Four sure-fire ways to boost your storytelling efforts

By Ashlyn Korienek

We all have stories to tell. 

Stories bring us together, empower us to take action, and connect us while we’re apart — it’s at the fiber of our very being.

As a team of storytellers, we know the importance of telling a great story — especially when it comes to creating content for our clients. 

To celebrate #WorldStorytellingDay, we’re sharing #TeamMoonsail’s top storytelling tips to help you create powerful content.

Whether you’re planning your next marketing campaign, a brand refresh, or looking for new ways to write your social posts, here are four sure-fire ways to boost your storytelling efforts.

Get to know your audience

Take the time to get to know your brand’s supporters — use listening tools and data to understand their needs and preferences. This will help you build a stronger connection and tell more effective stories. 

For example, if you’re getting higher engagement on certain content (or at certain days/times), amp up your efforts in those areas. 

Remember to be authentic with your messaging — if you want to build brand loyalty, you need to be transparent and communicate your values. 

Get started: #TeamMoonsail uses tools like Sprout Social to listen to trends and what our audience is talking about, as well as to identify optimal reach times. Pay attention to specific topics and keywords your audience is sharing, trends, and value the feedback they share with you.

Develop a strong strategy 

Every successful story once started out as a mere idea. Start with the big picture, do your research and due diligence, and narrow down the details before you #StartYourStory. 

Create a communications strategy that balances both data and emotional appeal — use numbers, stories and images to move different people. 

Get started: try using Miro or MindMeister to map out all of your concepts, resources, and action steps — or if you prefer, #TeamMoonsail’s a huge fan of a whiteboarding session.

Share a powerful message

Powerful stories have two things in common: their core message is clear, and they’re told well. Distill your story to strip away confusing or superfluous details so that your story and CTA are crystal clear. (While tons of background might seem important to you, remember that your reader is busy and wants to get right to the point!) 

Craft a narrative that’s emotional, personal, informative and reflective of your brand’s values. A shareable story brings value to the reader, whether it’s educational, entertaining, or inspirational.  

Next, focus on how you’re telling your story. Is it better suited for an OpEd, social media, graphics, podcast or video? 

Try telling your story from a few different angles. You might even want to “pitch” the story to colleagues to see which messaging framework resonates most with them. 

Get started: Keep pushing yourself as a writer. Even if you’ve been doing this for a long time, read a lot of different types of writing (prose, poetry, scientific or policy papers, funny tweets, etc.) to understand what makes each one work and try new things to fine-tune your voice and versatility. Especially if the topic you’re writing on is pretty niche, this will give you more range and options to share your messaging to keep it fresh. It’s also important to get feedback from team members and people outside your industry to make sure your story conveys the right tone and is easily understood. 

Define your purpose 

Before you #StartYourStory, be sure to define your purpose and goals, and make sure it aligns with your brand’s mission.

Ask yourself, “what story am I trying to tell?” 

Communicate your “why” and how that benefits your audience — this builds interest and loyalty, which will help you grow and strengthen your relationship with your audience.

Get started: To deliver on your purpose well, you may need to work with a team of collaborators. Make sure you’re tracking action items, status updates, and changes in real-time with tools like Trello or Todoist. This helps keep your campaign on track and ensures all team members understand their role in executing the campaign. 

For more ideas around storytelling, check out #TeamMoonsail’s social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram

Do you have a story to tell? Reach out to #TeamMoonsail, we’d love to help you #StartYourStory.