In recent years, content storytelling has provided special value beyond traditional marketing techniques as it allows small business owners to humanize their brand, brings their products and services to life and ultimately increases sales. Every day, users are bombarded with content, consisting, on average, of more than 100,000 words in total, says Digital Marketing Philippines. If you want to stick in your readers’ minds, your content needs to stand out — and one of the best ways to do this is to tell a story.
People love hearing stories as it allows them to relate and connect to the content, something that is difficult to do with statistics and data. However, to be successful, you need to master the art of telling stories.
To develop a strong narrative add the following elements to every story:
1. Talk About Something Important to You
If you want readers to care about your story, you need to give them a reason; for instance, may like to start off by explaining why you decided to write the piece. HubSpot has these ideas for content: News from your industry or on a matter that affects your target audience.
- A case study detailing a customer experience (real or fictional).
- A real-life story from your company talking about a mistake you made or how you overcame a challenge.
2. Help Readers Identify
To be memorable and sharable and to incentivize your audience to take action, a great story should have the power to amaze, inspire, and spark an emotion in your readers. To achieve this, you must create relatable characters, perhaps based on buyer personas and experiencing similar problems as those in your audience face. This will allow you to connect to readers on a level that goes beyond simply being a customer.
Your characters should pass through a struggle or tension of some kind, which they resolve at the end of the story. Avoid being too obvious about the lesson learned; it is much better to allow readers to interpret the story on their own. This will show them that you respect their intelligence and will lead them to make their own decisions about how to engage with your company, without feeling coerced into a sale.
3. Relate Your Stories Directly to Your Brand
Whether you choose talk about a real event or something completely fictional, you need to relate your story back to your brand to give value to this content and to gain the trust of your readers. If you use the perspective of someone in your company, use the story to reflect your core values. If you tell the story through the eyes of a consumer, write about how your products or services impacted this person.
4. Familiarize Yourself with the Elements of Fiction Writing
Just as important as the story itself is your style of writing. This comprises of your choice of words, the structure and the buildup of the story, and your personality and tone of voice. You can best understand the importance of style by reading fiction and studying what makes a great story.
Unfortunately, simply knowing the elements of fiction writing does not mean you will be able to utilize them effectively yourself. Storytelling is a creative writing skill that many marketers lack. If you want to grip your readers throughout your story, it is almost always better to hire a professional writer for the job.
There are many different ways to create content, of which storytelling is just one. Whereas it is unnecessary to turn all your pieces into stories, it can be highly beneficial for your content marketing efforts to use at least some of your posts to tell stories, avoiding boring content that loses your readers’ attention before they have had time to convert.
Steve Lazuka is the founder of Interact Media, creators of the Zerys Content Marketplace and Zerys for Agencies content marketing platforms. Follow Steve @SteveLazuka.