How can you tell one story across different channels without losing its essence or impact?
It can be so frustrating! You want to repurpose that story, but each platform has different requirements and audiences!
The answer is to start with the arc! Create a story arc to adapt your story to different formats, lengths, and audiences.
What’s a story arc?
A story arc is a structure with a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s called an “arc” because it has a rising and falling action. The arc follows a clear progression of building up events and emotions and then winding them down toward the end.
The story arc can help you craft a compelling and coherent narrative that can be easily modified for different channels and audiences. For example, you can use the same story arc to create a blog post, a social media post, a video, or a podcast episode. You can also adjust the length of your story depending on how much time and attention you have from your audience.
How to create a story arc:
To create a story arc, you need to identify four elements:
- The Hook: Grab Your Audience’s Attention
The hook is an opening sentence or paragraph that grabs your audience’s attention and makes them curious about your story. It should introduce the main topic, problem, or question that your story will address.
For this blog post, the hook is the first line.
“How can you tell one story across different channels without losing its essence or impact?”
- The Challenge: Create Tension and Emotion
The challenge is the main obstacle or conflict you or your protagonist faced in your story. It should show what was at stake, why it mattered, and how it emotionally affected you or your protagonist.
For this blog post, the challenge is “It can be so frustrating! You want to repurpose that story, but each platform has different requirements and audiences!”
- The Solution: Show How You Overcome the Obstacle
The solution is the outcome or resolution of your challenge. It should show how you or your protagonist overcame the obstacle, what you learned, and how you changed.
For this blog post, the solution is:
“The answer is to start with the arc! You’ll want to create a story arc that you can adapt your story to different formats, lengths, and audiences.”
- The Takeaway: Share Your Main Point or Message
The takeaway is the main message you want your audience to remember from your story. It should relate to your purpose, audience, and channel and include a call to action if applicable.
For this post, a solution might be “Start with the arc!”
Use the Story Arc as Your Building Blocks
Once you have these elements, you can use them as building blocks to create different versions of your story for different platforms. Let’s use this blog post as an example:
- The Hook: Use it to create a headline or an Instagram caption
I riffed on the hook to create the headline for this blog post. I might also use it for an Instagram caption or a Twitter post.
Blog Title: “How to Repurpose Your Stories for Maximum Impact: The Power of the Story Arc”
- The Challenge: Use it as a video/podcast teaser
If I was going to create a YouTube video teaser or a podcast episode, I might start by riffing on the challenge.
Video Intro: “You want to repurpose one story across a variety of platforms, but dang it! Each platform has different requirements and audiences! What are you supposed to do?”
- Solution: Use it as a case study, LinkedIn post, or presentation
If I was creating this blog as a case study or an instructional presentation, I might go straight to the solution:
“To repurpose content that you can easily adapt to different platforms, start by creating a story arc. Here’s how…”
- Takeaway: Great for titles, rallying cries, and tweets
I can always use a takeaway as a conclusion, a call to action or a rallying cry. I might even do a simple tweet on Twitter.
“Want to repurpose content more easily? Start with the arc! Here’s how:”
By creating a story arc, you can more easily repurpose your stories for multiple platforms without losing their essence or impact. You can also create a consistent brand message across different channels and audiences, which can help you build your authority and reputation online.
I think you can see how this blog post is going to end! I’ll give you a final rallying cry for repurposing content:
Start with the arc!
Laura Bergells teaches public speaking and business communication classes and workshops. Hire Laura.
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