I’ve blogged in the past about the enduring power that storytelling has to captivate an audience and communicate information in a way that is both entertaining and memorable. I’ve also provided my perspective on how to turn all the fascinating facts about your company—its history, its people, the challenges it has faced, its successes and failures, its offerings and vision for the future— into compelling content to power your inbound marketing program. As you’re preparing to tell your story, it’s important to consider the formats and channels you’ll use.
While it certainly takes some work to formulate the different stories you want to share, once you have them outlined, there are a number of formats you can use to tell them.
Text. It’s true that the world has gone multimedia. Nevertheless, simple written stories continue to be an important storytelling vehicle and a powerful one. Having to tell a tale using nothing but words forces you to truly understand the material and uncover why it matters so that you can convey those emotions to the reader. And from a production and consumption perspective, text stories are simple to produce and easy to distribute.
Video. Simply put, people love video. The stats on video consumption continue to skyrocket. People will spend hours watching videos of cats, for cryin’ out loud! When a video conveys important information by way of an interesting narrative, it can be a highly effective way to share your brand message.
Audio. One of the beauties of audio, which is an often-overlooked medium, is that it combines the simplicity of text in terms of production and distribution while having much of the emotional power of video. The number of business podcast downloads continues to rapidly increase as people find them to be the perfect mobile companion when commuting to the office or traveling for work.
Live Presentation. To some degree, public speaking is a dying art. But for those who can master it as a way to share stories, it can provide a powerful and personal lift to their marketing efforts. You’ll never connect more completely with your target audience than when you are looking them in the eye.
Going hand-in-hand with how you tell your tale is where you tell it. Finding the right combination of storytelling channels can be key to building your audience.
Website. The corporate website continues to be the public “persona” of most companies. As this is the first place most people will turn for information on your organization and your offerings, it’s important that you use it to tell your stories. Providing nothing but “features and benefits” copy is the fastest way to send a prospect to your competitor’s site.
Blog. Your corporate blog is a very effective channel for telling your company’s tale. It can be especially engaging if you share your story in “serial” format over time, interspersing its “chapters” with other valuable information. Too many businesses start a blog, then lose motivation to continue. You must continue to refine and retell your story in new and creative ways.
Social Media. Surprisingly there are still many organizations that don’t use social media or don’t use it to its full extent. There is so much more you can do to reach your audience through this channel than simply posting pictures of your company potluck to Facebook! Social media platforms come and go, so it is important to keep up on developments, and consider which platforms give you the best opportunity to tell your story to your target audience.
Tell Us Your Story
As a leading content marketing firm, we use storytelling as a key element in the work we do for our clients. How and where should you be telling your tale? We’d love to hear your story so we can provide some insight on how you can capitalize on it.