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4 Tips to Elevate Your Storytelling

August 16, 2021

Storytelling. Is it an art? A science? Or maybe a balance of both?

In the webinar Storytelling: Art or Science, Giuliano Giorgetti, Head of Digital Content of FIFA; Anmol Malhotra, Head of Sports Partnerships at Snapchat; and Nick Cicero, Vice President of Strategy at Conviva, weigh in on the art versus science debate in regard to content storytelling for sports brands. These experts share four things you need to take your storytelling to the next level.

  1. Cast a wide net

You can increase your influence by thinking about what your core audience craves and how you can evolve that to reach new audiences on different platforms. Look beyond your industry to influencers, creators, other brands, fashion, and music for inspiration. 

For sports leagues, this could be cultural conversations with players, a behind-the-scenes series, or even content that’s totally unrelated to the players on the field — like the Philadelphia Eagles’ cooking show.

During the 2018 and 2019 World Cups, Snapchat created lenses, filters, and emojis in partnership with FIFA to reach audiences worldwide. This win-win provided FIFA with a new audience of potential soccer fans while allowing Snapchat to showcase their version of following the World Cup.

“How do we pique the curiosity of somebody who doesn’t know who LeBron James is, or doesn’t know who Cristiano Ronaldo is, but can get them to click on that tile that day? That really is a combination of both art and science from our side.” — Anmol Malhotra, Head of Sports Partnerships at Snapchat

  1. Permission to be creative 

Give yourself permission to be creative and fail. Not every idea will work, but if you don’t have the freedom to fail, you’ll never find that next great idea. 

Expressing yourself, drawing from your life experiences and relationships, and bringing that into your company’s messaging will help you better connect with your audience. And once you’ve given yourself this creative freedom, you can bring in science to enhance your content.

“If you know somebody in your life who’s a great storyteller, you almost sit on the edge of your seat. You can listen to this person talk all day because they understand how to develop a plot, how to hook you in, how to have a narrative around all of that. There is some level of mixture of art and science that they use to keep you engaged.” — Nick Cicero, Vice President of Strategy at Conviva

  1. Authenticity

What your mom told you as a kid is true: Just be yourself. That’s how you’ll get an audience to engage with your content and keep coming back for more.

Snapchat encourages companies it teams up with to find their voice on the platform to reach a whole subset of users they believe aren’t reached anywhere else.

When Snapchat started working with ESPN back in 2015, ESPN wanted to reinvent SportsCenter to reach a younger generation on the social platform. Snapchat worked with them to reimagine the 30-minute show into a three- to five-minute program for the next generation of fans. The program felt authentic to the Snapchat platform while allowing ESPN to stay authentic to their brand.

“Be you. Don’t try and just take other pieces of content and cut them down and put it on Snap. It’s not going to work. Our audience is young. They’re also fickle, they’re also very smart, and they’re going to read through any of that very, very easily.” — Anmol Malhotra, Head of Sports Partnerships at Snapchat

  1. Data

Even people who argue that storytelling is purely an artform know it can be optimized with data.

The data that truly matters is that which drives the KPIs you’re looking for. If you’re looking to have a deeper, more immersive experience with the viewer, maybe you’re looking at watch time. If you’re creating a video series, maybe you want to focus on completion rate. And if you’re looking at things like brand awareness, you might look at metrics such as engagement rate or total impressions.

Isolate the metric that matters for the goal you’re trying to reach, establish a baseline for that metric, measure the change, and then put that into context.

“It’s really easy to lose yourself on data. You need to transform data into relevant insight. When you produce good content, you need always to face the algorithm of the platform and to adapt your content to satisfy the platform.” — Giuliano Giorgetti, Head of Digital Content of FIFA

Learn more about storytelling and how experts think it will evolve by watching the Storytelling: Art or Science webinar.