Once Upon a Time: A Brand

The Mighty Tales of Storytelling

In a far, far, away kingdom, brands started noticing that their usual sales strategy was not working as usual with regular advertising. Little did they know, times are a’changing and a new trend for sales was coming for the crown in order to protect the realm.

According to William Craig for Forbes, here are five essential elements of powerful brand storytelling:

  • Have a unique brand narrative.

  • Know your target audience.

  • Data plays a supporting role.

  • Campaigns serve roles in audience stories.

  • Make it personal


“Dreaming of incredible India”

Photo courtesy of David Hoffman (@davidsbeenhere)

Let us give you an example for you to be prepared to save the princess from the evil witch. A really good example of storytelling with brands is Airbnb. You know them, you’ve used them. But why?

First of all, they focus in one really powerful ally in storytelling - customer service. Airbnb allows hosts to add value and content in order for them to support their experiences, say for example, places nearby, exciting locations and more. They also allow us, the users and consumers, to share our experiences with the place, location, and host. Airbnb wants us all to know everything about everything both ways.

By doing this, Airbnb is letting us know that the hosts and users are the brand. Their strategy is not based on their “brand” itself, and that’s why they don’t try to tell a story focused on their brand. Instead, it allows their users to tell their testimonies about their experiences and all that it has to offer. It is such a priority for them that they even advertised it as Stories from the Airbnb Community.

We already know what you’re thinking, “asking for customer feedback is not storytelling, honey”, but here’s the thing. Airbnb compilates customer experiences and they use that feedback and apply it to their strategy as techniques to connect with their target audience on a personal level. By humanizing the brand, they can establish an affiliation with any new and core users because everyone is always paying attention to any past stories and experiences, rather than focusing on the brand itself.

We remember information far better when it’s in the form of story rather than as a list of facts. People tell stories, art tells stories, TV tells stories, ads tell stories… so it seems straightforward enough when a marketer talks about ‘storytelling’, we know what they mean…
— Christopher Ratcliff of #Econsultancy

Influencers can be a powerful ally in storytelling strategies. Using them to create value by sharing organic experiences with any brand is key. One of the members of our #GNBFAMILY, David Hoffmann (@davidsbeenhere) made storytelling his life by traveling all over the world and producing quality content about the places he’s been. Follow him and you’ll know about the culture, the places he’s been, and the must-see exotic aspects of any part of the world. The high level of quality and the value that David puts into the content he creates is exactly what your brand should be doing if you want to get it into the storytelling game.

So if what you’re looking for is someone to tell the story of your brand and to tell it right, don’t forget to check us out, we’ll make sure you find the gold pot at the end of the rainbow ;)

NAPTURAL BEAUTY: Welcome, Brittney Enora!

Blessed again by the talented Naptural Elenore!

That’s just one quote we saw that caught our eye when searching for Brittney Enora’s content. Look at her features and comments, and you’ll see thousands of adoring fans…including us! We’re thrilled to announce that Brittney has joined the God & Beauty family, giving our make-up and hair routines all sorts of life!

Brittney is a hair and make-up influencer based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Inspired by the natural hair movement, Brittney created her highly successful YouTube Channel, Naptural Elenore, and her Instagram page, @brittneyenora, to document her own natural hair journey as well as help women of color learn how to apply make-up and take care of curly hair.

Over the years, she has created one of the most active and engaged audience in the hair and make-up community for people of color in social media. Brittney has worked with some of the industry’s leading hair and make-up brands such as Too Faced, Make-up Geek, Creme of Nature, and Camille Rose Naturals.

Get in touch, and let’s create beauty together!

Is my Influencer Keeping it 100?

Where did the organic feel go?

‘Instafamous’ feeds have shifted from giving me life envy to constantly promoting lifestyle products that I’ve always been skeptical about.
— Lucy Slater, PR Account Executive

What's sponsored and what isn't?

Brands are feeling like they are engaging more with their audience by using famous influencers, but often now users tend to feel a little bit of a fake vibe when it comes to promoting a certain item or service.  Why does this happen? Because there’s a fine line between strategically mentioning a product, and getting paid for you to “fake it ‘til you make it” with any brand that comes your way to say that you support them and are with them 100%. Let’s call it the Dark Side of the Moon of Influencers. 

In the end, it all comes down to the way a brand perceives an influencer and if they feel like they can add some value to their investment. If you go to YouTube right now, there are TONS of videos with theories on how X or Y influencer sold their soul out for X or Y brand. And even if you think things like “any advertising is good advertising”, TRUST AND BELIEVE that that is not the case and it won’t add anything of VALUE to your strategy.

So what’s real? What’s organic?  What’s an honest recommendation?

If we flip a coin on saying that any influencer is an actual influencer because of their community, then we first need to evaluate if their community is real or if there’s even an actual fan base hearing and seeing all of their sponsored content. 

There’s an article by Tom Ward on Forbes that actually gives you a higher perspective on micro and large influencers. He gives us some good points on how to consider an influencer real or not. Here are our top 4:

How can you spot the fakes?

  • Sudden Spike In Followers: There are really only two reasons for a sudden spike in Instagram followers: They were named a suggested user or they bought followers. If a user randomly had a massive spike, you should be suspicious.
  • Heavy Overseas Follower Count: An influencer with a large percentage of foreign followers should be audited. I’ve found that most of the sites that sell fake followers get them from accounts in Eastern Europe or South America.
  • Shady Followers: Scroll through their followers. Are there a large number who’ve never posted, or don’t have a profile pic? That’s a giant red flag.
  • Read The Comments: Are they real or are they generic statements, like “Great pic!” If there isn't actual commentary, you should be wary. Also look at the languages used. Are they in the influencer's native language or a foreign one?

The most important lesson to learn here is to never believe what other people tell you is successful. The key is to check for yourself. Use reporting and social media management software to help you find, form and deepen real connections with the people who love your brand. Sprout Social is one of our favorites because it has a holistic approach to social media by not only assisting you with reporting and monitoring your engagement but also helping you understand where you go wrong or where you can improve your strategy. Here are a few features you can find useful if you sign up:

  • Analytics and social listening: Data analysis, measurement and reporting, and qualitative insights.
  • Social management: Content planning and publishing (mapping themes against brand initiatives), campaign and conversation management (create and track campaigns and their engagement) and measurement and optimization (access rich and detailed date to measure and drive your performance).

“If you think your strategy has lost the organic feel or if you even consider that it’s starting to take the fake promoting road with any influencer, be open and express your thoughts and concerns.  Yes, an influencer may know how to work but sometimes a lil’ push to calibrate never hurt nobody.”

Photo courtesy of Rachel Iwanyszyn (@jaglever)

#GNBFamily likes to stay in sync with our clients, following up and integrating you into our team. From helping you choose the right influencer that suits your brand the best, to the strategy and communication that this will entail. We always make sure that we keep it 100 with our clients, to reinforce trust. 
Ready to start trusting again?