Brand storytelling is more than just creating advertising campaigns, promotions, and writing text. It’s the art of creating compelling narratives that connect your brand with your audience on a deeper level to build trust and recognition.
Brand stories tap into the emotions, identities, and pain points of your audience, and the more evocative stories help to forge long-term relationships between a brand and its audience.
The most effective brand stories typically contain elements such as purpose, authenticity, continuity, and relevance, with a healthy mixture of compelling personalities.
Powerful brand storytelling can take numerous shapes and should transcend the ‘fakeness’ of AI-generated messaging to be more authentic than ever. In fact, it is this ability to craft stories that feel memorable and meaningful to your audience that’s more important than the content itself.
It’s the very concept of brand storytelling that’s evolving rapidly, not least due to changing audience behaviors, buying habits, and priorities. Its evolution is being driven largely by emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which are also changing how businesses operate.
These disruptive technologies are, it’s fair to say, changing the game, thus making it harder for businesses to craft more meaningful stories that connect with audiences that need greater value.
As marketers, it’s crucial to understand how AI and ML are influencing the ability to create meaningful connections with audiences through brand storytelling.
If we can understand AI and ML’s impact on brand narratives and how companies can harness these tools effectively to enhance our marketing efforts, we will be able to position ourselves better, which is handy as these technologies are only going to grow in the coming months and years.
The Growing Influence of AI and ML in Marketing
AI and ML are fundamentally transforming brand storytelling and marketing. As these technologies mature, they enable brands to deliver stories in new data-driven, automated, and interactive ways.
Some of the critical areas that are being heavily influenced by AI/ML include:
Automated Content Creation
Generative AI tools can rapidly create realistic written, visual, audio, and video content to power automated brand storytelling at scale across different marketing channels. This content can be highly technical and optimized to attract organic traffic for brands’ websites too.
AI tools can analyze customer data to optimize storytelling for the best possible engagement and conversion before content goes live.
From chatbots to visual experiences, AI-powered interactivity allows audiences to shape brand stories and have two-way conversations.
Tools can now track emotional responses to stories and adjust them accordingly to improve impact.
AI and ML allow brands to tailor messaging and stories to each customer’s unique interests, priorities, and context based on data. Narratives can be adjusted in real-time to fit individuals.
How Can AI and ML Be Used as Assets to Our Brand Marketing Strategies?
With AI/ML continuing to evolve, brands must leverage these tools strategically to craft narratives that build authentic connections whilst ensuring that they can accurately capture and aggregate data and make operations more efficient.
Here are some examples of how brands can harness the power of AI/ML to make value-driven and customer-targeted brand stories.
Tailoring Messaging Through Data Analysis
One of the biggest shifts enabled by AI and ML is the ability to precisely tailor messaging to specific customer segments.
By analyzing data like demographics, interests, and past interactions, AI systems can identify very specific niches within your audience.
These can then be used for future advertising campaigns, and once tweaked, they can resonate more deeply with these groups, and potentially lead to improved CTR (click-through rates), conversion rates, and engagement.
As an example, fitness apparel brands can use AI software to determine the percentages of male weightlifters under 30 who respond to stories about competition and achievement.
Meanwhile, the software can also be used to aggregate data about female yoga practitioners and their preferences for stories about self-care, mindfulness, and energy.
From this, brands can then carefully curate text and campaign themes aligned with each niche’s motivations and preferences. AI can be used to improve and enhance targeted messaging in other ways such as:
- Persona development – AI can synthesize behavioural data to build detailed buyer profiles. Go beyond basic demographics to understand values, desires, and pain points, and also use this when creating future campaigns on marketing channels.
- Campaign optimization – Continuously test and refine campaign messages and stories to improve engagement within segments. AI can also be used to create and fine-tune messaging that aligns with particular segment goals and fits within specific channels’ character limits.
Delivering Interactive, Immersive Stories
AI is notorious for the rise of interactive content, and considering our ever-dwindling attention spans and preference for dynamic, video-based content, brands can use this to their advantage.
Rather than passively consume static narratives, audiences can now engage with stories in highly personalized ways. Chatbots, for example, allow for conversational storytelling, adjusting responses based on user input and questions.
The large language models (LLMs) that power these chatbots are inherently learning and refining based on user responses, becoming more equipped to ‘get it right the first time’ for future prompts.
As an example, the IBM Watson chatbot delivers tailored recommendations on behalf of brands that are engaging in two-way conversations with interested prospective customers. Brands can incorporate interactivity in other ways:
- Virtual experiences – Immerse audiences with interactive 3D product demonstrations, interactive videos, virtual reality experiences, and more content that the user can steer to uncover information that’s important to them. Rather than creating a ‘one-size-fits-all’ piece of content, enable users to personalize aspects of their customer journey.
- Personalized journeys – Tailor narratives with different story paths based on user preferences and history. Remarketing strategies are a good example of where dynamic content can be created for customers at specific stages of the marketing funnel. Creating specific messaging for people at the ‘impression’ stage will resonate more effectively than those who are already familiar with your brand and want to find out specific product information, for example.
Automating Creative Work with Generative AI
On a more practical level, AI is helping automate time-consuming marketing tasks to free up time for more strategic brand storytelling. We’re seeing an explosion in generative AI tools that can produce creative assets, optimize content, or enhance ideation.
For example, generative AI platforms like ChatGPT, Bard, and Bing Chat can generate long-format copy like blogs, articles, and case studies, as well as short-format copy like social media posts and meta descriptions, based on a few prompts.
Other platforms help create A/B test variations, analyze engagement metrics, or fix low-performing content. AI image and video generators like Midjourney can also quickly produce assets to illustrate brand stories. Marketers can leverage these AI capabilities to:
- Develop content faster – AI copywriting and content tools greatly increase output and reduce overheads, although there are huge accuracy and misinformation concerns with the widespread adoption of mass AI-generated content. This is why human supervision and oversight are still crucial.
- Spark creative ideas – Use AI tools to discover new angles and narratives, and come up with innovative content ideas for your brand. AI tools can study audiences and come up with titles, descriptions, straplines, or pitches that can be used to spearhead content creation and overcome writer’s block.
As AI gains more advanced capabilities, the technology will reshape marketing workflows.
But for now, see it as an assistant – leverage AI to remove arduous and repetitive tasks so you can focus on the uniquely human aspects of brand storytelling.
The rise of AI provides exciting new opportunities to forge real connections with audiences through data-driven, hyper-personalised marketing.
However, it’s essential to recognize the risks of AI; poorly implemented technology could feel intrusive or inauthentic. Users should also be aware of the technology’s shortcomings such as ‘AI Hallucinations‘.
Unmonitored and unsupervised AI content generation can quickly see branded assets and discourse rooted in misinformation, which is why we emphasize the need for continued human intervention. As you explore AI tools, stay focused on your core brand purpose. Craft stories that speak to your audience’s pain points rather than fulfilling the needs of an algorithm.
Use data responsibly and ethically, because with this technology, you can relate to audiences in profound new ways. You just have to be careful about using it to excess and losing that valuable essence of creativity.
The possibilities enabled by AI and ML will only expand. As marketers, the onus is on us to harness these emerging technologies in creative ways that serve audiences and move our brand stories forward.
About the author
Dakota Murphey is an established freelance writer specialising in Digital Trends in Business, Marketing, PR, Branding, Cybersecurity, Social Media Channels and Company Growth. Her key aim is to support niche businesses and enterprising individuals to increase their visibility and promote their products and USPs.