Regardless of the marketing moniker you hang on it, the truth is the same: brand storytelling is one of the smartest moves you can make as a company leader. Businesses using content marketing/inbound marketing/brand storytelling for consumer outreach attract new customers at a much higher rate than companies relying on social media alone.

Creating stories to build a brand presence not only helps you develop a persona for your company, it helps to fuel your outreach while significantly boosting your SEO at the same time. From Richard Branson to Phil Knight, storytelling has been an ace in the pocket of the greatest brands. To optimize your business' storytelling for success, following are five essential tips you should bear in mind:

1. Create brand stories with a specific audience in mind.

Not only will your content be more relevant, the creation process will be easier. Generic stories aren't likely to be shared on social media; the more precise your content, the better the chances your target audience will share your content with their social networks. Make consuming your content marketing worthwhile; answer their questions, offer tips, and leave your audience with a 'wow, that was a really good read' sense of accomplishment.

2. Choose your headlines wisely.

Titles, headlines and taglines are an effective brand storytelling method. If you saw your title in your Instagram stream, would you find it irresistible? Clickbait titles won't work, especially if your content doesn't deliver. Make sure your titles are click-worthy and your content share-worthy; that's the secret sauce to storytelling success.

3. Create more keyword-rich evergreen content than time-specific content.

Blog posts regarding the latest social media trend might get you immediate clicks, but will they continue to send potential customers to your brand next year? The power of content marketing is that it can send you new customers for years; create your stories with this thought in mind.

4. Develop a storytelling strategy.

Are you building a cohesive brand voice? Do you plan your seasonal content in advance? You wouldn't start out on a long road trip without making sure your vehicle was properly fueled, the tires were checked, and engine fluid levels were topped up; the same goes for storytelling. Know the results you want to achieve, how you plan to get closer to your goal, and the resources you'll use along your marketing journey.

5. Use data to increase the impact of your stories.

Content marketing services are expected to generate over 313 billion U.S. dollars by 2019; data-based storytelling could help send some of that revenue your way. Building a strong brand via storytelling is an endeavor you won't ever regret. Unlike flash-in-the-pan social media posts, brand stories can send traffic your way for years. If you occasionally update old stories, your content marketing ROI skyrockets even more.