Last week I was invited to run a half-day online workshop with a group of SMEs, looking at how they could use story to power their marketing. Afterwards they shared 13 actions they’re going to work on this month to make 2021 a breakthrough year.
Which are they doing that you’re not yet?
Do you have a story tip to add to this list? Put it in the comments and I’ll name-check you (and your tip) in an expanded version of this post next week.
1. We’re changing the whole direction of our online content marketing to tell the stories that will engage our preferred audience.”
Their marketing is going to have so much more impact: a specific audience getting stories designed to engage them.
2. “We will dig deeper into our purpose.”
We worked on the importance of purpose (and the right kind of purpose) and how transformative it can be. And digging deeper is exactly what’s needed for a purpose that counts.
3. “We’ll develop a bunch of storylines.”
Our approach to story involves the development of several complementary storylines. Like weaving cotton, weaving storylines together creates something far stronger than the individual threads.
4. “I’m going to pick one theme at a time to build our storylines.”
You have to start somewhere, and focusing on individual marketing challenges helps create targeted storylines with a clear job to do.
5. “We’ll start by picking a channel to disseminate our storylines.”
Stories come to life in the channels they’re told through. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Insta: they all work differently. Choose one and focus on doing it well.
6. “Making ‘my story’ on our website more personal.”
A simple step that can set the tone for an entire website.
7. “Conveying these ideas to our client businesses.”
Stories get around. Why not add value to your client relationships by sharing the power of story with them?
8. “Thinking more deeply about the images we use.”
We’re not just talking about words, of course. Marketing is a very visual discipline, and imagery has to work hard to support the story, too.
9. “We’ll look for a video or animation company to help us tell our story.”
One benefit of a strong story perspective is how it challenges us to examine HOW we need to tell our story. Moving images can be very persuasive.
10. “We’re going to reformulate elements of our business character.”
Fundamental to any story work is developing a clear and distinctive business personality. Ever been attracted to a character with zero personality? Your brain won’t actually let you.
11. “Reviewing our personas.”
It’s also vital to understand who you are communicating with. The clearer you can see your audience, the easier it is to market directly and personally. If you’re struggling, imagine a person in detail and work hard on engaging them with your story.
12. “Giving further consideration to developing our story.”
Story development isn’t a one-off job. Like any long-running TV drama, your story has to stay alive, keep moving and responding to events. Only the shows and stories that have already built an intensely loyal following can afford to keep running repeats.
13. “Reviewing our marketing plan for 2021.”
And of course, this is what it’s all about. Your story drives your marketing plan. It’s how you get the most from your investment of time and money. Without a big story, your marketing is all trailers and no show.
Shape your story. Bring it to life with a plan.
Whatever the journey your organisation’s on, there’s a big story to tell. And there’s no better time than now to get it in shape and into a plan. We’re here to help, and our monthly newsletter The Inciting Incident has more advice and insight. 2021 is going to be better. Much better.