A savvy brand never limits itself to just one or two storytelling channels. Here are four tips for telling your story in more ways than one
The number of potential storytelling channels available today is dizzying. There are the old standards, like television and print advertising. There’s the web and everything it offers, from email newsletters to hyper-targeted Facebook campaigns. And there’s the growing field of influencer marketing on Instagram, Twitter, and elsewhere.
Brands — especially smaller and mid-sized ones — can easily feel overwhelmed. There’s an instinct to pick just one or two storytelling channels, in order to make marketing more manageable.
But that’s a misguided approach. Brands that solely use Facebook, or an email newsletter, are reaching a fraction of their potential audience. Further, multichannel storytelling isn’t impossible to master — just the opposite. Below, find four tips for taking a broader approach to storytelling:
Create versatile content
When crafting content, ensure it can be easily disseminated across multiple storytelling channels. For example: If you’re creating an image to promote an upcoming sale, make sure it’s presentable in the ideal dimensions for social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest; Buffer has a handy playbook for this. And don’t stop there: That same image can be embedded in your weekly newsletter, and used as a banner on your website. This thinking applies to video, too.
If you’re creating new content from scratch for each individual storytelling platform, you’re reinventing the wheel.
Work with a full-service partner
Perhaps you’re a small company with few in-house resources. You might fret at the number of experts you need to hire: one agency to help with social media, another to assist with paid advertising, and a third to run public relations. In reality, though, many “full-service” marketing and PR firms provide all these, and more. If you choose a full-service partner, you’ll save time and money, and have the added bonus of consistency across storytelling platforms. A full-service partner can also help to plan in-person events, seek out networking opportunities, and more.
Leverage free tools
There are a number of free, powerful tools online that can give even the least tech-savvy users a leg up. To schedule and analyze your social media content, consider using HootSuite. To manage your workflow, try using Trello or AirTable. For email newsletters, give MailChimp a shot.
Many of these tools are “freemium” — that is, they have a free version with basic features, and a paid version with more sophisticated features. Which brings us to our fourth tip:
Use paid tools wisely
Just as there are an overwhelming number of storytelling platforms, there are an overwhelming number of paid tools to leverage and master those platforms. Be selective, and choose wisely. If you find that most of your customers are on Facebook, and that your organic Facebook posts perform well, you might consider devoting a part of your budget to a Facebook advertising campaign. If you find your email newsletter is growing at a rapid pace, you may want to switch from MailChimp’s free version to its paid version. And if you believe that a better understanding of your Twitter audience can unlock growth, pay for a social media analytics tool.
Taking advantage of the many storytelling platforms out there can feel overwhelming. But by mastering the necessary tips and tricks, and with a solid understanding of the ecosystem, brands of any size can succeed.