May 29, 2018

What Do We Mean By Storytelling?

Our mission at Conveyor is “better storytelling for better brands.” Why storytelling? Because we believe that unlike blogs, tweets or Facebook posts, good stories are timeless. And we know that if you’ve got a good story to tell, the blogs, tweets and Facebook posts practically write themselves.

We also talk about storytelling because it’s universal. Every business has stories. From how your company was founded to the impact your work has on your customers, chances are your brand is rich with stories. Each of these represents an opportunity to connect more deeply with your customers and company culture. The trick is in how to find the stories, and how to tell them.

What's Your Story?

Finding a good story is all about listening. To your customers, colleagues, partners, competitors — everyone who comes into contact with your business. Keeping an open ear for stories is the easiest and most immediate way to get you on the road to telling your own. Here are a few more tips to get you started:

  • Know your audiences: From current customers to ideal clients, make a list of who you want your stories to connect with, and keep this in mind when going about your day.
  • Know your themes: Similar to audiences, make a list of themes that you’d like to start (or are currently) prioritizing in your outreach and marketing efforts.
  • Share this info: If your business has employees, they should know your audiences and themes too — every person is another set of eyes and ears looking out for good stories to tell.

Keep these in mind as you go about your business and you’ll have a few solid story ideas in no time. But what do you do with them? We’re glad you asked.

Good vs. Great

To start with, what makes a good story? You know the essentials — setting, character, conflict and resolution. But a great story? That’s where elements beyond the message come into play.

When we say “better storytelling,” we start with the steps above: identifying the audiences you’re looking to connect with, collecting the themes that will resonate with them and developing stories that address both. (We call this process story banking.)

“Better storytelling” also means taking a mindful, strategic approach to where and how these stories are told. For example:

  • Context: How does this story fit into the rest of your marketing?
  • Medium: Could this story work as a blog? A testimonial? A case study? A tweet?
  • Visuals: How are we visually communicating or supporting this story?
What Should it Sound Like?

Lastly, you have a great story, you know who you want to tell it to and how it should be told to them — but what should it sound like? It’s important to consider the voice of your story. For starters, who is doing the talking? Some businesses speak as the brand no matter who’s behind the keyboard, and in that case it’s worth making sure that you’ve got a voice and tone guide established. These handy guides establish the personality of your brand, as well as highlight important terms to include — or avoid — when writing.

On the other hand, if your stories are being told by the writer, or the feature of the story themselves, you’ll want to make sure the content remains relevant and cohesive within your overall marketing content.

With these details in mind, even a single story can become a wealth of materials that help connect your business to your customers. And if that’s not better storytelling, we don’t know what is.

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