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Good stories sell because humans can relate to them. Stories help us form emotional connections with brands. They drive trust, which leads to purchases. Most importantly, stories humanize brands. 80 percent of millennials want brands to tell stories that reflect similar values and embrace their philosophical, social, and environmental leanings. Successful partners couple advertisements with stories that align company values with products and services.

Stories are a powerful tool for businesses in today’s dynamic marketplace:

  • We’ve found that partners who advertise drive 5x the revenue growth of those that don’t.
  • With digital marketing booming, more than half of B2B buyers expect to make at least 50 percent of their work purchases online within the next three years.

Brands must find a way to cut through the noise-and crafting a meaningful narrative is a very effective way to do that. Below we share three ways brands can tell their stories better.

Be authentic

Companies often tell stories that don’t match their identity. This can be problematic because consumers demand authenticity. Ensure you’re distributing an authentic story by asking yourself two questions: Why us? And what problem is our company uniquely qualified to solve?

Next, solicit feedback from consumers and combine your answers with facts about your products and company philosophy. This cultivates a brand story that’s grounded in an organic narrative and helps consumers more easily recall your story.

Travel the hero’s journey

An effective narrative requires a story arc. This usually emerges from an inspirational call to action or anecdote, such as a time when your company was posed with a business problem that you overcame.

Tile’s initial campaign is a great example. By chronicling the journey of a lost toy panda on a quest to reunite with its young owner, the ad humanizes a relatively mundane product (a tracking device for lost items) through an empathetic and touching story that includes a beginning, a middle, and an end.

3. Show-don’t just tell

Presentation matters, especially when a picture is worth 60,000 words. Using high-quality visuals to supplement the text of your story ensures that consumers won’t forget what you’re selling, even if they forget the copy. But good visuals aren’t cheap-and neither is quality video. The high bar for quality visual content continues to rise, so make sure you invest accordingly.

Your story begins now

It’s never too soon or too late to craft your company’s story. A great place to start is by consulting with your customers and teams to craft your brand’s narrative arc. Remember, compelling stories take viewers on a brand’s own hero journey-from tension or inspiration-all the way to transformation. They show how the business or solution supported that journey, not the other way around.

Then, be sure to leverage compelling visual content to start telling your brand’s story today.

Share your brand story with the Microsoft Partner Community here.