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Use Brand Storytelling to Build Connections Through Your Blog

Can you think of a time when a blog post gripped your attention so much you couldn’t stop thinking about it?

Maybe you looked up a recipe for chicken pot pie and stumbled upon a post that gave you not only step-by-step instructions but also a back story. Before you knew it, you were dabbing your eyes with tissues after reading about how this recipe got its start in the blogger’s grandmother’s kitchen.

And you suddenly felt like you were right there in the kitchen with Grandma, making melt-in-your-mouth comfort food that left you and your family with full bellies and happy hearts.

That’s the power of storytelling in action.

Whether through a blog article or a social media post, long-form content lets you share your brand’s story in a format that gives you the gift of space. With the luxury of length, you can share unique aspects of your brand’s history with plenty of room to get into the details. This includes the people behind the brand, the steps you’ve taken to get where you are today, and where you’re headed in the future.

At the same time, you risk people bouncing away from your page if you bore them with information they don’t find relatable or interesting. It’s a fine line between riveting and snooze-worthy, so knowing how to approach your long-form content is important.

Are you ready to engage your readers with memorable content, building authentic connections that keep your audience coming back for more? Keep reading for a primer on captivating your audience — including actionable steps to bond with your readers and build lasting customer relationships.

The Key to Building Authentic Connections: Be Your Authentic Self

What made you linger over that recipe backstory? Or any other blog article or social media post where the creator tore down the walls and gave you a glimpse into his or her world? Something about it spoke to you and mirrored some facet of your life, leaving you eager for more.

Here are some tips for creating content that connects you with your readers.

Inject Personality

Adding humor, quirkiness, and warmth to your content helps humanize your brand. Sharing personal anecdotes, experiences, behind-the-scenes snapshots, employee spotlights, milestones, and opinions facilitates more profound connections with your audience.

Be conversational, like talking to a friend, and don’t be afraid to talk about topics that don’t always get enough attention.

Consider this example from entrepreneur Brian Moran, who got vulnerable to talk about his son’s challenges with mental health. Brave and heartfelt, the LinkedIn post earned reactions, comments, and messages from people inspired by his courage to share.

And you thought LinkedIn was just for networking.

Align Content With Brand Values

If your branding says one thing and your blog says another, you can expect to create some cognitive dissonance around your brand. It’s essential to make your blog an extension of your brand’s core values and storytelling so that every post represents your mission and vision.

I can think of many excellent examples of brands successfully aligning their brand identity and values to their storytelling. I’ll call attention to a few of them here:

  • Premium travel brand Away offers a standalone blog on its Here Magazine site, a minimalistic space packed with travel inspo, essays, interviews, and city guides.
  • Bone broth company Kettle & Fire features clean-eating recipes on its blog, with short, punchy articles that get right to the point with mouth-watering recipes.
  • Performance clothing brand Rhone shares inspiring stories on its blog, Pursuit, blending lifestyle, wellness, and sports content for a male audience.   

Use Storytelling

The same storytelling techniques I discuss in 5 Storytelling Secrets You Can Use To Boost Sales apply in the context of long-form content. In fact, you can go more in-depth in a blog post and then share outtakes on social media to intrigue your audience.

Whether you share personal stories, challenges, customer success stories, or triumphs over adversity, storytelling adds depth and emotion to your content, as well as your brand. It makes it memorable and impactful, inviting your audience into your world and demonstrating what makes your brand unique.

Best Practices for Overcoming Challenges

Blogging isn’t always easy, particularly if you’re a small-business owner wearing many hats. Below are some of the common challenges brands face when diving into the blogosphere and how to navigate them.

Lack of Consistency

Building a loyal audience starts with consistent efforts. Aim to blog once or twice a week; block off time on your calendar if that helps you focus, or write when the mood strikes you. Also, you can also create an editorial calendar with topics to help you plan ahead and stick to a schedule.

Eventually, you’ll have a blog library you can repurpose — whether refreshing older articles or sharing blogs and blog snippets on social channels. If even once a week is too much, consider outsourcing some aspects of content creation to freelancers or agencies.

No Well-Defined Brand Voice

Maybe this is the first time you’ve thought about what your brand voice should sound like. If that’s the case, I recommend taking some time to work through defining your brand voice and identity.

If you don’t, your writing will appear disjointed. Your messaging will lack consistency. Your audience will grow confused about who you are and what you do. In fact, you might have trouble identifying who your audience is and what sets you apart.

Take it from someone who’s worked with dozens of brands: You want to get this step right.

hubspot brand voice instructions

Check out HubSpot’s guide to creating your brand voice — and then get it done. It’s not set in stone, and it can evolve, but you need a starting point to help direct your blogging efforts.

How Do People Find Your Blog?

Don’t let all that hard work go to waste — make sure people see your content. There are many channels where people might discover your blog, including the ones below.

Google Search

People may find your blog through a Google search, where your content rises to the top of the results because Google has deemed it informative, helpful, or otherwise relevant to users’ searches. By creating authentic content and optimizing it for search engines, you increase the likelihood of attracting organic traffic to your blog.

Search engine optimization is a complex topic that deserves a blog article of its own. I’m not going to leave you hanging here, though; here’s the short version of ways to drive blog traffic:

  • Create high-quality content that resonates with your audience and addresses users’ search queries.
  • Research keywords to identify high-volume, low-competition keywords related to your niche.
  • Optimize for on-page elements like meta titles, meta descriptions, headings, and image alt text, incorporating your target keywords strategically.
  • Strive to earn diverse and authoritative backlinks from reputable websites in your industry. Guest posting, content promotion, and partnerships are effective ways to build backlinks.
  • Track and analyze your blog’s performance, using Google Analytics to learn more about your audience and Google Search Console to monitor your site’s performance and search engine rankings.

Community Forums

Let’s not forget about the community forums like Reddit and Quora. That’s where users convene over niche topics — like a book club getting together to discuss its latest read.

You can get blog traffic by starting a Reddit account. Adding your blog’s URL to your bio, and contributing to subreddits where your audience hangs out. Check out this example of one Redditor who got over 1,600 blog visits within a month after implementing a Reddit expert’s advice.

While this example is from a few years back, the advice still applies when it comes to Reddit marketing — i.e., establish an authoritative account and adhere to Reddit’s best practices. Having a presence on Reddit is just simple and scrappy enough to work in terms of driving steady traffic, and I think every blogger should try it.

For Quora, take a similar tack on the question-and-answer site by answering questions related to your industry expertise. While it’s generally considered bad form to add links to your Quora answers — meaning you probably shouldn’t spam your audience with calls to action to visit your blog — answering questions can help build brand awareness.

Plus, if your Quora answers are well-written and answer questions effectively, Google may feature your answers in search results. After all, Google is all about giving searchers the answers they’re seeking.

Social Media

Sharing your blogs on social media can be an excellent way to introduce your content to a broader audience that’s interested in your niche. In addition to sharing the articles themselves, you can create infographics, Reels, Stories, and other digital assets — borrowing concepts from your blogs and repurposing them on social media.

The beauty of this tactic is you can:

  • Get more mileage out of your existing content.
  • Drive traffic to your blog.
  • Gain new followers as people engage with your content.
  • Reach more people beyond your initial following.
  • Grow your online presence by being present in multiple channels.
  • Create videos that drive more leads and conversions.

Key Takeaways: Essential Steps for Crafting Your Brand Narrative

  1. Define your core values, mission, and vision: This step clarifies who you are, what you do, why you do it, what your brand stands for, and the impact it hopes to make. This lays the foundation for your brand narrative and storytelling.
  2. Know your audience: Research your target audience at length for insights into your customers’ interests, behaviors, demographics, and pain points. When you know your audience, you can tell better stories that resonate with your customers.
  3. Define your personality: Are you playful? Witty? Authoritative? Empathetic? Your personality should reflect your company’s mission. So, if you’re an outdoor brand bringing camping essentials to young people, maybe your content is more adventurous than serious.
  4. Build a content strategy: Think about the themes and stories you want to tell about your brand. Outline your topics in a content calendar, the formats you’ll use, and channels you’ll leverage for content distribution.
  5. Iterate and refine over time: Track your blog’s performance and gather audience insights to identify what’s working and what’s not. Use analytics tools, audience surveys, and feedback mechanisms to get a complete picture of how your content is performing.

Authenticity Is Key

Savvy consumers can spot a disingenuous narrative as much as they can relate to a genuine story. Indeed, no brand gets very far on any channel, including a blog, without being human.

That’s why I strongly advocate for honesty and transparency in brand storytelling. It’s all about being vulnerable, sharing from your heart, and breaking down barriers between you and your audience. If you can do that on your blog, you’ll set yourself apart from superficial marketing noise and rise to the top of users’ minds.

Remember to be your authentic self as you write, and you should start to see your blog content steadily grow. It takes time and dedication, but the payoff of a loyal, engaged audience is worth the effort.

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