Five Storytelling Tips to Capture (and Keep) Your Audience | Reading - Web and Social Media |


Telling your story is more important than ever - Good tips here



Within seconds your killer headline and content have hooked your audience. But how do you reel them in? That is, how can you keep their attention after they start to read your article, watch your video, or listen to your podcast?

Inspired by Andrea Phillips's Fast Company article titled "Five Lessons for Storytellers From the Transmedia World," the following tips can help you engage audiences no matter what type of content you serve up.


Be real. Your content needs to feel alive. "Act like a human being on social media—someone who listens instead of just talking, someone fallible and vulnerable who apologizes for mistakes," says Phillips. "If your character, customer service group, or brand does this, then people will start to care about them as though they were real people." Thread the needle. Simple is easier to understand, so more people will understand a simple story; but simple might not do justice to your story, yet you'd like to reach a broad audience. That's a real conundrum. "Many creators thread this needle with a tiered [story] structure: the aimed at a lighter, more casual audience, but there are also rewards baked in for anyone motivated to engage a little further," Phillips advises. But keep your requests simple. Consider what you're asking your audience to do with your content. Do you want them to download materials? Make the process simple. Want them to share your photos? Reduce the number of clicks needed to do so. Your content must be easily accessed and easily shared. Deliver on your promises. Your audience needs to know that a big payoff awaits them after they click, subscribe, or download. "[I]f you ask and ask without delivering to the audience the thing they want, they won't give you another chance," Phillips warns. The content that your audience receives must be worth the effort. Take risks. Don't approach your content the same way you have always approached it. Create new content. Explore different formats. Mix it up. Phillips writes, "The edges of the art are only being explored by people who have a crazy idea and the grit to try it out. Be one of those people."


The Po!nt: Inspire greater customer engagement by creating simple, easily shared, and novel content that offers something unique to your audience.