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What’s Your Narrative?

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The point of your headlines is to get someone to read the next line of your article or advert. The point of the first five seconds of a video is to get someone to watch the next five seconds.

In this Vlog, Grant explains that, in order to achieve this, your messaging needs to be as simple as possible…

There’s a legend that Ernest Hemingway charged his friends to write the shortest story possible. After going round the room, Hemingway’s won. His story was this:

“For sale; Baby shoes. Never worn”

In sales and marketing, there’s an acronym that was actually borrowed from field engineering, which is KISS, and it stands for Keep It Simple Stupid or Keep It Short and Sweet. The idea being that you need to keep your messaging as simple as possible. And it is true, all messaging is based on information architecture. The point of your headline is to get someone to read the next line of your article. The point of the first five seconds of a video is to get someone to watch the next five seconds.

However, we now live in a media driven age where everyone owns their own channels. Be it a website or social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.

While content is the currency of media, you’ve got to have enough content to make your channel interesting. What actually makes that material work is narrative – its story.

Not only does story capture the imagination, but it can talk to logic and emotion at the same time. When messaging for today, I would use the KISS acronym, Keep It Simple Story. Therefore, keep your messages as short as possible, but if you can allude to a story or convey a story, they’ll always be more potent.

For example, when Old Spice used the line, ‘the man your man could smell like’, or Clairol’s hair dying product has a picture of a woman with ‘Does she or doesn’t she?’ On it, both of those evoke a whole narrative inside your mind.

It may not be Ernest Hemingway, but if you want your comms to really be effective, think about narrative, even within some of the shortest lines you ever write.

There may be small changes to the spoken word in this transcript in order to facilitate the readability of the written English

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