Telling Tales – Getting Stated with Storytelling – by Rob Cao
Stories, we all have them – whether in our hearts, minds, or imagination. The stories you create don’t have to mean ‘telling tales’ in the fibbing sense.
And believe it or not, incorporating stories into your marketing and communications may be the key to nurturing that all important emotional connection with your audience. The key to building your tribe, following, or community.
You don’t even have to be a Tolkien, Rowling, or Dahl to get started (though I’d love to have a Roald Dahl story in my locker!). You just need to get started – sometimes, that’s the hardest thing.
Here are some tips for crafting your first story:
Crafting an engaging story can be a challenging process at first. Especially if you try and just do it off the cuff. So, it pays to plan your approach. Things you should think about include:
Who is your audience? Be specific about who you are targeting with your story and ensure your story appeals.
When do you plan on telling your story? Telling a story about a Christmas event might not be so relevant in the heat of Summer… except for me – I love Christmas!
What is your core message? Are you looking to inspire and educate your audience? Or, are you looking to promote a product or a service? Are you looking to advocate or raise awareness of a certain issue?
If you can’t summarise your core message in half a dozen words, you probably need to refine your core message.
Whether you love them or not, Disney have become the huge global media giant they have become because storytelling is at the heart of everything they do. They also have a very specific audience they rarely deviate from (families).
When they do craft a story that doesn’t target their core audience, it usually gets published elsewhere to maintain the Disney family values. In the US, more adult content tends to be released on Hulu rather than Disney+. It’s an approach that shows how aware the corporation is of its audience and values.
Every great story has a structure, and traditionally, this is what it looks like:
It’s important to take your audience on the journey so when you get to the final pay-off, they’re still there with you. Most importantly, they are very clear of the value (the lesson) to be gained.
WHAT’S YOUR WHY?
Be clear on the objective of your story – let that guide your tone and approach
Allowing your audience to get to know you – make it personal and genuine. Your stories can be life stories that show who you are and that’s why your audience will love you.
Communicating your values – we’re a values driven media and communications agency. All our communications and the way we work are driven by our values. This means we are far more likely to engage with and audience that shares our values.
Inspiring your audience to take action – describe the reasons that action should be taken and the outcomes to be gained from taking that action. Your stories can take the form of mini case studies that provide credibility to your message.
Share knowledge – share the story of how you came to that message. Don’t be afraid to share when things went wrong and how you overcame those challenges to come out on top.
CHOOSE YOUR CHANNEL
Once size doesn’t fit all. Different mediums will require a tweak in your story telling approach whether it’s a series of social media posts, a blog, a podcast or video.
Saying that, if you start by scripting a video to record it gives you a perfect opportunity to re-purpose that video into a podcast. Also, you can then re-purpose the script into a blog.
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
SHARE YOUR STORY
Because sharing is caring…
Check out our last blog on storytelling (telling tales) and how it can give you a competitive edge here.
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Find out more about Rob here.