In a chaotic world of competition and invisibility, sharing your brand story online should be high on your to-do list. We trust stories. Your customers trust stories. We don’t see stories as marketing messages, rather emotional experiences that help us learn. After all, for thousands of years, it was the sole way we spread knowledge, wisdom, and adventure.
As a Brand Storyteller and Author, I love stories, and feel lucky to be part of a world where we can share our brand your story online … for free … in an instant … to anyone and everyone … and did I mention, for FREE!?!?!
But like everything, there’s a right and wrong way to share your story online. Each day, I come across brands just like you sharing amazing stories, forming real connections with their customers, and forever pushing the boundaries. BUT I also find businesses slapping a story around the same-old-same-old, and it looks like YUCK!
If you’re going to share your story online, embrace it, love it, and do it proud. If you want a quick solution that requires no thought or effort, get the hell out of here. I’m sure some Social Media Guru-turned-Brand Storytelling Expert is more than happy to lie to you … I mean, help.
Your story matters, and done properly, has the power to ignite your brand and kick your customers with the foot of awesome. There isn’t a flat-pack formula you can buy today and see success tomorrow, though. It doesn’t work like that, but fear not, for I come with tools and advice to make your life easier.
This post scratches the surface, and if you like what you see, please consider enrolling in The FREE 30 Day Brand Story Course. Providing a complete insight into the process I take clients through, I’s ideal for forward-thinkers like you.
10 EPIC TOOLS FOR SHARING YOUR BRAND STORY ONLINE
The following 10 Tools are those I’ve used to share my own brand story online (or my clients), or admire a great deal (aka: not used yet, but plan to in the future). I liken storytelling to water, as it’s fluid and flexible and twists-and-turns around its surroundings.
Although many associate storytelling with words (books), this isn’t the case. Storytelling comes in many forms, and to share your brand story online, you require a multimedia approach 90% of the time.
I’m talking about: Visual Storytelling, Video, Podcasts, Timelines, Social Media, Experiential Campaigns, About Pages, Animation, Interactive Games, and a whole host more. To be honest, there are no rules when it comes to what you can and cannot do.
Are there rules when it comes to structuring your story, and ensuring it flows and captures your customer’s attention? SURE, of course there is. That isn’t what this post is about though, because today we focus on how you can create it, share it, and introduce new people to it.
There are no defined rules here! I encourage thinking outside the box, and whacky ideas. So long as they tickle YOUR customers’ fancy, it gets a big thumbs up from moi.
So, with this eclectic viewpoint, I have 10 Tools to Help Share Your Brand Story Online…
Evernote won’t help you share your brand story online per se, but if you wish to be effective and stay on top of everything, I consider it a must. Whether I work on my own brand story or a client’s, Evernote acts as my central hub.
Because you approach your brand story with a multimedia hat, things soon get out of hand. As you’ll see with the below tools, the possibilities are somewhat endless. This is great, but if you don’t stay on top, everything unravels at the seams. Evernote keeps these seams in place, and ensures you see what does and doesn’t work.
I talk about this in greater detail in The 30 Day Brand Story Course, so you may like to sign up.
Of course, you don’t have to use Evernote. Any note taking app works. A pen and paper does, too, but I suggest using a cloud based tool because it means updating, amending, and working on the fly is an easier task.
I designed and built this website through the DIVI Framework by Elegant themes. I’ve used several WordPress themes over the years, and I cannot sing Divi’s praise louder. In my opinion, it’s a true gamechanger to those wishing to take their site to the next level, but aren’t trained in the art of code.
I could try and explain all the features, and the intuitive drag-and-drop builder, but I suggest you watch This Video and a live demo of the theme. Now, how does a WordPress theme help you share your brand story online, I hear you ask? Because your site is your online home!
You may share your brand story online via many means, and link numerous outlets, but at some point you need to drive your customer to a single location where you can nurture, talk to, and of course… sell to them. The moment you focus your story around selling, bad things occur, but let’s face it, the whole point of this is to encourage folk to take action.
The reason I love Divi, is your entire site becomes a storytelling machine. Your About Page remains important (often your brand story hub), but the businesses sharing their brand story online to the greatest effect are those using their entire site to do it.
It’s all about the journey you take your customer on, and if you constantly think how your site nurtures them, you’re set for success. In my opinion, Divi’s taken my online home to new heights, and for the price, it’s a no-brainer.
Over the last two years, several apps have hit our phones, helping us share our brand story online. Some have become a social media platform of sorts, and Storehouse is one of the most popular.
I love its minimalistic and simplistic approach, which allows you to share your brand story online in an instant. Through fast paced narratives, big-and-bold images, and short-and-sweet videos, this platform couldn’t be easier to use.
Although merited as a blogging platform of sorts, you don’t need to use it so. Instead, it could replace your About Page, or provide an external outlet to your brand story. For instace, if your website plays a very specific role (an online store, maybe), you may prefer to share your brand story online elsewhere. A tool like Storehouse helps, offering a simple yet immersive experience for your customers.
There are many other options, too, such as Marquee and Tactilize. These tools are designed around storytelling and mobile viewing. You could replicate everything they offer on your own site or blog, but something like WordPress often overcomplicates an experience (ads, ecommerce, mailing lists, etc…).
When you share your brand story online, it’s about YOUR story. The less clutter, the better.
A good brand story interacts with its audience, and those who stand are the ones that go the extra mile. Videos are great, but your customer watches a lot of videos. To truly connect with them, you have to do more. This is where a tool like Storygami comes into play.
With Storygami, you can add videos within videos, and images, text, links, and products, too. Rather than asking your customer to watch and sit still, you encourage them to be part of the journey, and delve deeper into your story. It also removes barriers, because asking them to watch three videos is tough, but providing a single one with a few seamless additions within it… well, who can resist.
At the time of writing, Heidi and Guy are offering Beta Access, so if you wish to share your brand story online, and utilise video at the same time, I suggest you check it out. I love it, and cannot wait to delve deeper into this technology – not just for my own brand story, but my client’s.
Interlude by Treehouse offers a similar tool, too, although somewhat different. Again, it comes down to interacting with your customer, and transforming the storytelling process into a story-making one. By providing alternate paths, endings, and opportunities, Interlude turns a simple 5 minute video into a 30 minute experience.
I haven’t used this tool yet, but my imagination goes wild when I search its site. The possibilities are limitless, and I can’t wait to see more businesses share their story online like this.
In the same way you can encourage your customer to interact with your videos, you can achieve the same awesomeness with your images. Introducing ThingLink, you’ll never look at a simple picture the same.
By nature, images are static, and although a gorgeous photo stimulates our senses, we’re surrounded by visual storytelling at all times. The time has come to take things to the next level, and this tool achieves it.
Overlaying a single image with videos, pictures, text, e-commerce options, links, and more, you transform the entire way you share your brand story online. I encourage you to visit their site and check out the features for yourself, and if your creative juices don’t bubble, I don’t know what to tell you…
ThinkLink explains it better than I can, saying:
“Every image contains a story and ThingLink helps you tell your stories.”
The cliche tells us a picture says a thousand words, which is true if you embrace an interactive approach like this. There are dangers with a tool like ThingLink, because you can do far too much and clutter the hell out of a page. But with a few additions to a beautiful picture, it comes alive and entices your customer to interact.
This is what it’s all about. It’s about interacting with your customer. To get the best out of your brand story online, tools like these are a godsend.
There’s nothing wrong with using Youtube or Vimeo to share your brand story online, but their limitations can hurt you in the long run. When it comes to your brand story, it isn’t so much about viral success, rather sharing your most valuable traits.
This is where Wistia shines, because it allows you to customise everything. After all, why spend all that money, time, and effort on an amazing video, if you share it with the world in a sub-par manner.
It isn’t just the customisation though, because the in-depth analytics lets you see what part of your brand story connects with your customer, and which don’t. Considering your brand story never ends, and you forever tweak it, evolve it, and improve it, this is beyond valuable in the long term.
Plus, I love the way it integrates with email services like GetResponse, because a video is never about just the video. t’s about the invitation to delve deeper into your journey, and email remains king in this regard.
Like I say, I have nothing against Youtube or Vimeo. They’re great, but to take your brand story to the next level, a tool like Wistia comes into its own. Whenever you have the opportunity to customise something, and ensure it aligns with the rest of your brand, take it.
Steller is an app not all that different to Storehouse, but produces wonderful magazine-type stories ideal for many brands.
Designed for today’s mobile age, Steller shares your brand story online with visual style, and a professional and sleek look that’s easy to love. I’m not sure I’d use this tool exlusively for a brand story, but see great potential in how it could play a vital role – introducing your team, for instance, or a visual tour around your offices.
Research shows us how popular mobile viewing is becoming, and I doubt it’s set to change any time soon. When you share your brand story online, you have to consider the impact it has on a phone, tablet, phablet, and whatever other gizmo Samsung and Apple produce.
This is why tools like stellar are potential gamechangers, and implemented properly, can help you knock your customers socks off. Like I say, I couldn’t imagine sharing my entire brand story online with this tool, but I see the potential role it has to play.
The defining point to take from this is, the importance of mobile viewing and visual stimulation. Does your Brand Story focus on this enough?
The majority of tools so far have focussed on visual storytelling, which I suggest your brand story takes advantage of. We live in a visual age after all, so why fight it…
However, words play a large role, and although Medium does allow for images and video, its minimalistic approach leans toward sentences and paragraphs and the written-way. Like Steller, I wouldn’t use Medium exclusively, but it could become a vital cog in your brand story machine.
As a growing platform, it not only immerses your current customers, but introduces you to new ones, too.
Overall, I love Medium’s simple approach, and how it minimises noise. Like I say, sometimes your site has a specific role, and sharing your story could distract from this. As such, you may need to take your story elsewhere, and a platform like Medium is here to help.
Be creative, though. Because this is a growing platform, it’s easy to drift into the ether. Use Medium with purpose. Think outside the box. Give your customer a real reason to leave your site and dive into your story.
When it comes to Brand Storytelling, I love a good timeline. Your history and heritage plays a huge role in your story, and says a great deal about who you are. If you want to share your story online, and showcase all the wonderful things you’ve done over the years, a timeline is your best friend.
Timeline by Knighlab allows you to build a simple, interactive, and attractive snapshot of your past and present, and integrate videos and images at the same time.
Just because you may take your history for granted, doesn’t mean your customer will. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve discovered new things about a company I love, all by peeking into their past. Your staff, old adverts, successful campaigns, early product designs… these are the elements that bring your brand story to life.
It’s all about humanising your brand, and a timeline goes a long way to achieve this, because it gives your business memories, a past, and a personality.
There are other alternatives though, and TIKI-TOKI intrigues the heck out of me. It takes things to the next level, so if Timeline seems a little restrictive, I suggest you check it out. Rich with features and design opportunities, Tiki-Toki could be the ideal tool to share your story online.
10: VIDEO SCRIBE
I can’t say I’m a huge fan of animated/whiteboard videos (you know, those videos where a hand sketches your story before your eyes). Maybe I’ve seen too many, but they often leave me underwhelmed. That said, they’re ideal for certain situations, and may be the ideal way to share your brand story online.
VIDEO SCRIBE BY SPARKOL produce great work, and provides you the freedom to create these type of videos by yourself. When these first sprung on to the scene, they were mega expensive, so a tool like this is great to see.
Like I say, I’m not a huge fan myself, but can see me using this tool in the future. Come the end of the day, it’s about YOUR story, and if it suits animations and whiteboard-style videos, use it. Embrace it. Share it with your customer and slap them around the face with how amazing your story is.
Horses-for-courses, as the old saying goes.
SHARE YOUR AWESOME STORY ONLINE
I hope you’ve found a few gems in this list of tools to help you share your brand story online. This only scratches the surface, too, and as Brand Storytelling gains greater prominence, more apps, tools, softwares, services, and providers will come along and shower us with gifts.
BUT REMEMBER, tools of any kind only do so much. The most important aspect of your Brand Story is the story itself. That comes down to you and your team. This comes down to thinking outside the box, allowing your imagination to flow, and ensuring you create something YOUR customer craves.
No tool replaces the importance of this. No big budget does, either, so as long as you keep your story at front-and-centre, you cannot go wrong. The moment you rely on tools, bad shit rears its ugly head.
And as I said at the beginning of this post, you may like to enrol in The FREE 30 Day Brand Story Course, because it’s designed for forward-thinkers like you who wish to share your Brand Story Online (and in the real world, too).
Thanks for reading, and if you think I’ve missed a killer brand story tool off this list, please let me know via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. This is where I have cool conversations with superstars like yourself, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. And with this, I bid you farwell, and hope you start sharing your Brand Story Online today.
– – – – – – – –
DID YOU ENJOY THIS POST?
If you liked this post, found value in it, and would like to be super awesome, please do the following TWO things:.
STEP 1: JOIN THE FREE 30 DAY BRAND STORY COURSE AND RECEIVE:
- 14 Actionable Emails & Challenges
- 15+ Exclusive Downloads, Books & Videos
- Secret Insight into My Discover, Create & Share Technique
- One-on-One Access to ME – a Guy Who Breathes Brand Stories
- My Weekly Newsletter Packed with Insight, Giveaways & Awesome