Corporate storytelling, involves combining the romanticism and entertainment of traditional fiction, with a compelling narrative about your company or product, resulting in content that people will pursue, rather than accept.

Through the creation of relatable characters, businesses can speak directly to their target audience, rather than at them. Communicating a product or solution through humorous, engaging, and entertaining copy presents broad opportunities, not only from a promotional standpoint, but also increased prospect engagement across a far broader range of platforms.

The challenge is, most companies don’t know their narrative, so their advertising, social media and external communications follows an adhoc system of trying something that sounds good, testing and measuring and making changed until it works.

Businesses that know their narrative can recognise what’s authentic to them in the blink of an eye – recognise words that reflect the story they’re trying to tell, video that fits with their narrative and sales pitches and correspondence that reflects them as an organisation.

A defined narrative removes the overwhelm from analysing judging or creating external communications, and allows those within the business to reach the highest form of communication – not pitching ideas, but defending beliefs. Through this, clients, prospects and the wider business community get to know who you are at a meaningful level, based on what you believe rather than what you’re saying.

The reason storytelling can achieve this depth of communication, is the same reason a good book can move you to take meaningful action based on internal motivation. When you connect with a character who is reflective of you, a vision for action can be presented in an entertaining and meaningful way that strikes an emotional chord.

For example, remember a time when a manager told you what to do, explained the importance of it and told you the next step – it’s good, clear communication. This is advertising.

Now picture the same manager approaching you, and telling you a story, first creating some background as to where you are at the moment, and painting a picture of how the future will be better through the changes you will make. Then, through the story she explains a course of action, leaving you inside the narrative, part of the story.

The last sentence, where I wrote that ‘she’ explains a course of action, possibly jolted you if you were thinking of a male. This is where companies lose readers by trying to hard to control the story. If it’s too specific, people will disengage.

The same works for your customers. Placing them inside a narrative empowers them to act – the story defines a plan like nothing else can and connects people to a journey rather than a product.

We are all in a story. Playing a role, wearing the costume, interacting with the other players. Accepting this and changing other people’s stories through a powerful narrative is the fastest and simplest way to high-level emotional engagement.