Think about the most popular stories — Star Wars, Hunger Games, The Lord of the Rings. What do they all have in common? While these stories may differ vastly, they all follow a pretty standard framework. A hero, like Luke Skywalker, has a problem and meets a guide, like Yoda, who takes them on a journey.
If you’re wondering what sci-fi and fantasy stories have to do with your website and converting visitors, we’re happy to answer that for you. Your website messaging should also follow this framework. We’re good at talking about ourselves. That’s who we know best. But if you want your website to grab your audience’s attention, you need to talk about what interests them. Which is, you guessed it, themselves.
What is StoryBrand?
StoryBrand is a seven-part framework from Donald Miller’s Building a StoryBrand. After experiencing a less-than-stellar reception for one of his memoirs, he looked into why other books were outselling his own. That’s when Miller realized his product wasn’t the problem; it was how he was talking about his product. Putting your audience at the center of your messaging makes them more likely to listen.
What Is the StoryBrand Framework?
StoryBrand follows the same framework that has worked so well for fiction novels throughout the decades. But with StoryBrand, you’re positioning it to work for your brand.
A hero: This is always your customer. Always.
Has a problem: Every story needs a villain. This problem is what is starting their buying journey.
Meets a guide: That’s you! Your brand is the Yoda to their Luke Skywalker.
Who gives them a plan: Tell your hero how your products or services can solve their problem.
And calls them to action: This is where you’ll tell them exactly how to utilize your products or services.
That helps them avoid failure: Spell out what life will look like if they don’t use your business to solve their problem.
And ends in success: This story always has a happy ending.
Why Is StoryBrand Important?
Anyone who knows anything about StoryBrand knows the mantra: If you confuse, you lose.
StoryBrand allows you to tell your brand’s story in a way that people are comfortable receiving. We grew up on bedtime stories. We still consume media centered around stories — movies, television shows, books, video games. They’re all telling a story. It just makes sense that using this format to talk about your brand will be easier for website visitors to understand.
So, why isn’t everyone doing this already? Well, it’s easier for people to talk about themselves. Especially with brands. You know your brand best, after all. But the opposite is also true. It’s easier for your audience to understand messaging that is about themselves. They’re more likely to identify with your brand (and purchase your products or services) if you can speak to who they are and what problem they’re experiencing.
What Is the StoryBrand Process?
If you’re ready to start your StoryBrand process, congratulations! You’re on the right track to creating brand messaging that resonates with your audience.
First, you should read Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller. This will help you get a deeper understanding of everything we’ve talked about here. It’s a pretty quick read and gives some great StoryBrand examples.
Next up, you’ll want to workshop your StoryBrand. For us, this looked like having a bunch of people in one room for a few hours to argue about what exactly Infomedia’s story should be. It usually helps to have someone familiar with StoryBrand to guide you through the process (and act as a mediator when no one can agree). StoryBrand even has certified guides who can walk you through this process. Infomedia can connect you with your own certified guide if that’s the path you want to take.
Ideally, you want a guide that isn’t overly familiar with your brand. Since you know your brand so well, you will likely fall into the “curse of knowledge.” That just means you’ll assume your audience is as knowledgeable about your industry as you are, which isn’t likely the case. A neutral guide can ensure you’re making your message as simple as possible. Because if you confuse, you lose.
What Is StoryBrand Marketing?
Now that you know what StoryBrand is and why it matters, you might wonder how to implement it. We’ve struggled with that ourselves, so we’re happy to walk you through this part.
After you’ve worked through the StoryBrand process and gotten everyone on the same page, you’ll have a solid BrandScript to work with. A BrandScript is a condensed version of your work during the StoryBrand session. It will help you clarify your messaging, especially your website messaging.
While we don’t recommend ever using your BrandScript word-for-word on your website, it’s a valuable tool to make decisions about your brand. When we got our BrandScript, we reviewed our existing website messaging. It turns out that none of it was written with our audience as the hero. We decided to burn it all down and redo our homepage messaging to match what we learned during StoryBrand. Once you get all your existing messaging matched up with your BrandScript, you’re not done. You need to filter every piece of content that goes out through this filter.
Here are a few examples of how you can use StoryBrand in your content:
- StoryBrand video: You can create a video about your brand that follows the StoryBrand framework from start to finish. Start with a hook, present the problem, introduce your solution and finish up with a clear call to action.
- Website messaging: We already talked about this one, but it’s important enough to repeat it.
- Email campaigns: Start with an attention-grabbing headline highlighting the problem, then use the body of the email to explain your solution.
- Social media posts: Social media platforms are a place to tell your brand’s story in an engaging way. Everyone is already there to be entertained.
- Product descriptions: Talk about how the product solves your hero’s problem and what life will look like afterward.
- Case studies: StoryBrand presents a clear outline for your case studies. Identify the hero, talk about their problem, establish yourself as the guide and show how it ended in success.
Ready for Your Own StoryBrand Website?
We can help! We recommend StoryBrand for all kinds of companies — big or small, old or new. Everyone’s story is important enough to be told, and everyone can benefit from simplified messaging. Let’s talk about how the StoryBrand process can help you nail your website messaging and convert visitors.