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Create authentic connections with your target audience using storytelling

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

First things first, as marketers we need to constantly adjust and change our marketing strategy specific to our audience. I get it, it's hard to monitor, measure and adjust to an ever-changing environment. I've been doing marketing for over 20 years, and one thing I have learnt is you have to be agile and SMART with your marketing.

Stories are 22% more memorable than facts and figures alone.

Cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner

One of our popular training courses is our Storytelling Masterclass, where you learn how you can adjust your tone of voice to resonate more with stakeholders including authors, researchers, peer reviewers, editors and information professionals. I'm going to cover some of the key points from our training to help you connect better with your stakeholders.

IB stand out from the crowd with 7 top tips

Six storytelling steps

IB six step storytelling process

HINT: Create content for disability to better reach and resonate.

Tips for crafting your message

  • Think about what emotions, values and ideas your brand/journal/library offers your audience and what your audience truly needs from you

  • Turn your brand/journal/library into an experience they can consume

  • Decide your point of view

  • Map your story to your buyer journey

  • Write the story replicating your audience’s language

HINT: Look at formulas to inspire your writing.

Frame your story

Heard of the leadership guru Simon Sinek? Inspired by his 'Start With Why' TED talk, I discovered The Golden Circle approach several years ago. It helps you flip traditional messaging into a tone that resonates more by starting with the WHY, then the HOW and finally the WHAT. Create a WHY hook that resonates, continue with HOW you do it to continue the connection, and finally finish with WHAT you do.

Simon Sinek's Golden Circle - start with the WHY

It's an oldie, but a goldie!

This is the TED talk from Simon Sinek back in 2009 with 16,000,000+ views (one of many videos). It might be 13 years old but it's still as relevant today as it was back then. Take a moment to learn more.

Examples to inspire

One of the most important things you can do is create a swipe file to save content you love, and that inspires you – even provide examples of what fails, to remind you what not to do. Discover some examples:


Dropbox uses a playful tone to help you give peace of mind that your storage is safe with them:

Even if your computer has a meltdown or your phone goes for a swim, your stuff is always safe in Dropbox and can be restored in a snap. Dropbox is like a time machine that lets you undo mistakes and even undelete files you accidentally trash.


Apple does a great job of stirring emotions and creating desire, mainly by showcasing a single impactful idea that they want the audience to take away. Their overarching messaging for the MacBook Pro is strong and concise.

Apple example MacBook Pro text

Drilling down into the technology, the tone continues for individual product benefits:

Apple M1 chip example text copy

HINT: Think about how your messaging translates to different cultures.

How can your localized marketing strategy help you connect with customers? Check out our blog post -

Industry examples

Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry has a very specific tone of voice (Fundamental Questions Elemental Answers) to inspire connection and a sense of belonging. Their copy comes from the heart of the society with the community they serve at the forefront of their mind.

RSC About Us text example

RSC Journals home page text example


Frontiers are also using inclusive and engaging messaging.

Fontiers example text - where scientists empower society


Clarivate uses a mixture of short and long engaging sentences, making the reader feel empowered.

Clarivate text example - we've got you

Be empowered. What next?

  • Look at copy to discover what resonates and what ‘smells’ wrong

  • Create personas to really understand your segmented audience

  • Explore examples and choose the right formula

  • Choose your tone

  • Be consistent, truthful and authentic

  • Connect with your niche

Looking to enhance your team and resonate better with your stakeholders?

Claire Webber, IOP Publishing
Another engaging and fun workshop delivered by Lou Peck from The International Bunch for IOP Publishing colleagues from our author marketing and journals development teams! Lou created a focused and tailored session drawing on her extensive experience in STM publishing and marketing. Plus she has a great selection of ice-breaker games!

Claire Webber, Head of Content and Engagement Marketing, IOP Publishing

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