NEW YEAR, NEW BRAND: PART 2
In the first installment of the New Year, New Brand series, you learned about creating a unique brand voice.
Now it's time to start putting that brand voice to work and craft content that will quickly turn your audiences into your brand advocates.
To do that, you'll need two things:
1. Storytelling Creates Interest
What Is Storytelling in Business?
In business, storytelling is when you go beyond listing features and benefits and create a narrative that hooks your audience’s interest and engages them on an emotional level.
As author and screenwriter Robert McKee said in Harvard Business Review, a powerful way to persuade people is to unite an idea with an emotion. “The best way to do that is by telling a compelling story.”
How to Incorporate Storytelling
By adding an engaging narrative to all of your communication materials, from marketing and advertising to training programs and team meetings, you can make people care about what you have to say.
But how exactly do you do that?
KNOW YOUR CHARACTERS. YOU ARE NOT THE HERO.
Every great story has compelling characters, including a hero, a villain, and a supporting cast like a trusty sidekick or a wise mentor.
When companies fail to tell an engaging story, it’s often because they made themselves the hero, their competition the villain, and their audience is the damsel in distress.
But your audience doesn’t need saving. They need your support.
So, let’s take a look at who your characters really are:
By making your audience the hero, it helps you frame your messaging in a way that is relevant to them.
SHOW. DON'T TELL.
This common piece of advice to creative writers also applies to business storytelling. Instead of providing an “info dump” of statistics, facts, and figures, give examples of why this information is essential.
2. Instructional Design Harnesses the Power of Memory
What Is Instructional Design?
Instructional design is another term for creating educational materials. According to Purdue University, “The principles of instructional design consider how educational tools should be designed, created and delivered to any learning group, from grade school students to adult employees across all industry sectors.”
However, this doesn’t mean that instructional design can only be used for training programs and how-to videos.
Elements of instructional design should be added to your brand storytelling efforts to increase the likelihood that your story will stick in the minds of the audience and drive them to action (hiring you!).
How to Incorporate Instructional Design
BUILD FROM SIMPLE TO COMPLEX.
Cognitive research shows that memory works according to a dual process, where simpler, more routine decisions and behaviors become automatic, allowing the brain to process more complex, problem-based scenarios.
OFFER THE FREEDOM OF CHOICE.
No two people have the same fingerprints. Likewise, no two people think in the same way. Many factors affect how a person learns, including their age and experience, available time, and how their brain processes information.
By providing your content in multiple formats, you allow the audience to choose how they want to interact with your organization. This freedom of choice increases the likelihood that they will you’re your company favorably and recall your key points.
Plus, offering similar messaging in print, video, audio, and interactive experiences, increases the repetition of key information, which is a critical element of memorization.
The Winning Formula:
Storytelling + Instructional Design = Empowered Advocates
Storytelling by itself can mean that audiences care but don’t know what to do next. Instructional design alone can mean just the opposite, that audiences know what to do, but they don’t care. In both scenarios, your audiences remain just that: audiences.
To convert a passive audience into brand advocates who believe in what you do and actively help build your business, combine storytelling with instructional design principles. This way, you’ll win your audiences hearts and minds.
NEXT: Avoiding Damaging Content Mistakes
You’ve just learned about the importance of having a unique brand voice and capturing your audience’s attention with storytelling and instructional design.
In the next installment of the New Year, New Brand series, you’ll learn how to avoid awkward and damaging content missteps.
In the meantime, if you have questions or would like help defining and developing your brand voice and content strategy, contact us.