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Storytelling secrets for your brand

The art of storytelling is used in many forms of communications — from Tweets and websites to novels. It’s also a key element for your brand.

Eric F 1 June 2016

The role of storytelling

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” Philip Pullman

Storytelling is the art of connecting with a target audience through your message. In a world of exponential communication growth this is now, more than ever, critical for brand success. What was known as ‘traditional media advertising’ — TV, radio and print ads — has lost its position in the ever-evolving communications hierarchy. Now exposure to key messages is more likely to be online, via websites and social media.

In response to these mediums, communications are getting more concise and as part of this evolution audiences are connecting with ideas rather than listening to words.

Storytelling and your brand

Your brand always has a role in your organisation’s story and your communications.  Storytelling is about being authentic, clear and expressive in your narrative, so your message is meaningful to your audience. It's finding your voice and the voice of your brand.

Here are five takeaways from storytelling that will help you create a stronger brand presence and improve your communications:

1. Keep it simple

Your message should be clear and concise. Get rid of any fluff (especially marketing fluff) and bring every sentence, every paragraph back to its core essence. Users are time-poor and attention-poor, so brevity is key.

2. Keep it real

Practical and pragmatic information will always be better received than red tape and verbosity.

3. Keep it emotional

I don’t mean readers will need tissues, but use emotional intelligence to convey information in an appropriate tone. Youth brands can be flippantly rebellious in communications, whereas government agencies will always need to display a degree of seriousness.

4. Keep it truthful

All businesses work hard at projecting a professional image, so being transparent can be counterintuitive. Transparency applies to your intentions and actions as a business, so your audience understands your true north, and therefore your true character. When done right, this alone will earn loyalty.

5. Keep it relevant

We all love music but if you talk vinyl in the age of streaming you’ll lose your audience. Make sure your communications address your audience’s needs and wants.

So remember, keep your messages simple, real, emotional, truthful and relevant. Also decide on your brand’s ‘voice’ (the tone of writing) and ensure all communications are true expressions of your brand and your organisation.

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