Storytelling Helps You Connect With The Target Audience
Choosing an integrated communications agency is tough. Make it easier by focusing on ones that employ storytelling aimed at the target audience
If you work in a marketing department or the media business in general, I am sure you hear a lot about value propositions offered by various integrated communications agencies.
No doubt, having an agency working with your business provides great benefits. Sometimes it is simply manpower for media relations or content creation; and sometimes it’s more involved like help with master narratives, providing industry insights and go-to market strategies. Whatever role this partner plays in your organization, it’s only beneficial as long as there are clear goals and measurement tactics in place.
But what can a content marketing agency offer that holds real value in our world of information overload, short attention spans and multiple communications channels? How can it help make your message relevant and standout in an undoubtedly crowded marketplace? Through storytelling.
According to the National Storytelling Network, storytelling is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener's imagination.
Target audiences want to see how your product or service fits in their world, regardless of whether it’s consumer goods, enterprise technology, healthcare, etc. Sure, white papers, webinars and press releases are useful tools to get key messages out, but that leaves very little to the imagination when it comes to defining a brand.
Today’s buyers want to be taken on a journey. They are all looking for that emotional connection to a brand, and integrated communications pros can help do this through effective storytelling techniques.
So the question is, “How do you create an effective and memorable story that engages with audiences that matter?”
Here are four tips to get you started:
Identify the target audience
The most important piece of any program is market knowledge. Conduct third-party surveys, speak to real customers, and step into the shoes of the people you are trying to influence.
Storytelling tips for establishing a brand narrative
Next, take the insights and write down the problem, opportunity, your solution and potential benefits from the partnership.
Think about multi-channel content
When your campaign is ready to go live, make sure it is represented in multiple formats and channels. Think of your owned properties, social communities, mobile apps and in traditional media outlets. Remember: Storytelling is interactive!
Give them something special
Once you have gotten the audience’s attention, make sure they can gather more information, ask questions and share thoughts. This is where microsite development comes in and gives you an opportunity to see who is responding and what information is being sought after following your campaign.
There are many tactics and programs used by an integrated communications agency to meet clients’ goals, including media and analyst relations and content creation. But the real value in an agency partner comes with finding the story that meets your audience wherever they are in the buyer’s journey.
We’re seeing a lot of storytelling right now in traditional advertising that puts viewers front and center with brand narratives that resonate with audiences. In the end, you find yourself saying, “Yes, I have that same problem,” or “If I had access to that, my job would be so much easier.”
Today’s consumers are more informed, so brands need to be on top of their game to remain competitive. Creating narratives that take your audience on a journey provides new paths or solutions toward solving their pain points along the buyer’s journey.
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