Creating a great story is an art. And — like every art — it requires creativity, vision, skill, and practice. Storytelling isn’t something you can understand by reading a guide like this. It’s a process that requires trial-and-error to master it. Fortunately, there are some elements that can help you making a great story for your audience. Let's start with the traits that a great story has:
Entertainment: Stories that are entertaining keep readers interested and make them wonder what's coming in the next chapter.
Education: Stories that spark curiosity and enrich the knowledge bank of readers are educational.
Universal: Stories that are relatable to everyone and tap into the emotions and experiences of most people are universal.
Organised: A well-organized story is one that conveys the main message clearly and allows readers to absorb it.
Memorable: Good stories are memorable, whether they're inspired, scandalous, or humorous.
No matter what story you are trying to tell, there are three key elements that make up a great story.
Characters. Each story has at least one character. This character will help you to relate your audience to the story. This is the link between the storyteller and the audience. Your audience will be more likely to take your call-to action if they can place themselves in your characters shoes.
Conflict. The lesson learned by the character through conflict is called the "conflict". Your story's conflict elicits emotions, and connects readers through relatable experiences. The power of storytelling lies in the message and lessons you convey. It's unlikely that your story has conflict if there isn't one.
Resolution. A good ending is a part of every story. However, it doesn't have to be good. The resolution of your story should provide context for the characters and conflicts, and leave the audience with a call to action.
The Storytelling Process
Storytelling is an art, as we have metioned above. Artists such as sculptors and sketch artists, potters, and painters all have their own creative processes when creating their art. This helps them to know where to begin, how to create their vision and how to improve their practice. This is especially true for business stories.
This is why this process is important. Because you have many messages, facts and figures to convey to your brand or organization. How can you find the right place to start?
1. Your audience
Who will be most benefited and who will respond best? To create compelling stories, you must understand your readers. Do your research about your target market before you start writing. This will help you identify the people who may be viewing, listening, or reading your story. This will provide you with important direction as you create the foundation for your story.
2. Your core message
No matter how long your story is, whether it's one page, twenty pages, ten minutes, or sixty minutes, you should always have a central message. It is like the foundation for a house. Are you selling a product? Raising funds? Is your story about a service? What's the purpose of your story? This can be summarized in 6-10 words. If you are unable to do this, then you don't have the core message.
3. Your story you want to tell
All stories are not created equal. You can determine the type of story you are telling by determining how your audience will react to it. This will allow you to decide how you want to tell your story and what goal you are pursuing. If your objective is to:
Incite action. Your story should tell how an action has been completed successfully in the past. Also, it should explain how readers can implement that same type of change. Your story should not contain excessive detail or subject changes. This will allow your audience to focus on the action or change you encourage.
Tell people about yourself. Share a story that highlights your struggles, failures and victories. The consumer today values brands that are authentic and tell a story.
Communicate values and tell stories that touch on familiar emotions, characters, situations, so readers can relate to the story. This is particularly important when talking about values that others might not understand or agree with.
Encourage community and collaboration by telling a story that inspires others to share their stories with you. To attract as many readers as possible, use a situation or experience others can relate to.
To impart knowledge or to educate, you should tell a story about a trial-and error experience so readers can learn more about the problem and the solution. You can also discuss other solutions.
4. Your call-to-action
Although your objective and call to action (CTA), are similar, your CTA will determine the action that you want your audience take after reading. What do you want your readers do after reading this article? Are you asking them to make a donation, sign up for a newsletter, purchase a product, or take a course? This should be outlined along with your goal to ensure they align. If your goal is to foster collaboration or community, your CTA could be "Tap to share".
5. The story medium
Stories come in many forms. Stories can be read, watched, or listened to. The type of story you choose will determine the story medium that you use.
Articles, blog posts, and books are all ways to tell a story. These stories are mostly written text, but may also include images. Written stories are the most cost-effective and accessible method of storytelling. All you need is a word processor such as Google Docs or pen and paper.
A spoken story is one that is presented in person. It could be a pitch, presentation, panel, or other type of event. TED talks can be considered spoken stories. Because spoken stories are "live", uneditable, they require more skill and practice to communicate messages and elicit emotion in others.
An audio story is a story that is recorded and spoken aloud. It's different from the spoken story. Podcasts are a great way to share audio stories. With today's technology, it is easier than ever to create an audio story.
Digital stories can be told using a variety media such as animation, video, interactive stories and games. This option is the best for creating emotionally-resonant stories, as well as active, visual ones. It's also the most costly. Don't worry, video quality is not as important as communicating a strong message.
Now is the time to get started on your story. The best product stories where people are actually using your product or service. Your story needs to show:
- A problem that people have and how your your product or service can help
- How easy it is to access your product or service
- The way the world changes for your customers when they use your product or service, i.e., how you product/service has made the problem disappear
A good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It has conflict and resolution. In order to tell a good story about a product, you need to understand the product and what it can do for people.
The beginning of the story should introduce the product and its benefits. The middle of the story should present a problem that the product can solve. The end of the story should show how the product has helped the protagonist overcome the problem.
After you have established your framework, it is time to add details to give it context and make it more authentic. Without personal details, a story is not able to connect and create context. People are 14% more likely than others to exchange personalized e-mails, and 10% more likely that they will convert if they get one.
7. Share your story
The final step is to tell your story. A story requires a listener, just as a show needs audience. Without an audience, your story is meaningless. There are many ways to share your story with the world thanks to the internet. How do you choose the right outlet for you? This is the key to your research. This will give you insight into the habits and interests of your target audience.
Perhaps your audience spends a lot of time on LinkedIn networking, or pining on Pinterest. Your audience will find your great story most easily if they "randomly" stumble across it. It is a good idea to make one of these places your website, such as your blog. This is your space, or "owned media", and it is much more reliable than rented space (like ads).
The digital age gives you a lot more freedom in the way you tell your story. Articles, cartoons and drawings are all possible. As long as your audience is interested, you can also offer videos, animations, or articles. Your goal is to engage your audience using the internet and other emerging technologies in order to drive conversions.
Because stories are universal, they're a powerful marketing tool. Everybody loves a great story because they are all programmed to. Stories can lighten our brains and make a difference in our lives. Your brand story can make a difference in people's lives, and also help you grow your business. Get in touch with us to and learn how to create great stories for your product.
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Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash
People love stories.
Are you ready to tell your story? Get in touch with us and create engaging stories for your customers.