Creating a powerful story for your brand isn’t a new concept but few companies manage to get it right. You see examples everywhere on TV from story oriented branding campaigns that are dry to engaging brand stories that pique interest or stir up emotions. Fortunately, using the Internet as the platform gives you a chance to find out what stories really resonate with your audience. So what are some of the things that you need to do in order to create engaging brand stories?

First, you need to make sure that it’s authentic. People are not stupid and can see through made up stories or try-hard attempts to win their attention. The key is to make sure that the story actually relates to your visual brand, industry, products or services. Then, make sure that the story somehow resonates with your audience rather than the typical narcissistic focus on the company. It’s also very important to understand that stories are not sales presentations. Putting too much “marketese” speak turns people off and frames your story as a selfish agenda.

Second, use great personalities. Having a personality that your audience can identify with makes your story real, relatable and relevant. Try to use characters that are likeable, admirable or trustworthy. It doesn’t matter whether your personality is one of your satisfied customers, an expert, or some kind of mascot. Having a great personality is the perfect vehicle for delivering your brand’s story.

Third, make sure you focus on your core message and have the right structure to convey it with your storytelling. Figure out what you really want your audience to get about your brand. Then come up with ideas on how you can get that message across. To make sure your story makes the right impact, it needs a logical structure. It needs to open with a strong introduction that’s instantly understandable and interesting. The middle needs to deliver the “meat” of the story and the ending should provide a resolution or a satisfying ending.

Those three storytelling tips will help you increase your brand presence, but don’t think that the creation of stories ends with just your branding campaign. You can learn a lot from Virgin founder Richard Branson. He’s been known to pull off some of the wildest and most hilarious publicity stunts from dressing up in a wedding dress to promote his virgin brides company to crossing the English Channel in a Bond-like aquatic car. His antics have created stories for his brand that got tons of attention simply because people wanted to share it.

The lesson here is that there are many opportunities to create stories on a regular basis. It doesn’t mean you have to be way out there like the beloved Richard Branson. It can be something as simple as an article that disagrees with a popular opinion or practice in your industry. It may be a controversial opinion or in-depth coverage of a well known industry event.

The fact is that stories really attract people in a way not many other things can. If you deliver a great story, people will be more than happy to do the work for you and pass it on to their network of friends, family, associates and the socialsphere. So if you want to really use stories to build your brand, do the market research, look for interesting stories that are out there, and talk to your audience. It’ll only be a matter of time before you come up with something that’s almost guaranteed to grab the attention of your industry and marketplace.