10 Ultimate Storytelling Skills That Make Your Brand Stories Remarkable

In our ultimate storytelling guideline, we shared how storytelling began from pre-historic times. It is definitely not new. For marketers and business owners, storytelling helps you keep the audience glued to your brand and connect with them emotionally. Many tend to believe that storytelling skills are an exotic mumbo-jumbo that cannot be taught. But, the reality is, authentic brand storytelling is a trend for the future. You don’t have a choice but to learn how to execute this tactic. How can you do that? What storytelling skills are critical for your success? Read further to find out for yourself!

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10 Ultimate Storytelling Skills That Will Set Your Brand Apart

1. Brevity: “Brevity is the soul of wit”. Do not drag on endlessly unless it is necessary. If you can make your point in one sentence, please do it. Consumers do not have much patience nowadays. Attention spans are low. For long form content- for instance a blog post, remember what works is content well written and making the required points without testing patience.

Ideal content lengths you may need to know (source)

  • Ideal blogpost length: 1600 words
  • Ideal Tweet length: 71-100 characters
  • Ideal Facebook post length: 40 Characters
  • Ideal YouTube video length: 3 minutes
  • Ideal Podcast length: 22 minutes

2. Observation: Learn to observe the world and the people around you. The best stories are those that draw from the world around you and make people relate to the characters. For your personal brands, use the OPPTY method. Learn about it here.

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3. Humor: Nobody can resist humor. The easiest way to win people over is through some fun. But there are different types of humor ranging from self-deprecating to scatological. Use what suits your personality and do not try to be someone else. Humor can also be used inappropriately and at wrong times (especially while address customer grievances) which you need to avoid at any cost. Never make an attempt to isolate a group of consumers by being offensive. Stick to positive fun!

4. Suspense: A good story has suspense. It does not have to be a detective story. But every story can have a twist. You just need to keep people guessing. A great example is from a Jaguar campaign. Listen to the whole story here on SoundCloud:

5. Evocation: It helps if you can write using evocative language. Our brains react wonderfully well to textures, sounds and language that helps us imagine better. 

6. Empathy: This is one of those storytelling skills that will come in handy to you as a person, not just a marketer. Ann Handley calls for “pathological empathy” in her book, Everybody writes. You want to be a person that everyone wants to work with, trust and buy from. For this you need to have a keen understanding of the human mind and show empathy. Empathy allows you to stay authentic in your storytelling efforts.

7. Knowledge: It’s hard to be a thought leader in your industry if you display poor knowledge. Try to be a good reader to become a good storyteller. Our stories and content are enriched by details, knowledge snippets, examples and real-world knowledge. This is necessary.

8. Timing: Apart from being able to utilize the benefits of “newsjacking” in your stories, in general a sense of timing is important. You need to know when is the right time to tackle a certain issue and write about it. Also, you need to know when to elaborate something in the writing and when to hold back important revelations for good impact.

9. Rigor: Being a writer or a brand storyteller is a lot of hard work. You may encounter failure at times. You need to be strong and persistent. You need to test and try. Be disciplined and write every day. Read about other great writers who had to struggle too. Use tools to test your storytelling. Invest in trainings to learn more from other experts and thought leaders. Try, more.

10. Market Intelligence: What are the current trends? What are the consumers demanding? What kind of emotions will work best for your target consumers? This kind of understanding will help you come up with cutting edge copies and help you achieve the success that you seek. Here’s how you can work on consumer research.

What are your tips for improved brand storytelling? Which storytelling skills do you consider particularly important? Do share them with us!

Don’t forget to sign up for our amazing storytelling workshops. Start here to learn the new storytelling techniques and skills that help you create amazing brands!

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Enakshi Sharma

Digital Storyteller at Brandanew
Enakshi is a storyteller, curator (India Art Fair, 2015), anchor (May Queen, 2015), research associate (Centre for Civil Society, India), a travel writer and a blogger. She's a Digital Storyteller for Brandanew.