Storytelling Tips from Two Creative Giants
Storytelling your brand takes heart—whether aimed at your website’s “About” page or a blog post about a customer experience. When you’re pressed for time and inspiration, rely on the advice of industry greats for winning strategies.
Pulitzer-prize winner and journalism professor Jacqui Banaszynski maps eight ways to tell a story.
- Who are the characters, places, and events behind a story? Choose one and create a profile.
- How does something work? Why does it happen? Explain by showing your audience.
- Is there something big behind your story? Maybe it’s a trend or issue.
- Do you see a story with scenes, tensions, and structure (beginning, middle, and end)? Then you have a narrative.
- Does a special moment stir interest? It might act as a short alternative to a narrative.
- Can you find a unique perspective? Does a roundtable of voices tell a story?
- Can you relate a tale in the blink of an eye? Visual storytelling works with photographs, illustrations, infographics, gifs, short video, and Vines.
- What about an opportunity to dig deep into documents and summarize something complicated? Take a cue from investigative journalists.
Once you have a storytelling strategy, follow through on delivery. Filmmaker Andrew Stanton offers seven clues that transform a story from good to great:
- Make a promise.
- Have a theme.
- Use what you know.
- Make your audience care.
- Head for one resolution.
- Know your punchline.
- Create a sense of wonder.
When making the most of storytelling techniques, you power up content marketing with humanity.
Catherine Hamrick is a storyteller, editor, and social media strategist. She blogs at Random Storyteller, which features creative nonfiction (often with a Southern twist), poetry, musings, and writing tips.