Influencers add a storytelling element to a campaign because they are authentic when they talk about a brand. Interestingly, one campaign included a woman holding the product — her nail polish was chipped and her room was not very tidy. To our surprise, this image actually performed the best out of the whole campaign because the environment and the person were natural and truly authentic. – maria sipka, linqia.

The first sentence is so important, and it has to be powerful enough to get people to read more. To quote marketer joe sugarman, “the goal of the first sentence is to get the second sentence read.” it can be surprising, provocative or intriguing. I once began a post with “what you’re about to read will probably piss you off,” and the post had more comments than most of my other posts. – jc hite, hite digital.

Focus on the first sentence

In today’s world of deep-fakes and filtered reality, the greatest stories are the ones that are true. When you’re articulating a story for a client’s brand, start with their truth — their why. Today, people have a tight filter, but deep down they’re searching for something to believe in. Brands and agencies who can give them that story, rooted in truth and purpose, win every time. – blair brady, with/agency

I wanted so badly to be clever with my writing early on and it worked, but only sometimes. It’s far more effective to be simple, rather than clever. Tell the reader what they’re signing on for from the jump. Explain it with a story that wraps phone number lists them in, but don’t over-complicate the plot by obfuscating it in unnecessary excess. Be direct, have brevity, give value and make it entertaining. – sean smith, simpletiger llc.

Storytelling can be most effective in its simplest form. Identifying tension — the gap between where something is and where it needs to be — can be the source for a great story in any number of formats: brand positioning, an awards submission, a case study, contributed content, product sheets, pitch decks, etc. Almost every piece of content or conversation a brand has is an opportunity to tell a story. – kathleen lucente, red fan communications.

Act like you’re talking to a friend

When working with a nonprofit, we were playing with messaging. Every time we swapped out a human interest story for a plea or an ask, contributions went down. Always, always lead with a relatable story — your audience loves a good story! So, we let the story shine and tell itself. – stefan pollack, the pollack pr marketing group.

Instead of writing to the masses, think IG Users about a friend telling a friend about something exciting that they really need to know. A boss early in my career told me to imagine you’re telling the story to someone you know, with a focus on what’s most meaningful and leaving out the boring marketing-speak. I still use facts and figures, but they support the story rather than being the story. – jodi amendola, amendola communications.

I coach clients in how to develop and tell great stories. Once we have a good story arc (beginning, middle, end, moral) we focus on creating full versions of the story in different lengths: 20-plus minutes (full speech), five minutes (short meeting), one minute (passing conversation), 30 seconds (elevator pitch). A great story maintains the arc no matter how much time is available. – randy shattuck, the shattuck group.

When telling a story, especially through digital media, start with the ending and make it an unexpected statement, such as, “nuclear power is safer than wind energy.” that way you have the opportunity to gain attention up front, and then explain the whys and how. A similar technique is q&a. For instance: “how is insurance software changing the industry? By utilizing ai to set rates.