It’s a new year still, right? With that comes a new opportunity to tell your story. My clients often stress about where they should tell their brand story – through a newsletter? On a website, Facebook, Twitter or all of the above? I usually tell them to consider two things before they start: their capacity and the type of story they want to tell. Firstly, if you are a small business then creating content is nearly always a challenge. Creating compelling content depends on your ability to commit to the time it takes to write a story and doing that consistently over time for all of your channels. The second challenge that often arises is in choosing the method or medium in which to tell your story. The choices are, as we all know, endless. As nebulous as this may sound, I always advise people to serve the story. Meaning, let the story tell you what it wants to be. It may be an event, an anniversary, a launch of a product, an internal staff story – whatever the milestone or subject matter, assess what medium would best suit the content by carefully considering your audience, the premise of your story, and what you want your readers/users to experience.
As an example, if you want to showcase an event or conference, using visual media to tell your story is a better choice then using textual layers. Capturing your story in real time allows your audience to feel like they are at the event; you give them a bird’s eye view through a visual narrative that conveys the faces and atmosphere at a glance.
While it may sound like more work, in the end, a visual story that is captured in the moment is going to resonate far more with your audience then a description after the fact in a blog post with no supporting media. Capturing your story as it happens is an expectation in our digital world – be sure to plan ahead so there is someone dedicated to capturing the story so you can create a great (and relevant) story for your readers.
Some stories, however, demand a deeper dive into a subject matter and you will want to use a textual layer as your core narrative treatment. An example where text could work very well is in an interview format. You could tell the story of an employee through a meaningful interview with them. Profiling this interview like a Proust questionnaire makes it entertaining and easy to share across social channels. If the subject matter is complex or sensitive in nature you may want to consider doing a long-form story supported by media that brings to life the characters that exist within the narrative.
In any case, always thinking in advance about what would best serve the story you are trying to tell will nearly always result in a more engaging piece of content for your audience. I think of storytelling like putting together a custom suit for someone. You wouldn’t just start cutting a pattern–you would measure, consider the person wearing the suit, consider texture, colours, weight and so on. Some stories are bespoke and expensive (think NFB’s Seven Digital Deadly Sins) while others can be a simple summer outfit of drawstring pants and a cotton tank (think blog post, Facebook album, a series on Instagram). This is where that capacity piece also comes in: all custom suits require more care and specific skills; simpler ones require less. Whether your stories are complex or you just need a brand boilerplate, we’re excited about 2015 and the potential for new ways to use storytelling to help our clients build and tell better stories.
If you could use help with your content, from copywriting to strategy, we’re offering a 10% discount for new customers. Just mention #Story2015 and we’re off to a fine start!