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Editorial Models for Brand Storytelling

“Brand is a company’s point of view. A company is not a brand. A company has a brand.” —Phil Chang

These days, editorial content is more important than ever. 

80% of buyers consumer 5 or more articles or pieces of content before they make a purchase decision. 

This means you need two things: a strong brand and really good content.

First, what is brand?

It might seem difficult to talk about brand without getting too: hyperbolic, conceptual, woo woo.

In other words, brand can be overworked to the point of meaninglessness. 

It’s hard to capture the right words to evoke feelings.

And yet, every business has a brand.

The goal is to create a unique and memorable brand experience that makes people feel something.

Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe it’s a sense of familiarity. Maybe it’s feeling understood for who you truly are.

So how do you do that?

Branding isn’t just a logo or a tagline.

It’s a creative expression of your point of view.

It’s important to know your options for developing a strong brand.

The answer to “why do we exist?”

Your brand strategy can help you define your point of view.

Your content can help you express that point of view.

Editorial models can help you:

  • Determine a position that aligns with your brand, 
  • so you can refine your content,
  • and share your unique message.

Brand Storytelling

Many of the storytelling techniques used in journalism and creative writing can be applied to your brand copy. 

You only need awareness about what those techniques are and a willingness to combine them with copywriting strategies.

I often use journalistic techniques when I develop brand copy.

The inverted pyramid, concise sentences, angles, ledes, and research are built into my copywriting process.

My absolute favorite journalism technique is:

Show, don’t tell

This is where the creativity comes in.

Don’t let people fool you.

Creativity matters most.

Brand storytelling is a vital aspect of business, especially online, yet many business leaders (and marketers) don’t have a firm grasp on how to tell a compelling story. 

Who has the power to build a strong brand?

Those who know storytelling.

Let’s explore 5 editorial models for brand copywriting.


The Storyteller

A good story starts with sharing interesting thoughts, ideas, and perspectives. 

The operative word is interesting!

Think about what makes your brand unique or different. 

What’s a new slant? How are you really doing things differently? What are you seeing that others can’t or won’t?

The way to discover the answers is to think deeper— don’t try to imitate your competitors.

Then, tell the story.

Create discussion and discourse by having an opinion and/or a unique perspective that makes you stand out— do this intentionally.

Brands that craft ongoing narratives, write strong essays, produce documentaries, and give killer interviews win. 

You know who does this well. 

It’s probably brands you’re wearing or using at this very moment.

Storytelling is a skill. Through technique and practice, copywriters help brands unfold powerful storytelling that has an emotional impact.

Who doesn’t want that?

Storytellers: Seth Godin, Nike, Ellevest


The Curator

Brands can put together lists of information and suggestions to help others. 

This saves people time and energy by culling together the best snippets of what’s out here.

This is a very popular style of branding online. 

Over time, those who do it well become “tastemakers.” 

They have a “good eye” for what others want to know (and feel) and they deliver the goods consistently.

This type of position is incredibly valuable for brands who are willing to share widely and promote others.

Curators: Swiss Miss/Creative Mornings, James Clear Newsletter, Shane Parrish/Farnam Street


The Thought Leader

Here’s where you show off your expertise in your field. 

If you have a highly innovative product or service that fills a white space in the market, your brand has great potential for thought leadership content.

Thought leadership shares insights, analysis, and opinions from an expert point of view. 

Great thought leadership will increase brand visibility and brand loyalty. 

Behind every great thought leader is great content.

One of the best ways to get a brand out there is to get people talking. 

If your brand can spark curiosity and conversation in your industry, start investing in thought leadership content.

Brands to look at: Tesla, Sparktoro, Stripe


The Expert Advisor

It wouldn’t be a list of editorial models without the classic Q&A, how-to articles, and guides. 

This type of content is used often used by brands as lead magnets—data capturing assets that draw people in.

Behind the expert advice is a willingness to help and share resources. 

The brand takes the position of educator or teacher or fearless pioneer.

When a brand develops a strong catalog of expert advice, it builds trust and engagement. 

If you want your brand to be the trusted go-to in your industry, you can create high-level content that truly helps others and shows off your expertise.

Brands to look at: Neil Patel, HubSpot, A Beautiful Mess

The Practitioner

One of the most read forms of B2B content is the case study. 

Why? 

Because it shows a process or practice unfolding.

People want to know what products and services are like in action. 

This is content that shows how a brand’s products and services benefit customers— solidifying brand credibility and reliability.

You can use the practitioner editorial model to help customers visualize use cases or applications. 

This can be especially beneficial for companies that provide tech products or services so that people can see and understand potential results before they purchase.

Brand to look at: Any Saas or B2B company!


Digital Transformation and the Future of Brands

Recently, I heard that most people give about 40 seconds of attention span for any given piece of content on the internet.

That’s some interesting data.

The advice was to make sure that each sentence only contains ONE IDEA.

Humans are not processing a great deal of information at once.

I’m not sure this is actually anything new.

When readers land on something that truly speaks to them…

Something that captures their emotion…

Something that says, “I see you. This is for you.”

They stay.

That’s branding.

Data cannot replace human emotion.

Human emotion is stirred by storytelling.

Try some of these models to organize your content or schedule a call with me.

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professional writer Karen Miller

I'm Karen Miller

A website copywriter for entrepreneurs and business owners serving Philadelphia and abroad. Let’s connect.

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