Sticky Stories – 6 Steps To Better Content

Ever read a good book you can’t put down? A book that has you turning every page with anticipation and sticks in your mind once you’ve finished? You can probably name a few.

But, can you name a brand you don’t want to put down?

I’m talking about a brand that draws you in over time carefully and masterfully, builds a relationship with you, rewards you for your effort, talks to you directly, offers you insights, opens your mind to new ideas and possibilities, and ultimately leaves you wanting more.

Brands that are able to evoke this kind of response from its audience are the ones that have most likely mastered the art of storytelling. They know how to make their stories stick.

As any good author will tell you, the secret is all in the planning. Carefully designing your story (and all of the elements within it) before launching into the telling is critical. This includes understanding your backstory; knowing your characters’ personalities and motivations; having a clear idea of your audience and the world they live in, and mapping out a story arc that takes the reader on a compelling journey.

The same goes for creative content. Developing and fine-tuning your brand story design is key to your success.  Your design should guide and inform each and every one of your stories moving forward, but at the same time, it should be almost invisible.  

6 Steps To Creating Sticky Stories:

1. Story framework: build your framework by clearly understanding your brand purpose (why you exist); your vision (where you want to go); category insights and cultural context (the here and now); positioning (what sets you apart); values (your core set of beliefs); and personality (your brand’s human characteristics).

2. Know your audience: what are their personas; their aspirations and values; what are their pain and passion points; what are their higher order needs; and what is their buyer journey. Listening to your audience is critical, so set up listening channels to stay on top of their conversations. Then you’ll be able to talk about what’s important to them.

3. Set your genre: know what kind of story you are telling. Whether it’s romance, mystery, action, drama or another, they each have their own nuances that affect the way in which your story is told.  This informs your executional choices and overall structure.

4. Set your plot: this is where you define and bring your core strategic idea to life. It guides the conversations you have with your audience, it demonstrates how your values are similar to theirs, and it attracts people to your community. And if your narrative is in synch with the zeitgeist, even better.

5. Map out your chapters: what are the main themes and messages that you want to get across? These can be aligned with your proof points and ideally should be matched to the buyer journey.

6. Execute: find a unique angle that will grasp your readers’ attention. Respect the intelligence of your audience and tell your story in a new way that engages or even challenges them. Know the topic trends, and capitalise on them, but also look to set the trends.  Execute with care, pay attention to detail and craft tirelessly. 

Follow these steps and you’ll quickly be on the way to making your stories stick in the minds of your audience. And quite possibly your brand will become one that nobody wants to put down.

This post was written and developed in conjunction with Amanda Windus, a leading Senior Strategy Consultant who works in partnership with Serotonin Creative. 

Nic HarmanComment