As a child, we were all told bedtime stories, whether it be Little Red Riding Hood or Cinderella or The Sleeping Beauty. Funny thing is though, I remember nothing else from when I was five years old. Nothing. But the stories I was told, I remember vividly. And I was a wild child that had no chance of sitting down and paying attention to anything, unless it was a story. I had to hear every detail, and I just had to find out the ending. Nothing drew me in more. (Hmmm… maybe that’s why I became a writer. We just came full circle, people).
Either way, stories are always memorable. I could tell you a fun fact about myself like I have a long scar on my shin. But who cares? You’ll never remember that. But what you will remember is the story behind it (FYI… surfboard fin straight into my leg. Better than a shark bite, I guess. Feel free to ask for the full story if you really want it).
In fact, stories are 22 times more memorable than just a mere fact. And the reason? We as humans tend to make a connection with stories. We tend to put ourselves in the middle of it, as if the event actually happened to us, as if we were the main character.
And isn’t that what you want for your brand? To be memorable? For your audience to imagine themselves in the middle of YOUR story? That’s exactly what you want. I know you all too well!
Problem is… your audience is distracted. Like wayyyy too distracted. Take a look at these scary facts:
Harvard study finds people’s minds wander about 47% of the time.
Even scarier, the average adult attention span dropped to a mere 8 seconds (By the way, people, that's shorter than the average goldfish attention span).
You thought grabbing your audience’s attention was difficult before?! It’s only getting worse. So how can you overcome the multiple distractions that your audience experiences?
Simple. Tell them a story. An engaging, helpful, interactive story.
Not sure you’re the best storyteller? Don’t even know where to start?
Remember the Five W’s of Information gathering:
And even more so, remember the basic elements of every story:
Structure & Pacing
You might be thinking, “Great! But what can I do with that? How can I recreate those pieces out of my brand message?”
Not to worry! That’s why we’re here…
Characters = Make your audience the center of your story.
Setting = Create a setting that the audience is familiar with and where they experience their painpoints. Think: where will your product or service be a resolution for them?
Plot = This is the fun part. This is where you get to build the story around your brand and how it plays into the big picture.
Conflict = Highlight you audience’s painpoints. Reassure the audience that you understand their frustrations. Then, most importantly, highlight how your brand can resolve those frustrations.
Theme = The central idea of the story can be built around your brand’s culture and message of being the best answer for your audience.
Structure & Pacing = While you may have the previous elements, that DOES NOT mean you have a story. The full narrative must have structure—a beginning, middle, and end. But more importantly. it must make use of pacing to drive a forward action from the audience. For example, a sale!
It’s your turn. Create a story that your audience won’t forget. More so, create a story that they want to be a part of and see through til the end.
So, as a closing to our Digital Differentiation How To series, become your brand’s storyteller. Differentiate yourself through creativity and interactivity. And make a powerful impact on your audience.
Want your audience to be more engaged with your brand? Need some inspiration on telling your brand's story? Explore the guide to Improving Brand Engagement with Interactivity and Usefulness for yourself!