What does today’s business founder or owner really need to know about storytelling?
Should they care?
Does it matter?
Is it their job to consider a communication strategy?
Here’s our latest blog for our business angel enterprise client, detailing the Smart CEO’s Guide to Storytelling….
Step back a mere matter of five years, and quite likely, the only time the word ‘storytelling’ might have slipped into boardroom conversation is if a stressed parent was recounting the bedtime routine of their youngest child.
But this is 2018.
This is the year of stories, content, sharing, telling, and most importantly ‘evidencing’ the personality and charisma of your brand.
With multiple channels begging for a business’s attention – from linkedin to Instagram to twitter…never mind your website and direct customer comms – the need to continually provide a funnel of story production is obvious.
Sharing compelling dialogue with a call to action is undoubtedly a marketing win, but never more so than if you’re a rapidly growing (or hugely ambitious) enterprise with a thirst for angel investment.
Perpetual investors love the idea of backing a sector hero, or the kind of brand which is going to generate global noise.
It stands to reason then, that your own early-stage tactics around brand awareness and industry-aware conversation, will very much be noted by potential suitors.
There are of course some important caveats to bear in mind when it comes to deploying a storytelling strategy.
No-one ever likes the know-it-all ‘speak for the sake of it’ guy in the bar, and, here in the business arena, you’re in just as much danger of being vilified like that fella, if you start pushing out ill conceived content which has little worth.
Here’s our Top 5 for nailing the storytelling approach:
1 You had me at hello.
When it comes to online storytelling in particular, as with media relations activity, you have to assume that the recipient has the attention span of a gnat.
Well, that or they’re literally just going to catch the first line of your output – while snatching a coffee or having that three minutes between meetings – and decide there and then whether it’s worth them bearing with it to the end.
From that perspective, you’ll want to provide a compelling hook from the outset, or at the very least, something which conveys a sense of personality to commit your reader.
Even if you’ve something worthy to say, if it’s buried toward the end, and takes a long period of dry facts and stats to get to, you’ve probably lost your captive audience before you get to deliver the punchline.
2 And your point is?
It’s so easy with storytelling, to get caught up in the need to share content – in words or visuals – that you can forget what the ‘reason’ is for that recipient to maintain contact with you or to act on what you’ve shared.
Knowing from the outset what your ‘call to action’ is, will be key, as you commence your storytelling piece.
Know whether you’re wanting them to make direct contact, attend your event, log on to your webinar or request your demonstration.
Start with the purpose, and it will help provide clarity for the story itself.
3 Getting Personal.
Vain storytelling is dull.
Bland is even more so.
There’s a reason that journalists always feature casestudies in their articles, or quote directly the people involved.
Human nature is such that we want to hear from a direct voice and buy into a personality.
No matter whether your business is bricks and mortar, food and beverage, professional services or something utterly innovative and world-changing, it really helps to provide a human connection within your dialogue.
Add a flavour of the ‘people’ behind the business, articulate as if you’re ‘chatting’ to your friend, talk about real tangible benefits to lives and individuals and communities.
However great a business is for what it is doing or intending to do, it all comes to nothing unless you can put it into context about what its delivery REALLY MEANS. Banish the boring.
4 Stick to What You Know
Just because you can change a washer on a tap, doesn’t mean you’d necessarily want to tackle the entire plumbing of your house.
So, just because you’ve got a facebook page and know how to post a picture to Instagram or write the occasional email update, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re best placed to be your ambitious brand’s dedicated storyteller.
If the future of your company is worth taking seriously, then the investment in individuals (in-house or consultant) who can really develop your tone of voice and properly plan your ‘drumbeat’ dialogue on a consistent basis, is absolutely worthwhile.
The right storytelling resource will help you spot engagement opportunities which you’re potentially too ‘in the business’ to notice yourself.
5 Spreading the Love
You may love one social channel over another.
You may think you’re a great photographer and yet less so a writer.
No matter what you think your competency is, do ensure you’re looking across the spectrum of potential storytelling routes.
This means engaging through images, video, words, and audio.
Every one of us has a slightly different preference for how we take in and disseminate sales matter or general information.
Ensuring your storytelling delivery is as multi-channel as possible will grant you even greater chance of conversion.
**Find out more about how we can help with your business storytelling and PR. Email our founder and the team on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Posted by deborah
- On 24th June 2018
- 0 Comments