Whether in the form of a book, a movie, or a marketing campaign, great storytelling will always resonate with audiences. As consumers become increasingly mobile and social, however, they want to interact with the story, not just be exposed to it.

Luckily for marketers and consumers, continual innovation has made it possible for audiences to both influence the unfolding of the story and have a say in its outcome. This new, in-the-moment relationship between brand stories and audiences is the basis of an emerging tactic called storybuilding.

Storybuilding is essentially an active form of storytelling. Whereas storytelling primarily works to convey the essence of a brand to customers—in a more engaging and entertaining way than purely informational tactics—storybuilding puts mobile, social, and big data to work, in the moment, and gets customers involved along the way.

This approach can feel daunting because it introduces a whole new set of variables that seem largely at the whim of the consumer. Fortunately, storybuilding isn't a matter of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, it's the effect of developing a strategy to maximize both the chances the audience will come into contact with the story and the opportunities for engagement no matter when or where they may encounter it.

Here are five steps to consider when developing your storybuilding to ensure customer participation—and a storybook ending.

1. Assign a different part of the story to each of the touch points included in your campaign

Instead of simply retrofitting a single story for different channels (the 30-second TV spot, the Facebook post, the billboard ad, etc.), storybuilding is achieved by assigning each medium a different role in the telling of a larger, more comprehensive tale.

It's important to understand the pros and cons of each channel included in your campaign—and, based on that, which piece of the story is best conveyed by each. Bottom line: let the technology do its job the way it wants to rather than how you think it should.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Joe Gillespie

Joe Gillespie is CEO of Zoove, the exclusive provider of StarStar and StarStar Me, a unique mobile phone number that connects people with the things they care about most: great content, favorite brands, and one another.

LinkedIn: Joe Gillespie