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Journal

 

What Story To Tell (and Where To Tell It)

Brands and writers continue to struggle with what makes a ‘good’ story. Light, clickable content (frequently called clickbait) may feed a lot of traffic, but can weaken a reputation. On the contrary, a beautifully written longform idea isn’t useful if it’s poorly promoted and no one ever sees it.

If “10 Things About the Kardashian's Fight” gets a lot of traffic but cheapens the brand, does it make for a good story? If a story contains a lofty idea that only appeals to a few people, is it worth publishing?

Readers now more than ever before are finding their niche online and sticking to it. It is increasingly difficult to reach new audiences with new content, unless you know what stories to write and how to promote them.

Smart brands know that there are a bevy of measuring tools at our fingertips, to show who is clicking on what and why.  At Novel, we work from a strategy that is rooted in a background of publishing content and developing audiences. Here’s a quick overview of what our process looks like when choosing content that we deem publishable:

1. What is the subject doing that is remarkable? By “remarkable,” we mean innovative, significant in a field and value-driven. Whatever it is, it needs to be something that sets the subject apart amongst competitors—that’s a good story.

2. Who is a natural audience that will care about what is offered in this story? Recognize  that some people will care about the tangible item offered and others will care about the theory behind it. The audience we want to focus on are the people who are in need of something we can provide and who share our values.

For example, one restoration company has identified that what makes them special is a working style they call the “Do It Right” process. When they pitch companies who need their services, they are upfront about their working style: the “Do It Right” way. If a company they’re pitching wants to cut corners, they aren’t a good partner. But the companies who value ‘doing it right’ become great champions of this restoration company because they both need their services and share their values.

3. How do you connect with this audience? We know that television may not be the most powerful place to make an impact. There’s social media, online search, programmatic advertising, websites, podcasts and more, in addition to traditional media like radio and television. We recommend not trying for a wider audience until you’ve worked out every possible kink with your closest brand champions. Make sure you have ways to measure their engagement, their feedback and their loyalty. In a world that is so cluttered, fast and busy, the more champions who can help you with your messaging, the better.