Featured, Marketing

Guide To Storytelling For Social Impact, 5 Ways To Get Started

Storytelling is the new marketing. In this age of distractions, where people are constantly glued on their devices, scrolling through most of what they see, storytelling is the one tool that can get people to pause and pay attention. Brands that are embracing storytelling as part of their communication and marketing strategy are gaining immensely from establishing new, deep and lasting connections.

When brands tell stories about who they are, why they came into being, what they stand for, they add meaning to their product and inspires people to collaborate with them, whether it be through buying, getting involved, making a donation or any other way. Stories are memorable, they evoke emotions and often get shared ahead. I never miss an opportunity to tell the story behind that one beanie I bought from Krochet Kids. Over the years that I’ve followed Krochet Kids on Instagram, they’ve kept me enthralled and inspired about their product and company. They inspired me to be part of what they’ve created and I showed my association with the brand through my purchase.

Like Krochet Kids, they are many other brands that are thriving on storytelling and word-of-mouth marketing, turning their audience to become their most avid ambassadors.

“Half of our traffic and sales is driven by word-of mouth”– Neil Blumenthal, Co founder and CEO, Warby Parker.

Storytelling is the reason why so many new brands have managed to raise millions of dollars from thousands of people on Kickstarter. The project story is what gets people to back a product of an unknown brand even before the product has come into being. Ricefield Collective, a social enterprise  though have currently suspended their operations but when they hit Kickstarter two years ago they managed to quickly raise close to $100k from 1200+ people simply on the basis of a powerful, genuine, moving story of why they want to start Ricefield Collective.

Though brands across all segments are trying to storytell, I strongly feel brands with purpose have the most authentic and compelling stories to share. We have so many great stories to tell about how our products are unique, the way we are improving lives and how our mission is poised to change the world. Social good organizations have some of the best stories to share and yet we still struggle the most in crafting and telling our stories.

If you are eager to get started with storytelling, here are some recommendations to quickly get you to telling great stories.

Watch this Video of Warby Parker Co-Founder and CEO Neil Blumenthal on Brand Building Through Narrative and Vulnerability. Warby Parker is one of the best brands out there that do a fantastic job storytelling. Neil shares how they build the compelling narrative for Warby Parker story which helped them breakthrough in the fashion eyewear industry. He also shares the storytelling framework they operate within.

Take this Skillshare class, Communicate Ideas through Story. A short, to the point class on how to tell a story that catches attention and peeks curiosity.

Follow these brands. The best way to learn is to follow the social channels of brands that excel in storytelling. I would recommend following Instagram or Facebook channels of Charity:Water, Krochet Kids, TOMs, Warby Parker, Patagonia, Raven+Lily. These brands do an exemplary job crafting stories and visuals that catch people’s attention. Their stories combined with eye catchy visuals are inspiring, positive and something that makes people want to act or be part of what they are doing.

Read this book, The Fortune Cookie Principle: The 20 Keys to a Great Brand Story and Why Your Business Needs One. It’s a very simple read, filled with tons of real-world examples and great pointers on how to tell a great story. The author lays out 20 keys that enable you to begin telling your brand’s story from the inside out. It’s the foundation upon which you can differentiate your brand and make emotional connections with the kind of clients and customers you want to serve.

Checkout Rockefeller Foundation’s tool Hatch specially designed to help social good organizations tell stories that get results. Hatch provides step by step guidance to help you build and share your story. The website also contains lots of great articles and case studies on storytelling. A must use resource if you are just starting off.