Growing up, I was a shy kid. I didn’t make friends easily and as a loner, I always preferred to keep my own company. But I got bored easily. So I began creating stories, first in my head and then finally sitting down in front of our old Apple IIe computer. Many an afternoon, I would sit in front of that classic typing away at the stories that played in my mind. It came easy to me and I could easily knock out a 100-page story in about a month.
So when I grew up and had to choose a career, it was an obvious choice – I was going to write the great American novel. A dream that has yet to happen, one that my extended family does not let me forget.
Why? Well, life gets in the way. Now sitting in front of a computer pecking away at some short story seems like hard work to me, especially since I spend 8-plus hours already in front of my Mac pecking away at others’ stories. Really, who has the time to dream up a story?
Well, it looks like I have to make some time. Because I’m going to write a novel in one month’s time.
November is National Novel Writing Month. Each November, participants from around the world make it a goal to write a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 pm on November 30. Now in its 18th year, the nonprofit states 384,126 people participated in the program. Some novels even got noticed on a national level such as Sara Gruen’s “Water for Elephants” and Jason Hough’s “The Darwin Elevator.”
The purpose of NaNoWriMo is to advance the skill of storytelling. “Stories matter,” the site proclaims and I couldn’t agree more. Especially in marketing.
Yeah, you knew I was going to turn this back to marketing, didn’t ya?
It’s a fact – we love stories. It’s how we learn important lessons. According to a recent study, 92 percent of consumers want major brands to make ads feel like a story. Don’t believe me? Just turn on the television and check out an ad. How does it make you feel? Do you get emotionally involved when the ad is presented in a story format? Of course, you do!
Storytelling can help show consumers what your company is as a brand. It can hit the consumer on an emotional level which, in turn, can have them come back to you again and again. A story allows the consumer to relate to your brand on a personal level and can engage the consumer in ways that marketing copy just can’t do.
Don’t believe me? You read this blog, didn’t you? A blog where I started with a story then led to the major crux of my argument.
So how can one tell a story properly? Glad you asked:
- Go personal. So how did you begin your brand? Why did you start this company? What is your mission? Everyone has a story to tell about how they started their brand. Even something as simple as “I didn’t want to work for anyone else anymore” can be turned into a story. The main point is to be personal. Remember, your consumer wants to know the story behind the brand.
- Use the right medium. Not all stories necessarily need the written word. You can use a video or graphics or even an interesting picture to tell your story. You just have to remember to use the right message for the right medium. A short, snappy message may work best for your ADD internet surfers where a well-crafted blog can really reach your more patient audience.
- Make it compelling. Remember, you want to keep them at the edge of their seats. So you want to embellish and make your story riveting. But don’t go overboard. You want them to believe the story!
- End with a kicker. Remember the purpose of your story – you want the audience to become your consumer. So you need to end your story by telling the audience they need to take action. But be careful – you don’t want them to think they were led on.
So wish me luck this month in writing a novel. And hey, if you need help in telling your brand’s story, ENX2 can help. Contact us today for more information.