Now that you know the three essential steps to a compelling story let’s dive into the exact details.
8 steps to a story that delivers business results
- You’ve identified the audience and the social channels they exist in.
- You’ve identified the communities (blogs, forums, groups, communities).
- You’ve identified the leader of the community-;the “storyteller.”
- The story meets a need or pain point of the audience you are looking to reach.
- The story is aligned with what your business offers or stands for.
- Your story brief is clear to the storyteller and contains the following:
- Your business objectives
- Story theme (what the story is about)
- Sample story titles
- Supporting information (about your company, product, experience, initiative)
- Hashtags, your company social handles
- Search terms, keywords, and phrases
- What social channels the storyteller should focus on when hosting the story and amplifying it
- Guidance around photography or videos
- Disclosure guidelines
- You have content assets or information to support the story (infographics, report, event, video, images), and there is a compelling Web destination storytellers can guide their audience to.
- When should the story go live?
- The storyteller’s main point of contact/ contact information
Everyone from small businesses to large corporations are activating stories at scale and driving results. Here are some success stories:
- Kimberly Clark’s Kleenex was looking to shift the perception of tissues from “snot to style.” They activated hundreds of storytellers reaching a home, interior decorating, and fashion audience to own the first three pages of Google search results for “Kleenex Style” and drive 400 percent greater engagement on their Kleenex Style Web destination. See how Mother Overloaded shared the story.
- San Francisco’s Galileo School Camps inspired dozens of storytellers to talk about summer activities for kids. With a modest budget they achieved 1,000 percent return on their investment reaching a parenting audience at the right time looking to place their child in a summer camp. See how Creative Juice shared the story.
- Williams Sonoma wanted brides-to-be to know they could create a wedding registry with an array of gifts under $100. Storytellers shared stories around all the fabulous gifts they found under $100 weaving that into their story titles. The stories generated the same volume of wedding registries that their well-optimized (and pricey) search programs delivered. The stories now dominate the first page of Google search results for “Williams Sonoma wedding registry” like the story from Green Wedding Shoes.
Are you using storytelling yet? If so, how’s it going? If not, when will you start?
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com or Visa.