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The Power of Words – As the story goes, Ernest Hemingway won a $10 bet to write a six-word story that would make you cry. His story:

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

While the Hemingway story has yet to be authenticated one thing is certain, words are powerful. Harnessing the power of words is a tremendous tool for marketers, especially for digital marketing strategy where less is more. Remember, the power isn’t in the number of words. It’s in the choice of words

The first step in telling a powerful story is figuring out whom you want that story to reach. Identify your target audience and understand who they are, and how they consume content online.

When creating social media content, always start with a strategy. Getting to a strategy takes planning and research. Following the tried and true planning process for all types of marketing and communications will help guide your storytelling process and result in helping you reach your marketing goals.

To simplify the process of storytelling we are going to walk you through creating a written story for your social media and content strategy.

As previously mentioned, it is important to start with who will be reading your story online. Traditional marketing typically has visuals or media to assist the story or message, but when working in captions (copy) in social media posts you won’t always have a photo or graphic to assist in getting the story across.

Things to figure out before you write:

Tone: What tone will you be telling your story in? For example, should it be informative, inspiring, kind or helpful? Tone also helps determine how you are, or are not, wanting to be perceived. A great tool for making sure your post is on tone with your brand is the “I am” “I am not” exercise.

For example:

I am: helpful, relatable, experienced, understanding

I am not: argumentative, a novice, unappreciative

What: What story are you telling? Know before you start writing.

Why: Why are you telling this story? Is it to educate, raise awareness, motivate and move to action?

During the planning process, set goals and objectives. Your story should always work from that foundation.

For Example:

Suicide rates among teens and young adults have reached their highest point in nearly two decades. During the same time period, access to mental health services has been on the decline. There are community providers who can help combat this statistic. Visit www.abc.com to sign a petition for requiring XYZ school board to secure the much-needed services and provide them free of charge to teens in the community.

The story was about lack of mental health services for teens and the “why” was the needed call-to-action of signing a petition requiring school officials support and supply it.

Sometimes telling a story in micro format is a big challenge. So why not start by telling the whole story? Write out the story from start to finish and include all facts and details, bulleting the details for easy viewing. Once you’ve put everything you want to say down, highlight key points and from them pull your micro story. (Save the detailed story for other use, such as a blog or an online publication.)

Remember, just because you might only have 250 characters to use doesn’t mean you can’t tell an amazing story. You’d be surprised how easy it is to succinctly edit longer text to fewer words by prioritizing the details.

Let us help tell your brand’s story online. Schedule a meeting with us today by clicking here.

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