Storytelling 101: How to Captivate Your Audience With Compelling Content

storytelling-18642 Brand storytelling is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. As audiences expect more and more from brands – taking the opportunity to tell a story and engage with people’s inner thoughts and feelings is now a strategic priority. Good stories, suck you in from the beginning and they make you feel a certain affiliation with the brand. They leave the audience feeling like that this company understands them – and that is the key that unlocks boundless opportunity. Once people can connect with a brand they begin to spread the word, and as they say, word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. Whether it’s a 2 minute commercial, blockbuster film, a book or a play; a good story hits the audience’s hearts and minds. It can, however, be very difficult for brands to move away from selling features & benefits to creating a compelling tale that conveys why they should engage with your brand. So, if you’re thinking about producing your own story, here are four things that, I think, every story should include to capture their audiences attention:

Introduce Us To a Hero 2524294_orig

People love to watch documentaries, or read, about other people. More specifically, they want a character that they can relate to. When you create a character that your audience understands emotionally, looks up to, or would love to meet – you can create a near-instant connection that literally pulls them into your story. So much so, that they could picture themselves within it.

Give Us Someone to Root For

Personality and experience should be at the center stage of any story. But, what inspires people most is when they are able to see a part of themselves within a character. Take this Nike ad for example:

Why do I love this video so much? Because I don’t want any of the women to give up. In fact, I can actually remember (or see myself) doing exactly what they’re doing. If you want your audience to associate themselves with your brand – give them a character that is able to think, feel and interpret experiences in the same way that they would. Give them a chance to root for a part of themselves that they want to keep going.

Don’t Give Everything Away

aguilar-start-on-ending-TS-460x345 Whilst there’s nothing more frustrating than an amazing story with a poor ending, there should never be an end that stops the audience wanting more. You’ve managed to capture their attention, now don’t waste their precious time! Want your audience to be searching for the sequel long before it arrives? Give them a satisfying ending that still provides you with an opportunity to continue the story at a later stage. You’re characters are now a part of your brand and they need to continue their journey along side you.

Use a Variety of Mediums

on_set_1 There are so many different types of stories to be told. Whether they come from employees, customers or even if it’s a fictional series – make sure there is diversity. This will keep the audience engaged and give people a reason to talk about your brand online & offline. Remember that there are other forms of storytelling such as: – Guest Interviews – Taking people behind the scenes of your business (a personal favorite of mine) – And, demonstrations that show viewers how to do something challenging. Whichever format you choose, make sure that the audience gains something from this interaction. Give them something memorable, give them a reason to mention your brand to a friend, an idea to consider or even some motivation to keep them going.

What’s your take on storytelling? Where do you see it going and have you already begun to integrate it within your marketing activity? 

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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