Storytelling is at the core of any brand communication. As a customer, you will always find curated stories about brands smartly placed where you can find them. They are designed with a purpose — to attract audience attention, create loyalty and help businesses grow. In some cases, stories turn brands into a legacy over time. If you craft them well, stories can achieve wonders for your brand and business.
Top global brands like Colgate–Palmolive, Coca-Cola, Apple Inc, Toyota Motors, Levi’s have achieved global recognition through consistent, well-crafted storytelling techniques. Colgate–Palmolive has been in business for over 125 years and enjoys a legendary brand status. For generations, we have trusted, respected, and can instantly recall the product’s catch line — the Colgate Ring of Confidence. That’s the impact of a simple line that a copywriter in the 60s wrote – six decades ago. Let that sink in.
The other classic example is IBM, the legendary technology brand. The company strongly believes that the purpose of storytellers and designers is to guide, clarify and move people emotionally and functionally for them to feel affinity towards IBM’s products and services. IBM’s brand, product, digital, events, industrial, content and communications teams have always worked in close cooperation to achieve the brand objective and spread core messages across the board.
Fast forward to the 21st century, we discover that the global economy and business dynamics have changed altogether. Marketing strategies have moved from product-centric to experience-centric. Millennial and Gen X consumers now look beyond just the product on offer. It’s becoming clear that the association of a brand or a product to a larger narrative is essential for it to stand out and succeed.
Crafting a story is not an easy process. It is a skill that takes years to master. The bottom line is that great story must be curated in a way that informs, entertains and engages a reader. And that is not always easy.
Bots entering the writing domain
It’s no secret that computer scientists have made life significantly easier for writers by developing automated content writing systems that use artificial intelligence (AI). In today’s fast-paced, digitally-driven culture, automation is taking precedence over everything as we are all running against time. Perhaps the time for AI writing is here! We don’t entirely agree. Read on to find out why.
The pertinent question out here is: Should writers depend on AI alone for creative narrations? Can AI generated content offer a sigh of relief to the writer fraternity?
Do AI writing tools help writers?
AI tools are capable of reading enormous volumes of text and billions of documents from many sources using web crawlers and text extractors. AI is much faster than any human brain. So, sure AI can help with researching, outlining, text processing and output generation. AI apps do all of this almost instantly.
There are several AI writing tools available online. Few of them offer you a free trial with the option of a paid subscription that comes later. As writers, we have used these tools a couple of times, and our personal experience is that these tools definitely save time and offer a great user experience. Tools like Jasper has intelligent features making them tempting options. Writesonic offers you a versatile choice that generates high-quality copy for different situations and languages. Article Forge is a great application that combines AI with deep learning for quality content.
Developers have created AI writing software by using examples of advertising copy, business communication and other types of content. Leading media houses in the US like New York Times, Washington Post, and Press Association are using AI to generate copy on a large scale.
But what is worth remembering here is that all the AI is used under the supervision of senior editorial staff. And that remains the catch.
Why writing bots are not a great idea for storytelling
AI-supported writing tools have earned acceptance in the writing community as they are handy for spelling or grammar checks and SEO. Some of the sophisticated apps are capable of generating articles automatically from just a headline.
What is important to remember is that while delivery timeline is a critical issue in the storytelling business, other factors are equally important.
A bot works with available data and commands. It can translate your brief into an advertisement copy, an article or a social media post. Although, overall presentation (grammar and SEO wise) might look fine, if you minutely read any bot-written content, you will notice that it is always missing something.
A bot-written story is mostly mechanical and sorely lacks empathy and connection with the audience. Even the best AI writing software has its limitations.
In contrast, human creativity and ingenuity go a long way in telling compelling stories. For creativity, data, case studies and references can be essential components of your story that resonate most with your readers.
These finer nuances of storytelling can never be packaged into a software. At best, an AI writing tool can extract and process tons of data. But it does not have the overall understanding of the story the way a human brain processes it. Decisions like the flow of the story, a critical component to engage the reader isn’t yet in the bot domain.
Business storytelling is all about making the right impact on readers, customers and other stakeholders. AI writing tools have a long way to go as bots are nowhere close to understanding and identifying human emotions and feelings.
Storytelling requires human emotion to engage the audience for whom you are writing. A skilled writer goes with his gut and knows how to present his experience so that the readers can understand and engage with his story. A creative writer remembers the reader throughout the story writing journey, meeting their needs and expectations.
As a writer, your best bet is to remain in the driver’s seat. Perhaps a bot can support your writing process. But don’t expect the bot to replace the writer any time soon.