Whatever our ages, we all want to be a big kid every now and again, but who would have thought that we’d be encouraged to unleash our inner child when devising a new brand marketing strategy. It is notoriously difficult to write a bestselling children’s book, after all the ‘no-filter’ attitude of our little ones always means we face brutally honest critics whatever the subject of their disapproval.
It’s no secret that storytelling is a leading strategy in the marketing world, but what could the tactics used by children’s book authors tell us about how we should communicate with our own target audiences?
Move quickly or face ruin
In both marketing and children’s book writing you literally have a few seconds to grab the attention of the audience member, because in both respects, everyone has the attention span of a three-year-old! In most cases there is simply no time to introduce a story and its characters, therefore, the narrative must move quickly enough to establish a reality and get the reader/viewer hooked in the process.
Create a shared experience
As in marketing, a children’s book has to work on a great number of levels, and writing a children’s book isn’t just about satisfying the needs of the child but ensuring that the parent enjoys it enough to read it again (and again) and create a shared experience. Your marketing campaign story must be simple enough to understand, yet carry different messages to touch differing members of your customer base.
Leave convention at the door
Whilst traditional storytelling in children’s books still lives on, new authors entering this genre are encouraged to leave conventional styles of creating stories behind.
Convention is not as entertaining as it used to be, and audiences are becoming increasingly sophisticated and ultimately want more from their stories and marketing campaigns. In addition to crafting a great story that moves quickly and creates a shared experience for all who encounter it, just like a children’s book, a marketing or advertising campaign must be visually enthralling or risk falling on deaf ears.
Be a kid and, more importantly, be human
Emotion, honesty and simplicity are three basic factors that should be interwoven into every children’s book and the same principle applies to your marketing and, more specifically, your storytelling efforts. These three qualities are integral to communicating with kids, and by using them to create your own marketing campaign or brand story you can become a timeless classic just like a select number of children’s books are. Think The Cat in the Hat, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Where the Wild Things Are in the world of children’s books, and in marketing, Dove’s decade-long Campaign for Real Beauty and Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke.
Use the power of storytelling to satisfy your audience’s curiosity and stimulate emotions to take them on a journey that they will never forget. Be a big kid, and use every inch of your imagination to create a clear, emotive and compelling storyline that will entertain again and again.