Want to Capture an Audience? Tell a Story

- January 13, 2014

The internet is a highly competitive environment. And your competitors aren’t necessarily who you think they are. In addition to your traditional competitors, you’re also competing with ads, social media feeds, GIFs, and the sheer abundance of information on the web. How can a brand cut through the clutter and command attention?

By telling a story.

Online, our minds are like butterflies, happily flitting from bloom to bloom. But science shows that, when engaged by a story, we stop. We pay attention. Our hungry minds are sated.

As such, one great way to capture – and keep – your audience’s attention, is to tell a story.

Lucky for you, there are a lot of ways to do that.

Telling Stories with Vine

Vine is Twitter’s video-sharing service. Through Vine, users can create 6-second looping videos. While 6 seconds doesn’t sound like long, brands are doing a lot with it – including using vine to create stop-motion videos. For example, check out Lowes’s brilliant, brand-appropriate Vines on their Tumblr blog.

Telling Stories with Video

Video, of course, is a natural storytelling medium. While video can be expensive, considering how much video can be repurposed – on blogs, Tumblrs, in social media, and even ads – it’s a worthy investment. Need a little inspiration? Check out two of last years’ top online videos, Chipolte’s The Scarecrow and Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches.

Telling Stories with Infographics

Like video, Infographics can be repurposed for use throughout the web. Because they’re reasonably inexpensive to produce (when compared to video, at least) infographics have popped up everywhere. But not all infographics are worthy of your time.

The best infographics are visually appealing, have a unified purpose, are easy to understand, and tell a story. For an example of a really great infographic that does all of the above, check out Funders and Founders’s How to Be Productive.

Telling Stories with Words

Of course, you can always rely on the oldest form of communication – your words. You can use storytelling in social media posts, blog posts, and even SlideShare presentations.

In the next post in this series, we’ll look at some of the elements of great storytelling. Stay tuned!

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