How to tell a good story?
Since the dawn of time, humans have always been storytellers. We are hardwired to communicate, reflect and empathize through the medium of stories. Telling stories is a way for us to interpret and map the world around us. A reader will naturally interweave their personal experience with the story, creating an opportunity to share and exchange values, goals, and emotions.
People get excited the most by topics they feel strongly about. It’s important that people consider the story relevant to them. To create stories that connect, you need to know your audience’s wants and needs. What problems could your brand solve or address for them? How do your brand’s values resonate with their values? These are the questions you need to answer first before you take on the task of storytelling.
Establish your brand’s personality. Humanize your brand and make it an important part of the story. The narrative will fall apart quickly if people can’t figure out what your brand stands for. Brand personality is simply a collection of values and moods that are consistently associated with your brand and represented in the stories that you tell. These can develop naturally over time but must stay coherent in order to be clear to the customer and for those customers to remember them.
Once personality is established, the stories you create should expand on your brand's vision. For example, if tackling climate change is important for you, elaborate on this topic in your stories. Take your customer on a journey about the issue: list the challenges, explain solutions, and cover struggles before arriving at the story’s resolution.
Do not leave your audience hanging – include a call to action (CTA) that follows up your publication. Create options for customers to act and engage with your brand as a response to the story. You can also search for ways to make people directly participate in your story. Good tools to enable interaction are quizzes, interactive elements, and personalization options. This will allow you to keep people engaged and increase conversion as a result.
A key to a good story is narrative. It has to be consistent and cohesive, and it should not overwhelm, but instead spark and guide interest. Short stories are good examples of condensed and eloquent writing. They always feature bold, distinct characters and jump straight into the action, skipping dense prose for succinct, descriptive sentences. A good example of consistency is Patagonia and their natural environment restoration campaign that has been running since 1985.
People don’t buy products by themselves. Instead, they need narratives. The narrative structure should create space for the audience to engage. When people feel they are contributing to something bigger, they are more likely to stick around and form a community.
Be authentic. I know, it sounds trite, but it is incredibly important. If you try to trick people by presenting your brand falsely, you’ll lose your audience. In these chaotic times, people crave reliability and value genuine, honest communication.
Well-told stories have a long shelf-life and they keep the customer community loyal to your brand. People who stick around are more likely to spread the word and bring their friends into a community. As long as you clearly define your values and stick to them in your storytelling, your customers will stay loyal and will continue to buy from you in the future.