Telling Your Story – Part 1: Does Your Audience Trust You?

Some bloggers spend a lot of time on tactics that drive traffic to their site, but it won’t guarantee visitors will return. Once traffic arrives, the difference between one-time visits and a long-time followers may be how well the author tells their story. Blogs have become a viable tool for individuals and companies to build positive brand equity through the development of online relationships. When authors tell compelling, transparent stories and allow visitors to comment, the blog becomes an intimate environment for brand experiences.

My personal blogging experience is limited, so I often look to the wisdom of experienced marketers for their thoughts on this critical component of brand development. Seth Godin is the author of thirteen bestsellers, including ‘Permission Marketing’ and ‘Unleashing The Ideavirus’. He is also a renowned speaker and entrepreneur, previously the VP of Direct Marketing for Yahoo. In his book ‘All Marketers Are Liars’, Godin offers some practical advice for story telling.

After reading the book, he suggests we ask ourselves the following questions:

“What’s your story?”
“Will the people who need to hear this story believe it?”
“Is it true?”

All Marketers Are LiarsAccording to Godin, many brands fail because they don’t ask and answer these questions. He recently changed the cover of this book by crossing out the words “Are Liars” and adding (in hand-written type) the words “Tell Stories”. This change reflects the real meaning of the book, which is two-part. First, people believe what they want to believe. For example, if you think Apple makes the best computer because it is user-friendly, then you more likely to believe it is user-friendly when you buy one. Second, when marketers are busy telling stories to an audience that chooses to listen to them, there is a temptation to tell lies or be deceptive. Godin warns us to refrain because it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out and gets talkes about (online) until your reputation is destroyed and you simply fade away.

Kyle Lacy, the founder of Brandswag, writes about building trust in brands through social media. He puts content at the top of his considerations—it needs to be compelling. Among his 40 ways to build trust in social media are being honest and cultivating integrity. He concludes by saying without integrity customers and traffic will not have confidence in anything you say.

Blogs provide a powerful tool for telling brand stories. Be sure to tell your story in a way that reflects the brand’s personality, remembering to be honest and believable.

Look for Marty Neumeier’s perspective in Part 2…coming soon.

One Comment

  1. Working in the publishing Industry can’t agree more saying that content sells, however is not only the brand the writer represent that makes you believe something. I feel that the writer’s reputation and expertise in certain industry/subject makes you believe. On the other hand, I love reading entertaining stories but here is where research plays an important role. You must research the topic before believing the first thing you read. Don’t you agree? I will keep in mind the questions you suggest before writing something on my blog, thanks HA

    —Marisol

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