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What’s Your Story?

There’s an old saying: “If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it really make a sound?” Now consider this, if a brand is creating stories that don’t connect with an audience, are those even really considered stories? If you think you’re making an impact, but no one is listening it might be time to rethink your approach.

To dive deeper, consider these three things when you’re starting to move down the storytelling path: Audience, Style, Tone.

The Basics

  • Who is your audience?  This one is the most important. Think about your audience as human beings. Sounds silly, but sometimes we forget this basic fundamental fact! Who are they? What are their ambitions—personally and professionally? What makes them mad, what makes them sad, what gives them joy? What kind of devices do they use, and how do they consume information? Once you’re able to get answers to  these and many of these questions, it’ll be easier to personify your audience.

We produced the video below for VisitTampaBay with a very specific audience in mind. It’s intended for meeting planners from all over the globe to watch and feel compelled to book their next event in … well… just watch the video!

  • What is the style? Is it techy, is it softer or edgy? The event planners in the video above skewed more professional, modern and edgy. Identifying your style will add authenticity and make your story feel more genuine.
  • What is the tone? Is it upbeat, or more serious? As for our example above, we definitely went for a more upbeat tempo that creates energy and excitement. A feeling that if I don’t book here, I might be missing out. And, no one likes FOMO! The tone should be linked to a specific emotion you want your audience to feel.

Now you’ve got the essentials. But what’s video storytelling without visuals?

Visualize to Humanize

Visuals coupled with a great story is like candy for the brain. You’re grabbing a viewer on multiple levels: visually, intellectually and emotionally. That’s what video does and our brains crave that kind of sweet engagement.

There can be bland storytelling. But, there are NO bland stories. For example, business communication doesn’t just have to be bullet points, simple statements, or rhetorical rants. A dose of the human element, emotion, and branded thinking can result in a memorable message. Big brands shouldn’t steal the spotlight every time. Stories are everywhere it is about how you tell them and to whom.

Take for example this video we did for Wexford Financial Strategies, a smaller firm of financial advisors. The story is about what they do but more importantly, it is about how they do it and the feeling it gives.

The video is not an advertisement, it is a story. The audience is taken on a journey and they don’t feel “marketed” to, they’re being entertained and can connect. Saddle that with great visuals and you’re on the path to happy storytelling. Understand your audience. Cater to their style and like Mom always said, mind your tone. Don’t be the tree that falls down with no one around to hear it.



About the Author: Roshni Hannon

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.