working on right now + how we’re effectively telling our client’s stories throughout those campaigns, we also brainstormed ways to work even more closely together to tell a more complete story. One of my favorite takeaways from all of our strategy sessions + account meetings are the collaboration ideas this team comes up with. It’s so fun to watch those projects come together + even more fun to see the results! How is your team handling these challenges? Are you coming at things cohesively, or working in silos? You may have a common goal, but until you’re working within the same framework, your storytelling may be disjointed.
Do Our Clients Get It?
As an agency, we get hired when a client recognizes the value in our team + sees that we’ll be a great fit for their brand. While we’re service providers through + through, we also play the role of trainers + coach from time to time. We love helping our clients understand what we’re doing, why we’re doing it + how it’s going to help. We took some time at our strategy session to talk about how on-board our clients are with storytelling as a marketing tool. When you’re looking at your own team, how invested are your stakeholders in your campaigns + strategies? What could you be doing to better communicate + integrate with other teams to amplify your work + showcase your talents better?
Here’s where we’ll be spending some time working with our clients, to help us tell better stories on their behalf:
- Refining their brand tone + voice, so we can more effectively use humor + on-brand emotional writing.
- Getting better data + information on sales to help pump up how we brag about ’em.
- Working to get more user-generated content + customer perspectives so we can build out better characters + share customers’ stories.
- Collaborating with in-house art, marketing + design teams for more graphical elements + visual storytelling.
- Compiling the causes that are near + dear to our clients’ hearts, so we can better convey their values.
Whether you’re working with an agency or an internal team, chances are there are details not being communicated effectively. Your sales team will have great insight into the questions + hesitations people have about your products. Your customer service reps are going to have stories to tell about how they are working in the real world. Your marketing team is going to know all about product launches. Making sure those teams have clear + open lines of communication will make everyone’s job easier!
Where Do We Go From Here?
At the end of every strategy session, we put together a bullet list of action items to help propel us forward. Brainstorming is great, but if we don’t have specific follow up items to tackle at the end of a meeting, it wasn’t as beneficial as it should have been. As we wrapped up our storytelling session, we all had some new tasks on our plate. From coming up with a process for helping clients get better customer feedback to pinpointing specific clients to collaborate on for better storytelling across channels, the work never stops! What’s on your to-do list for your brand? How are you going to up your storytelling game? Let me know in the comments below, or set up a time to chat with our team about your current strategy, we love brainstorming with brands + providing a fresh perspective!