Whether you provide tools to the financial industry or run a restaurant business, it’s essential that you have an effective brand strategy that puts your business front and center. Awareness isn’t the only goal of brand-building; the process also involves bridging gaps. Your customers will want to know how you deliver solutions, address their needs, and provide value over time. On top of that, it allows you to foster trust and establish a loyal audience base.

In this sense, brand-building is all about engaging your customers at an emotional and humanizing level. With this in mind, you might want to consider reframing your brand-building efforts to accomplish such a goal. The best way to get started is by optimizing your brand story. Here are six tips you might want to follow:

1) Make customers a part of your story

Your “About” page may include a short narrative about how you got started in the business, but customers may or may not have a good idea of what to expect from your brand story. It’s time that you go beyond and get people to become a part of your journey as a brand.

Have them include photos and branded hashtags when they post about your product. In case you have B2B clients, have them record a short review or testimonial, which you can also add to your website where they can gain exposure in turn.

Apart from that, you can also have your customers contribute user-generated content. For instance, you can run promos and contests to share about your journey through your brand. This level of involvement on the part of your audience gives added credibility and encourages potential clients to make the same journey.

2) Reach out to an influencer or thought leader

As your brand grows, you need to invest more in terms of clout. On top of client reviews and testimonials, you can also ally with major personalities in your industry. They can talk about the benefits of your brand or try out your offers themselves.

You may have to offer something up in return, but when executed properly, you can convince influencers and thought leaders to function as brand ambassadors. This way, it will be easier for you to grow your reach, build credibility, and develop trust among potential customers

who haven’t heard about your brand before.

3) Run a video series

There is a lot you can do with personalized videos apart from delivering educational thought pieces and YouTube advertisements. You can use this medium to highlight your brand story. There are lots of ways you can go about this, but it’s best to focus on the human side of your business.

Start by giving audiences a glimpse of company culture. You can feature your employees or talk about your routine at the office. You can also come up with a tour of your office facility. Doing so gives potential customers a good reason to reach out.

In addition, you can include processes, events, and humorous content. You don’t need to spend a lot in terms of production value. You just have to set clear objectives and try out new ways of engaging your audience through YouTube and Facebook videos.

4) Refine your buyer persona

Even if you have already identified your target market, it’s still crucial to know your audience won’t have the same attitudes and preferences in a few years from now. If you need to optimize your brand story, it’s best that you start with changing your buyer persona based on current trends and disruptions.

Your brand needs to be adaptive, so make sure to stay current on the latest innovations and approaches, especially when it comes to digital marketing. Surveys and social listening are always great when it comes to doing a temp check on your audience.

In case you lack the skills and tools when it comes to creating relevant and engaging content, you can tap a content marketing agency that can help you come up with buyer personas and align your brand story with the behaviors of these personas.

5) Use traditional approaches

Do traditional brand-building strategies still work in this digital age? You may already have an answer to this question, but even as brands are embracing new technology, there is still room for using “old school” approaches.

The reason for this is because people are always exposed to marketing messages even when they’re offline. There is still good reason for you to take your brand story outside of the digital space. You can use billboards and guerrilla marketing tactics that are clever and engaging. Take time to brainstorm for ideas that infuse a modern twist to traditional strategies. There is a good chance that your brand could gain traction through memes and viral sharing if you are able to craft messages that people find funny or thought-provoking.

6) Make your story simple yet impactful

Considering the amount of information an online user consumes, you would be lucky if you have one or two people who find your brand story enticing. Other companies are ramping up their brand-building campaigns, and, as a result, you have to navigate around the noise to get your message across. You can easily do that by driving impact and putting the needs of your audience first.

People don’t have the luxury of time to read or watch lengthy self-serving brand stories. Consider keeping your story short and relating it to how you are going to help your audience achieve their goals or solve their problems. Making an impact is not about letting your audience know you are better than the next guy. It’s about letting them know that their stories matter more.

Storytelling is central to your brand-building efforts. You just need to tweak your story and tell the kind of narrative your target audience would love to hear.