How to Build A Strategic Narrative

Modern companies need to look at multiple channels


With many changes coming from many directions these days, such as consumer behavior, technology trends and competition, it's crucial to have your content sound unique and engaging rather than generic and outdated.

When it comes to strategic narrative, the first thing you have to do is understand what it is and make sure that your target audience is enlightened too. Choosing meaningful methods of communication within your company and with your clients, and avoiding confusion is a good recipe for building a good strategy.

One of the ingredients is human context. Whether it's employees or potential customers, it is essential that both are inspired and attracted to something that has an individual, rather than a personal voice. The effect of that shouldn't be underestimated. It works well when you approach your audience as if your company was a person rather than a soulless system.

It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to tell a story using physical presence. Due to constant changes and innovation flow, we now have an opportunity to communicate using artificial intelligence, which might sound futuristic but let's face it, the future is here.

Infusing intelligence into systems, including the application of technology into everyday life, gives us a chance to witness communications becoming more interconnected, instrumented and intelligent. One of the key examples is IBM's ‘Building a Smarter Planet’ which has united the company's mission and marketing by offering a number of lessons on positioning, advertising, content creation and social behavior to the marketers. It has managed to take business ideas and bring them to life in the form of distributed content,generating experiences, utility and platforms, and social engagement which encourages participation.

However, in order to get the best performance, we have to bear in mind that such an approach has to be carefully organized and maintained, with strong attention to detail. For instance, a less successful example belongs to Microsoft, which has recently experienced some embarrassing difficulties in AI design with its chat bot ‘Tay’, operating on Twitter. Microsoft admitted making a mistake in security which has resulted in various attacks on ‘Tay’ forcing ‘her’ to post inappropriate offensive comments visible to all users. ‘Tay’ was inspired by ‘her’ successful Chinese sister called ‘Xiaoice’, which has 20 million registered users. Both chat bots have specific target audiences and are able to learn about users and produce natural language conversation.

Another useful method of effective communication with your audience is through live-streaming. It hasn't won everyone's heart yet, but it is about to take its place in a world of content which tends to go viral. One of the new breed of apps is Twitter's Periscope. At first sight it might seem like nothing more than another entertaining tool for generation Y, which helps to improve your presence and influence online as an individual. However, some popular platforms have used it in a clever way to promote their products and services. Integrated with the most popular social media channels, it allows users to watch live-streams of events, discussions and interviews. The most visible advantage of it is that it doesn't require a lot of financial input. In this case, the exclusiveness of the content would always win over quality. Sometimes, it costs companies millions of dollars to produce successful adverts, YouTube quality videos and similar content. Moreover, there is always a risk that something which was thought to be a brilliant idea may simply not work, leaving you with bitter disappointment and wasted money.

There are several examples where live-streaming was cleverly used by popular brands such as: Red Bull, Doritos, DKNY and GoPro. There is also another good example that deserves attention; The recent campaign by Kohl's. While ordinary people don't hold any access to the Academy Awards, apart from being able to watch one edited piece, Kohl's broke the boundaries by bringing everyone closer to the action by live-streaming it. In moments, when cameras were off and there were traditional commercial breaks, the brand which partnered with one of the famous comedians, streamed everything behind the scenes, including afterparties. That particular move managed to attract many users, who were able to provide their own thank you speeches during the stream.

An efficient strategic narrative is a crucial component for successful content delivery and keeping your audience engaged with what you do. Whether it's artificial intelligence, engagement through live-streams or just communication through social media channels, it always works when your message is being put across with a personal touch. Being creative whilst listening to your audience’s needs and interests makes a strategic narrative sound less intimidating to build and more fun to develop.

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