Word-of-mouth has always been the most valuable tool for generating brand success, but how do you get people talking about your brand? When I worked in promotions marketing 15 years ago, we relied heavily on street teams handing out fliers, samples and coupons. I worked in San Francisco and it seemed like every street corner in Union Square had somebody trying to hand you something. In recent years, those promo people are scarce, as companies focus more on getting their product into the right hands vs. wasting a lot of product with a mass sampling campaign.
So where did those street teams go? They got off the street and onto the information superhighway as social media started carving out a niche once only occupied by advertising and celebrity endorsements. We are living in an age of “If you tweet it, they will come.” And if they really like it, they will retweet and like and share and create a snowball effect with a reach much farther than you could pay for, and it all happens with the perfect story.
Nancy Behrman, founder and president of PR firm Behrman Communications, operates her company on the principle that the success behind every brand is an authentic well-told story. PR pros like Behrman are regularly seeking out media influencers to be part of those stories and share them.
Every brand has a story, and every story needs a good storyteller to really bring it to life. It’s not about just tweeting a one line ad or putting a photo of a product on Instagram and calling it a day. It’s about crafting a story and showing how that product pertains to everyday life. The story has become so central to our communication that Snapchat, Instagram and now even Facebook have stories options for when just one photo won’t do.
Blog posts are the perfect platform for presenting this story, but it takes a personal experience to weave a tale around a product and take it a step beyond just a plain product review. When it’s done well, you’ll have a story that draws in the audience, holds their attention, and hangs in their memory long after they’ve finished reading. That’s where the success lies, making an impression that lasts longer and goes deeper than an unwanted flier left on a windshield or an easily forgotten street sample.