Make strong emotional connections with your customers by sharing your ‘why’ with them.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day – the long to-do lists, the endless meetings and the overwhelming amount of emails. I’m sure there are times when you feel like working at your company is a drain; so why do you do it?
If you’re like me, it’s because you love what you do. You have a purpose driving you – even through the not-so-fun tasks. Your organization also has this purpose – this overarching “why” driving the entire business.
Your company’s “why” is different from your mission or vision. But it can sometimes be hard to define – and even harder to communicate and share with others.
“Every organization on the planet knows what they do,” says Simon Sinek, leadership expert and motivational speaker. “Some know how they do it, the things that you think make you different or special or stand out from the crowd, but very, very few people and very, very few organizations can clearly articulate why they do what they do, that purpose, cause, or belief that drives everything you do. And that’s really essential.”
Your company’s “why” needs to be ingrained in everything you do. From your emails to your website to your social media pages, the “why” should be apparent and easily understood. But how do you communicate such an abstract concept? Let’s take a look at where you should start.
What is Your “Why?”
Before you can even think about broadcasting your “why” to the world, you first need to figure out what that actually is. Your “why” is not something you can just wake up one day and force on your company. Often, it’s not a decision you can just make – and certainly not on your own.
Your “why” will largely come from within your company. Look at your culture and values. What makes your company so great? What do you stand for? Your “why” is more than just your differentiators or what makes you stand out. It is the driving force, the purpose, behind everything you do.
For some companies, that purpose is easy to articulate. Just look at the shoe brand TOMS. Their purpose is to improve the lives of those less fortunate. To do this, for every pair of shoes customers’ buy, the brand donates a pair to a child in need: “One for One.” TOMS’ “why” is essential to their business and is a part of everything they do.
Think about your business. What kind of impact do you aim to have? How are you affecting your customers, industry and the world?
Finding Your Brand Voice
According to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” What perception do people have of your brand? While this isn’t something you can completely control, you can influence it by communicating your “why” well.
By establishing your unique brand voice and using that voice across channels and in all of your content, you’ll be able to make your brand more appealing to your audience. Having a brand voice gives your brand personality and humanizes it, allowing for stronger connections.
Best-selling author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”
According to Buffer Social, there are four parts that make up your brand voice:
The first three are indicative of your brand’s personality, while the fourth is where your company’s “why” comes in and will largely dictate the other three. For example, if your purpose is to educate, your tone and language will probably be more informative than playful.
Seventy-four percent of marketers say brand awareness is their top goal for 2017. Growing brand awareness is easily accomplished through social media and communicating your purpose on all of your channels.
Whole Foods does a good job of carrying their brand voice and “why” throughout their social media content. They share healthy eating tips, recipes and more on all of their channels, and each post is tied to their purpose of helping others be healthy.
Think about how your brand can relate all content back to your “why.” Let that purpose be the north star that guides all of your content.
Telling Your Brand Story
Today, 91% of people say ads are more intrusive than they were two years ago. Your audience doesn’t want to be sold to, especially on social media. What they want is to make an emotional connection with your brand, and to do that, you need to communicate your “why” through storytelling.
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell,” says author and blogger Seth Godin.
Every story has three components: characters, conflict and resolution. Your characters will often be your audience, conflict will be the problems they have, and resolution is how your brand solves those problems. Keep these three components in mind when creating all your social media content.
Airbnb’s social media accounts are full of great stories. On their Instagram page, they post interesting photos, and then they use the caption to describe it and tell the story. In this way, each post is a part of their brand story and communicates their “why.”
To communicate your brand story on social media, try a few new storytelling techniques. Consider writing a longer post, like Airbnb’s Instagram captions. The longer length will allow you to tell a more well-rounded story.
A company blog is one of the best ways of telling your brand story. Blogs have maintained authority over the years and still continue to gain prominence with the inclusion of rich media. For a more in depth on blogging please read this article on History of Evolution of blogs.
No matter where or how you tell your brand story, always keep your company’s “why” in mind. This will give your story the emotional impact you need to make strong connections with your audience.