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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsBy now, you should have a story that communicates your big idea and a narrative you know inside out. But you need to consider how people

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsare going to hear your story: how is your audience going to receive this message and engage with it? How can you bring the story into the environment that your user is in? There's lots of different touchpoints and types of media available which all have different ways of engaging the user in the story. Those touchpoints could be mobile, it could be a poster in the street, it could be printed material, anything that's in the experience. What type of media is the most relevant to engage the user in the right way? In order to select the most relevant points for your audience, first you must understand your audience, and a useful tool for doing this is using personas.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 secondsA persona is basically turning lots of information about groups of people into a single profile. You're making an assumption around whether they're male or female, how old they are, what they work as, what's their psychology, where they live in the world. From this persona, which represents your target audience, you can test any of your ideas against it, and work with planners and strategists at your agency to build up a picture of who you are making this work for. These personas come in particularly useful when working out how best to reach your audience. A tool you can use to help decide on relevant touchpoints is a user journey map. What does the user get for interacting with that touchpoint?

Skip to 1 minute and 38 secondsHow does this help to build up or add to the story? Simply explained, this is just a map of the journey you want your user to go on. Use your persona to imagine the day of the user. You could map this out, noting all the different touchpoints and events that happen along the way and how they engage with them. Then what you can do is layer in the interactions and the exciting parts of the story in that day. For example, they might catch a bus to work. There's a poster at the bus stop which might direct them to a website. They go to the website while they're on the bus. They watch a video.

Skip to 2 minutes and 15 secondsWhen they get to work, they might tweet about that. At lunchtime, they might look at a magazine, and then that might direct them somewhere else, to a store after work. Then they might talk about that on social media, and then other people start to reply, and then a conversation begins. You can start to get an idea of what touchpoints your audience would use within that journey. Map these out. Sketch them using post-it notes, or just writing them down. You could start to imagine which bits of your story can be told at these different touchpoints. How does your narrative unfold across different types of media?

Skip to 2 minutes and 50 secondsUltimately, you want your user to become more and more engaged with your story as the journey goes on. Often people will rush to get it to a solution. They'll say, we need to make an app, or we need to do a whole campaign on social media. But if the persona doesn't fit with these, then it's not going to work. Remember, mobile is a great tool. 50% of online transactions will be mobile in the next five years, but it's not the answer to everything. There's so many different, exciting types of touchpoints. There's social media, physical touchpoints, printed ads, interactive experiences, film... the list goes on. New channels and platforms are being developed all the time.

Skip to 3 minutes and 30 secondsIt's an exciting place, and we'll be looking at some of the new technologies next week.

Mapping the audience journey

Now that you know what your narrative is and who your audience is, how are you going to bring the two together?

You need to bring the story into the user’s environment, and think about what type of touchpoints are relevant to the audience. To do this, you must have a deep understanding of your users and their lives, and creating a persona - a profile of your target user - helps to achieve this.

You can look more carefully at the different examples shown by following the links below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Brand Storytelling: How to Use Narrative to Sell


Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Storytelling: everything and nothing has changed
    Storytelling: everything and nothing has changed

    Al MacCuish reflects on the art of storytelling, from cave painting to writing and film. Has anything really changed? How is story relevant today?

  • A career in stories
    A career in stories

    Spanning both the small and big screen, Sir Alan Parker reflects on his career in storytelling, from how he became a director to borrowing references.

  • The seven story archetypes
    The seven story archetypes

    Can all stories be defined by archetypes? Here, we outline Christopher Brooker's theory of the seven basic plots.

  • Harnessing the power of brand storytelling
    Harnessing the power of brand storytelling

    Al MacCuish looks at how the seven plot types can be applied to brands. How can a narrative help communicate what a brand wants to say about the world

  • Know your audience: simplify your message
    Know your audience: simplify your message

    Jon Kallus, Creative Director at Grey London, believes that truth is the key to communicating quickly and effectively with your audience.