Today’s digital state of affairs witnesses dominance of social platforms and a mobile revolution. Along with these, there are virtually no restrictions when it comes to producing and publishing content. This also applies to the channels through which content can be spread.
However, the fast digital rhythm brings a bigger issue on the surface. As consumers switch several devices daily to consume different content, their attention span is increasingly shrinking. So, they instinctively impose filters and consume only the content they like and trust.
With this in mind, delivering a relevant and engaging story becomes even more challenging. To establish meaningful relationships with their audiences, marketers and brands should master the art of storytelling and leave behind the practice of simply creating ads.
The roles of marketing teams, brands, and agencies have to change, and the new focus should be on the following steps:
Knowing your audience
Messages don’t resonate equally with everyone. A message that a marketer wants to tell will resonate only with those current or potential consumers who understand it and find it meaningful. That’s why marketers need to know who are they addressing their story to, before anything else.
Let’s say, you’re selling a sofa. Imagine presenting the same story to a middle-aged woman and a young businessman, who are both interested in it. The ways in which you’ll present your sofa to these two people should be different if you want to grab their attention and make them buy it.
To understand your audience and deliver messages that resonate with them, a mix of first and third party data is necessary. The right combination of these provides better audience insights.
Producing messages for different channels and devices
Digital stories today should end on one, and continue on another device. Ads should seamlessly move across devices, much like consumers do today. They must reach to the right audience at the right time. Think of the best format for the story for each channel you intend to present it. For instance, people scroll faster on mobile screens, so your brand needs a catchier content to grab their attention.
On the other hand, you can make your content for your targeted desktop audience more engaging with a video, a presentation, infographics, etc. Now lLet’s put this in a real context. You bought a certain product, let’s say a pair of headphones. The manufacturer knows you’re its target audience since you’ve probably searched the items on their website, or on other sites.
Now, that company is launching a campaign for a new product or tech accessory, and the story reaches out to you as their consumer in several ways – you may see their new ad on your desktop computer, a native ad on your phone, or receive an email with info on the product. This company may also experiment with other ways to engage you as a consumer, like uploading a video about the product on their website. In short – everything it takes for a user to engage and decide to make a purchase.
Make it personal and simpler
Even though this sounds well overstated and too general, it basically means that a story will have a much bigger effect if told from a personal perspective. Marketers and brands can adopt this approach by telling the reason they’re discussing a certain topic and the importance it has for them. Explaining the driving force that made you write the story brings you a step closer to the people you’re reaching out to.
As people are getting tired of reading heavily jargoned content or stories full of big words and phrases, adopting a simpler, clearer approach is a better option with content crafting. Stating facts, issues, and opinions in a straightforward and simple manner will be much better received among audiences.
It’s about the story, but it’s even more about the entire experience
The stories that attract the most attention are those that are multi-layered and expanded on numerous channels. The imperative goal of marketers and brands should be to adapt their story to all screens and channels. That’s the only way they can make sure their message will reach to the right people.
It’s good stories that fuel the effectiveness of your campaigns and promote audience engagement. Good stories not only promote your business – over time, they make consumers trust your brand. Good stories are also the starting point for a successful brand presentation on social media platforms. At the end of the day, a content that successfully tells a story is a content that inspires discussions.
The digital environment of today seems hectic, and on times unbearably difficult to follow. But at the same time, it now offers numerous opportunities for marketers to produce content that stands out in the crowd, more than even before. Without any doubt, one of the ways that guarantee a brand’s success is an effective storytelling.