Storytelling is a powerful tool to keep in mind when building up a marketing project for your business.
We have all sat around a fire to hear stories of all walks of life. Captivating our imagination whilst sipping on a warm hot chocolate or munching on that crispy shell of a melted marshmallow. Experiencing wonder and intrigue towards the marvellous unknown that these stories present to us.
Stories have always been part of human history and they will always be. Social Media was built around that very purpose – storytelling.
The understanding of "Story" is the key to boost your online presence. Whether it’s posting a meme on Facebook or uploading Insta-stories, there is always a need to share experiences and find a connection with your audience.
So let’s get started - you’re sitting at your desk or at a cafe researching what and how to communicate your idea to your company or your customers. Well, let me guide you through some basic principles that can help you put that pitch together.
“ The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. ” - Joseph Campbell
It’s important to understand your audience, who they are and what their expectations are. It doesn't matter if you cater to different age groups or a very specific niche. It's important to understand whom you are directing your message to.
So before you go in and start writing – figure out whom you are writing for and give your work a specific voice. Is it a very corporate directed audience? Kids? The elderly? Families?
For this exercise, we'll direct our message towards Families.
2) Setting the Scene:
Now that you have your audience, let's establish a place where your characters will be located. If you’re a builder your story can take place at a construction site, if you’re a dentist – at a clinic and so on. But don’t just stick to the obvious, venture out and place your characters elsewhere. Sometimes misplacing your characters and placing them in a context where you’d usually not find them, will make your visuals more compelling.
For instance, if you are a dentist and want to talk about the reconstruction of a tooth, it doesn’t necessarily mean he should be in a clinic. Like the builder – he could be wearing safety gear at a work-site where a gigantic tooth is being worked on. See what I did there? By mixing it up and going that step further you are able to catch your audience’s attention before the character delivers his/her first line!
3) Character and their Goals
You have your topic and your setting; let’s introduce the character and their motives. For this exercise, we’ll stick to our Dentist. We can start with your character by introducing themselves and explaining the importance of brushing our teeth. Our protagonist then walks into a construction site where a giant tooth is located and is surrounded by scaffolding. We visually see that the tooth has a cavity in it. He is clearly worried and needs to fix this cavity but there is a problem – germs have taken over and have been making the hole bigger - “Oh no! This needs to be fixed before it gets worse!”
We have introduced our Character, a problem and a genuine goal. This pushes our story forward – which leads us to our next point.
It’s important that your character faces obstacles before he reaches their goal, which in this case is cleaning our the germs and filling up that cavity.
In our Dentist example; maybe the scaffolding crumbles, more germs appear, etc. This makes us cheer for our character and wishing a prompt resolution to the problem.
Your character has gone on a journey where he had to figure out the best way to resolve all the obstacles that have been thrown his way. At the end of the journey there is a strong message awaiting; that final punch line that will wrap up your animation.
In our exercise; maybe the message is to make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly or to trust your dentist and minimize the fear of heading to the clinic.
End it on a high note, with a inspiring message or a catchy punch line.
The steps that I have shared with you today are a very basic run down which will help you on that initial “pen to paper” stage. Letting your imagination go crazy during this stage is the best part of the process.
Don’t worry if it begins to overflow and becomes a great epic story because on your second draft you will begin to trim it down to it's main message; short and simple.
Now that you have all your steps to create your first draft, dive in there and get creative.
If you are having problems coming up with an idea sometimes it’s good to talk it over and discuss it. By brainstorming an idea you allow it to take a life of it’s own.
If you’re stuck or in need of a hand to come up with an initial idea, feel free to send us a few lines. Sometimes all you need is a little push and a few lines of encouragement.
We are here to help!
Watch our clip for Betty's Burgers as an example.