Express yourself: The art of storytelling

16 May 2017
Janet Chan

Think about how you use Facebook. When you’re online, do you spend most of your time scrolling? You probably do – but why? The answer is simple. You’re looking for something interesting. In our era of information overload, it’s difficult to get a person’s attention as everyone receives tremendous amounts of information every single day. That’s why honing your storytelling skills is crucial to deliver a message.

Before you start a story though, make sure that you ask yourself the following questions so you can plan for the next step – telling a story!

What are the key messages of the brand?
What are the outstanding features of the brand?
Who is the audience? How is your brand relevant to the audience?

Here are my failsafe tips to make sure your brand’s story is one that your audience would want to pay attention to:

Capture attention
Whether reading emails or news online, we often skim through content quickly. Creating direct and catchy headings, which can be useful, informational or emotional, are key to attracting your audience’s attention.

For example, when blasting out news about a new brunch, a conventional press release heading like ‘New brunch now available’ may be ineffective. Instead, get creative and try something like ‘Calling all foodies: Enjoy an exclusive new champagne brunch’, highlighting features of the offering to make the message more interesting, appealing and impactful.

Make it personal
After capturing the audience’s attention, you have to seize the opportunity to inform them of your key messages. Bear in mind that we are not doing an advertisement for the brand, but telling a story. Showing the personality of the brand by presenting brand is key to standing out from competitors and create brand awareness and connection.

Around the world, more and more brands are going down the personality path. Take Gordon Ramsay as an example. While we’re big fans of his work, there are better chefs out there. So what accounts for his huge popularity? It’s all in the brand – his strong and memorable personality shows that giving your brand a real personality can lead to huge success.

Get graphical
In our age of visual culture, images and videos can tell more memorable stories than even short text. Many studies have shown that content with images and videos receives more total views and even help calls-for-action in e-commerce environments, as consumers tend to consider or reach out to a business when images are shown.

A good video has the power to change a conversation, and turn a mundane topic into a viral one. Recently, four members of the HKSAR Legislative Council created a video with infographics about how to develop a sustainable and green transport strategy for the city. The video depicted the four members going to work using three different methods of transport, and inserted infographics with statistics like the monthly parking fee in Central being equal to the cost of one iPhone 7, 115 bowls of chicken rice or 336 cans of luncheon meat. This video was very successful, garnering over 387,000 views and 8,200 reactions on one of the member’s Facebook pages, while also driving conversation and awareness among a wide audience. Check out the video here.

Telling a story is about connection and retention. And in a time when we’re constantly bombarded with messages, doing it right can make all the difference.

Give your brand a unique personality to appeal to customers

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