The art of creating impactful stories
Why stories? Today, getting attention for your brand involves more than sending out a dry press release. You need to create an engaging story to capture the attention of social media users and influencers.
Let’s take a look at the key steps involved in choosing a good story, creating an impactful narrative around it, and publishing in a way that ensures it receives as much attention as it truly deserves.
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1. Choosing your story
The first step in creating an impactful story is to choose a “good idea”. The definition of a good idea depends on the audience you want to target. You need to choose a topic that resonates with their needs or interests. For example, if you want to boost sales for your store in Seattle, a story about the region surrounding that store may boost interest in your brand.
2. Telling your story
Once you’ve decided what story to tell, you need to work out how you’re going to tell it. Traditionally, this may have involved writing a simple blog post or press release, but today multimedia content can be more successful at getting the attention of internet users. Whether you choose to tell your story through video, infographics, images, audio, or text, think carefully about the tone you use. Is your audience looking for no-nonsense information from an authoritative source, or would they prefer to be entertained by a witty voice? Think also about the length of your story; if you’re expecting people to consume it on their smartphones while they wait in line or take a five-minute break, you may want to keep it brief.
3. Publishing and distributing your story
Creating your story is not the end of your journey to reach out to your audience. In fact, many experts recommend spending only 10 or 20 percent of your resources on content creation, with the other 80 or 90 percent going to content distribution.
First, you need to decide what channels you will use to publish and distribute your story. You may want to publish the story on your company website or blog, then distribute it through social media by posting links to the content with a snappy tagline that lets readers know what to expect if they click through. Shorter pieces of content, such as a 30-second video, may be suitable for publishing directly on social media so people can watch it directly from their own feed.
4. Creating a process
To maintain the interest of your audience, you’ll need to publish stories regularly. To do this effectively, you’ll need to set up a story creation and publication process that is easy to repeat and scale. You can use free tools, such as a Google Sheet, to list your content topics and keep track of the progress that has been made on each story. Remember to include a range of topics, lengths and media types in your overall content creation strategy, as having variety is important for keeping your audience interested. However, you need to maintain a consistent level of quality and brand voice across all your content. If you have a team of people working on creating your stories, you may want to create a set of content guidelines that everyone can use to ensure consistency.
To learn more about the art of storytelling and to master one of the most important aspects of the PR workflow, please read our handbook.