10 Brand Storytelling Techniques to Boost Audience Engagement

Content Marketing 9 min read

There’s nothing like hearing or reading a captivating story. It’s why movies, TV shows, and novels are so popular. When immersing ourselves in a story, emotions unfold, characters come to life, and our imaginations run wild. It’s fun. It’s captivating. It’s magical.

And there’s science behind this. Our brains are wired to engage with stories. Brain chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins create emotional connections, making us care about the story’s outcome and driving us to listen, read, or watch until the end.

So, can you imagine what would happen if you included stories within your brand’s content?

You can build trust, engage your audience, and foster strong connections.

In fact, research shows that storytelling can boost brand connection and trust by 4% and influence 68% of shoppers’ purchase choices.

Ready to get started with brand storytelling for audience engagement? Let’s talk strategy.

Brand Storytelling: Audience Engagement Best Practices

Stand out from the crowd and captivate your audience with these brand storytelling techniques.

1. Craft Clear and Engaging Narratives

Narratives that resonate with your audience and create lasting memories offer a great way to improve brand awareness and recognition.

But it all comes down to crafting clear narratives anyone can understand and relate to.

Before telling your story, make sure you’re familiar with your audience. Know their preferences, interests, and level of expertise in the subject matter.

Otherwise, your story could confuse them. Improve clarity by:

  • Show, don’t just tell, using descriptive language and vivid details to create clear images in the audience’s mind.
  • Create smooth transitions between different parts of your narrative to maintain the flow of the story.
  • Make sure the message or takeaway you want your audience to grasp is as clear as possible.
  • Using visuals like images, charts, or graphs to enhance understanding and retention.
  • Keep your narrative consistent in tone, brand voice, style, and perspective.
  • Organizing your story with a clear structure: a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Using clear and concise language

A clear and easily understandable story captivates and facilitates a smoother connection with your audience.

That’s where tools like an online paraphraser come in, allowing you to reshape your message seamlessly — especially when you have a large writing team and different writing styles.

As a result, you can ‌improve consistency and comprehension, which in turn boosts engagement.

2. Use Humor

Throw in a bit of humor to make your narrative more engaging and enjoyable. The cliche “laughter is the best medicine” rings true, especially with storytelling.

Combining the enjoyment people get from hearing an inspiring story with laughter creates a powerful experience that leaves a lasting impact on your audience.

Humor can also make your audience feel more comfortable and at ease.

For example, the project management tool ClickUp uses humor in its social media content, particularly on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where visually appealing videos perform well.

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This popular video helps to break down the stigma around project management and makes the topic more approachable and engaging.

The brand also uses relatable content (that also happens to be trending) to speak to its target audience. This strategy helps foster a sense of connection and understanding.

In short, a personal storytelling approach creates an emotional connection with viewers and builds trust in the brand.

3. Share Customer Success Stories

Reviews and testimonials are powerful tools for brand storytelling, creating narratives that audiences can relate to on a personal level.

They’re likely to remember these customer stories, too.

Need proof? Stories resonate 12 times more than facts alone.

Sure, it’s always smart to talk about how good your product or service is, presenting facts about how you can help your customers improve their lives somehow.

But when you share stories about the success of past customers, you add social proof, showing leads and prospects that they can achieve the same outcome if they give your business a chance.

Tailor Brands, a trailblazer in the arena of helping aspiring entrepreneurs start a business, has masterfully harnessed the power of reviews to craft a compelling narrative that transcends traditional marketing strategies.

Reviews, whether on platforms like Trustpilot or customer testimonials on Tailor Brands’ website, serve as authentic anecdotes from real users.

The company provides a unique window into the customer experience, offering insights that go beyond mere product features.

Each review becomes a chapter in the brand’s story, detailing the journey of people who have found value and success through Tailor Brands’ services.

Screenshot of Tailor Brands customer testimonials that tell a story
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Another example of a brand leveraging customer testimonials is Form Health, an online medical weight loss clinic. The brand shared the story of Shelbie, who comes from an Italian family whose gatherings usually revolve around food.

From there, Shelbie tells what her experience with Form Health has been like and fondly remembers her first conversation with her nutritionist, Vicki.

She shares the great lessons she’s learned on her journey. But it’s not just the things she is saying.

It’s also the situations she describes with her family and food and how she talks about her experiences. This allows us to imagine certain scenarios‌ and keeps us engaged.

4. Spark Curiosity and Intrigue to Capture Your Audience’s Attention

Create a compelling hook to get your audience’s attention. A good hook is a highly effective strategy for pop culture as it makes audiences yearn to watch the story unfold.

For example, the popular TV show Breaking Bad begins with a high-intensity, action-packed scene where the main character, Walter White, drives an RV in the desert.

He’s wearing only his underwear and a gas mask, forming an opening scene that sparks curiosity and keeps the audience guessing about what’s going on. This scene is truly masterful storytelling.

Of course, you don’t have to craft such a dramatic opening hook, but you can take pointers from its execution‌ — ‌such as raising questions and compelling your audience to stay tuned to see how your story will unfold.

For example, you can start your narrative with a captivating hook or pose an intriguing question, instantly seizing your audience’s attention.

Normandy Beach Tours, a specialized agency exploring World War II landmarks across Europe, does this well by creating an effective content pillar, starting with simple questions and answering them with fascinating and little-known historical facts.

One notable entry in this series is “Did you know the Vatican was bombed in World War II?”

This approach captures interest and entices the audience to delve deeper into compelling narratives, making the brand storytelling experience informative and engaging.

Screenshot of Form Health Instagram post showing customer telling their experience
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5. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative

Every story you tell doesn’t have to be factual.

As long as your stories relate to your brand and industry and engage your audience in some way, it doesn’t matter if they’re fact or fiction (as long as the readers can identify the difference).

So, don’t feel like you can’t get creative, because you certainly can.

For example, let’s say you’re a courier service provider that makes same-day deliveries.

During the holidays, consumers often worry about their packages getting to their door in time for Christmas. You can create a fun narrative featuring Santa Claus and his elves.

The story could show how the elves have been working with multiple delivery drivers and how the reindeer vans are prepared to make all deliveries within the same day or night.

6. Connect With Your Audience Using Empathy and Emotion

What if you want to educate your audience about a certain concept or idea? But you want to do so in a way that doesn’t bore them.

This can be difficult when explaining a complex topic like student loan refinancing.

To ensure your message gets across in the most engaging way, consider the emotional and financial impact student loans have on students and young professionals.

Screenshot of SoFi debt guide
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This involves discussing the complexities of refinancing, understanding the stress it places on people, and exploring the relief and opportunities it can bring.

As a result, you can transform your narrative into a powerful tool that engages, educates, and supports your audience.

7. Build Authenticity By Sharing Your Brand’s History

Your brand is more than a business. It’s an entity created and managed by real people.

So, it’s always important to communicate this in your messaging. You can do this by sharing how everything started.

What made you want to start your business? What was the inspiration behind it all?

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By sharing these interesting narratives, you come across as authentic and human.

So, why not share the people behind it, what drives them, and how they came up with their business idea?

Openness is a big reason people love engaging with (and purchasing from) certain brands. People love to get to know the faces behind the brand. That’s why StoryChief highlights its core team on its About Us page.

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Plus, it also leads to long-term customer relationships and loyalty.

8. Share Narrative-Driven Content on Social Media

Social media presents a great opportunity for brand storytelling.

Many people browse social media to get product inspiration, see news updates, and check on influencers and celebrities. But the real driver behind social media use is finding people to connect with.

This includes connecting with brands, too, with 90% of users following at least one brand on social media.

Engage with your audience by sharing customer testimonials, telling personal stories about how you overcame an obstacle, or introducing brand stories that tell the origins of your business.

Post captivating captions and infuse your brand personality into posts to foster deep connections with your audience.

Crafting engaging captions for social media has become more accessible in the age of AI, with tools like an AI caption generator simplifying the process.

These tools streamline caption creation and allow for easy customization, enabling brands to tailor their narratives and resonate authentically with their audience.

9. Use Metaphors to Convey Technical Concepts

When people hear metaphors, they often feel a sense of familiarity. This comes in handy when trying to explain a complex topic or concept.

As you use metaphors in your storytelling, it’ll click in your audiences’ minds that even though they’re unfamiliar with the subject matter, what you’re explaining is something they already understand.

For example, if the topic is implementing new technology, talk about how similar it is to running a marathon.

It requires meticulous planning, steady pacing, and a big commitment. And the finish line isn’t the end but a transition to a new phase.

10. Measure the Success of Your Storytelling Efforts

After implementing the above strategies, it’s time to see how well your storytelling approach works.

Consider using a session replay tool to assess the impact of your storytelling on audience engagement.

Example of digital session replay
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These tools allow you to see firsthand how users navigate through your storytelling content, which elements resonate most with the audience, and where potential hurdles or points of disengagement might occur.

From there, you can adjust your storytelling strategies for even better results.

Boost Engagement Levels Tenfold With the Right Brand Storytelling Techniques

For an engaging brand experience, storytelling is one of the best approaches.

People love a good story. As a brand, it’s always a good idea to implement strategies that make people want to listen to what you have to say.

With these best practices and strategies, you’ll be well on your way to crafting captivating narratives that drive trust and powerful connections.