Nowadays storytelling provides a competitive edge, especially in a saturated market.
Whether you’re writing an article to share your point of view about an issue you’re passionate about or using visuals to create an emotional connection with your target audience, storytelling can help set your brand apart from the competition.
For some game-changing branding advice, Black Enterprise caught up with Eric Thomas, 28, and Marcus Burrell, 29, senior partners of Saga, a marketing-driven agency focused on storytelling. The Detroit-based duo has used storytelling to strengthen the brands of quite a few heavy hitters. They were also recently featured on Crain’s Twenty in Their 20’s list in Detroit, which celebrates area professionals that stand out in business, law, real estate, civic life, or culture.
Black Enterprise.com: The power of digital tools and social media have empowered businesses to use storytelling as a way to reach their target audiences. From your experience, what are some of the do’s and don’ts of social storytelling?
Eric: Be you. Be yourself. I think people forget the purpose of social media. Like, when you’re not representing your company or brand on social media, you’re on Facebook, Snapchat, [and] Instagram just being you. [You’re] checking out what your friends are doing, looking at celebrity lifestyles, and staying up on what’s happening around the world. I mean, you don’t go on those sites to be sold anything. Remember, people want to connect with people, not companies. Find a way to gradually share your story online in the most genuine voice possible.
Marcus: And be consistent.
Social media has also helped individuals design the careers they want. Can you share three tips on how individuals can use content to build a strong powerful brand?
Marcus: I think a great example is my business partner, Eric Thomas. Now he may act humble on the outside, but the brother knows how to engage online. He spends his time on Facebook and LinkedIn mostly taking into account the type of people he wants to engage. For him, as Saga senior partner, we know this is where decision makers and industry leaders hang out. Next, he’s 100% himself, 24/7. He doesn’t hold back and he’s willing to take stances. He posts thoughts and ideas that align with his beliefs dozens of times per day. Lastly, he blogs almost every week.
Consistency is key here, too, as you’re not sure which blog post will reach the most people. But, he learned to just consistently post valuable information and to be willing to post strong, opinionated pieces when current events call for it. He normally posts about branding and marketing, but most recently, he made a very tasteful post titled Why I Hate Detroit, which garnered over 110,000 views on LinkedIn and brought him (and our company) tons of media attention.
Eric: Hahaha. Yeah. Be you. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. But keep in mind, you’re a grown up, so avoid things that are too immature. And just be consistent. Period.