I’ve been doing some reading this last couple of weeks, and I’ve spotted a theme, trend or pattern – whatever you want to call it. As content continues to hold a high level of importance in the growing digital age, it needs to adapt to the demands of everyday life. That means it’s not just suitable for a computer or laptop but a tablet, phone or different media player. I’ve gone into detail previously about the kind of content available but why is narrative so important?
The real deal with narrative
Actually, first, what is it? Narrative, or narration, is a series of connected events told in a specific sequence or order to give us a view of a story or situation. It can be based on a specific place, object or person and can be ordered on a time basis or by what is deemed important. Many different forms of media experiment with this to get the best results from their content, book, film, show and more.
We encounter narrative on a daily basis, even if we don’t realise it. From books to television shows and movies and adverts to posters and banners, it’s everywhere. Some things are standalone while others work together over time to deliver a great story and get a strong response from us. These creative narratives are important for a number of brands but even dealing with something as simple as a blog or audio recording, it can be of great benefit.
It keeps the tone consistent so your audience recognises you over time and inspires authority in what you say. The responses you get are likely to be of better quality rather than spam and once the interactions start they are more likely to continue. If content really is king (I really do like that phrase…) then narrative has to be the prince.
Engagement is important, and always will be
You may well be sick of me saying this. Between the audience and engagement, I’m hopefully starting to get through that this is one of your biggest considerations. Whether you are focused on likes, shares, tweets, comments, e-mails or any other measure, it’s the best indication of how well you’re doing as a brand and how well your content is received. If the level of engagement isn’t there, then you need to try something else or reach the right audience (but don’t worry, I’ll come back to audience shortly).
Getting the narrative right, whether it’s a one off piece of content, a series or something else is the best way to engage with your audience. It invokes emotions and responses. While you won’t get direct engagement on the content all the time, you can get good results elsewhere on your site or within your brand. Unfortunately, this is hard to trace back at times but as search engines continue to hail unique content, it’s a good thing to keep on top of.
Adapting to the needs of your audience
I promised you I’d be back on this topic! However, I’m coming at this from a different angle this time. This isn’t so much about getting your audience right and creating the content to suit their needs and interests (although that is important) but more about fitting it into their routine.
Good, engaging content can make journeys, commutes and lunch breaks more enjoyable and your audience will appreciate this – even if they don’t say so. Make the choice between informative and entertaining, or a mixture of both, but try and get into a routine so people know what to expect and when. That said, don’t be afraid to mix it up a little too. Finally, be prepared for all platforms. From mobile to tablet and anything else, if you can tailor the content to that platform you know your audience uses, it’ll be better received. If need be, ask directly. Engage them and show you care about them.