Telling a good story is a powerful tool. Whether you’re teaching a lesson, sharing an opinion, or convincing someone to buy a product or service, a story can be the literal iteration of the consumer journey. It’s a way to show your customer you understand who they are, what their problem is, and how life can be better once it’s solved.
Storytelling is a vehicle – so do you have the wheels on straight?
Nail your tale
Filling your homepage with a report on how your uncle once overcame his weight problems by following your program doesn’t really cut it. Neither does creating a 30-second video of him talking about it and popping a link to it on your social channels.
The potential of a good story comes from the telling. It has to have rhythm, cadence, a problem build-up, and a resolution. All those elements you learnt back in grade 5 will come in handy right about now. Because what makes a good story doesn’t change when the medium changes. Enthralling an audience is a universal skill, and without the right expression, flow and energy, your attempts will likely end worse than Humpty Dumpty’s fall off the wall.
Excellently crafted, excellently executed
I believe there are 3 elements built into the delivery of a good story:
- The audience – without understanding who you’re telling the story to, you can’t touch on their unique pain points and show a solution that could work for their needs.
- The voice – if you speak to them in the wrong way, you’ll lose your audience before they get to the juicy bits.
- The distribution channel – if your story isn’t reaching your audience, why bother creating it in the first place?
These work together to deliver a final product that is both engaging and achieves your goals.
What to consider when you build out storytelling material and strategies
Construction of the narrative
This is where all your written elements come together. Develop the character/s, setting, plot, conflict/problem, and resolution.
Presentation format and design
How will you tell the story? Through video, words, images, or a combination of mediums? The presentation of the story should align to the voice you use and the audience you’re talking to.
Delivery or amplification method
How will you get eyes on your creation? Depending on where your audience spends their time, you may want to run paid search campaigns, place ads across social channels, look for relevant threads in forums or partner with influencers or bloggers to get the content out there.
What’s your definition of success, and how will you measure that? Most platforms you should already be across (Google Analytics, Facebook Insights) will allow you to measure the basics like time on page, bounce rate, goal completion, user journey, and a whole heap of other options. However, understanding what is relevant to your objectives and how to gain insight from the data you collect is where it gets a little trickier.
For example, tracking the bounce rate is fine, but if you’re only after brand awareness and don’t need users to take any further steps, then they will leave after they’ve viewed your material – which is fine, because you’ve made your impression, and now they’re free to continue their day as usual. So context is everything when it comes to measurement.
Digital platforms offer so many opportunities for telling genuine stories that connect with people, and it’s a great tool to utilise on both a brand and personal level.
Blog submission by Caitlin Ritter – Search Factory | iProspect