The marketing magic of storytelling

20 Jan

1001 nights

As the winter days started to set in, I picked up a frail, dusty book that had seen better days. It was lined with the stench of ancient paper, but it sent a shiver down my spine. As it has done for centuries, the classic of “The Thousand And One Nights” provided a pleasurable read away from the kind we mostly do scanning for bitesize news in 20 seconds. Whilst deep in thought (thinking about flying carpets and magic lamps), I came to realise how the success of this ancient text can be translated into modern day marketing and content creation. The Thousand And One Nights layers stories, one on top of the other, enchanting the reader further and further. Translating this into the digital marketing and content creation world, the success of communication remains the same. Whether you have a product or a rich history to sell, build your digital footprint around storytelling. Here are three simple tips of how to get your story going!

(1) Social media.

Engage with the public, especially targeted demographics that will “feel” your story. Your story can be related through posting a photo on Facebook or Twitter with a quirky fact, or a question to engage. But to ensure it becomes part of a story of your organisation or your aims, timetable this to a particular slot everyday or certain times during the week. Each post is a snapshot (literally), not only illustrating your point, but getting your reader to pursue further. Key pictorial platforms to use as Pinterest and Instragram.

(2) Varying Multimedia

Whilst photo sharing platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are fantastic, don’t just stick to one way of telling your story. Use a mix of pictures, videos and even audio to keep it fresh. There has been resurgence of individuals and companies using audio related storytelling, and we don’t mean using CD’s either! AudioBoo and SoundCloud are great tools, especially in providing the human touch. Examples of companies that use audio related media include Arsenal Football Club uploading sound bites of key moments from football matches, to interviews from the Economist magazine.

(3) Storify your campaign

If there’s one tool that can put steps one and two together, it’s Storify. This platform is great, chiefly because you can collect a range of media from across the web, from Twitter to videos, and mould them into one piece. Once you’ve adapted your story, it can go viral to make a great campaign!

Sometimes as the author, you won’t know where the story is heading. You can build campaigns or a case study over months, so keep the avenues you explore open. Using a range of platforms available can make your digital marketing and content creation much more exciting, but remember, you are the storyteller. It is the input as well as the tools you use that will make or break your story.

With advances in social media as an enduring part of interacting with customers for businesses, to putting out portfolios for creatives, we can sum up that storytelling is a part of “social sharing, and its being an unmatched medium for telling stories, conveying information and triggering emotional responses from the viewer“. With so many free platforms available, Telling a story no longer requires one to be part of the traditional “media” industry. As a children’s TV program once sang in the early noughties, “stories are fabulous, stories are fun, come and be a storymaker!”

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