December 30, 2021 (Updated: January 23, 2024)
Storytelling marketing is the act of telling a narrative or story with your advertisements and marketing materials. These stories grab audiences by creating characters and problems they can relate to emotionally. That emotional investment can entice them to explore brands further by reading more of their content, signing up for an email newsletter, or even purchasing a product or service. Adding stories to your written blogs, newsletters, and articles can give you several benefits that can boost your content marketing strategies.
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Storytelling has been one of the most effective ways to attract audiences for centuries, and it’s just as effective today. Presently, more than 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day. Though people can add anything to these quick snapshots, most often it tells viewers a story about the poster’s day, including what they did, where they went, and what they ate. In 2021, the United States podcast industry is projected to hit one billion dollars in ad revenue. Whether fiction or non-fiction, people often use podcasts to share engaging stories and attract audiences to their brands.
Storytelling in written content can help people emotionally connect to brands too. That’s because when you write about characters and their problems, it helps your audience put themselves in the character’s shoes and see how they might handle or approach a similar situation. Then, by introducing your products or services, your audience can see the major benefits of your brand. For example, a hospital might tell a story about one of its patients and how its services helped or cured their ailments. This allows readers to relate to the patient and see how those services could benefit them as well.
Here is a list of steps to help you implement storytelling into your content marketing:
You have a lot of options for the character of your story, but it’s important to find the right one that your audience will relate to the most. That’s why one of the most common characters a brand might use is a previous customer. Previous customers can share their stories and tell your readers how your brand and its products or services benefited them. This is a simple way to show readers how your brand can positively affect them and give them all the same benefits as customers who came before.
But that’s not the only option you have for a character. Let’s say your business is just starting, and you don’t have many customers who can share their stories yet. It’s okay to create a fictional character or customer and show your readers how someone could potentially benefit from your services. If you use this tactic though, it’s important to highlight that the situation and story are made-up.
You can also use yourself as the character and tell readers about your own struggles or challenges that gave you the idea for your product or service. This not only highlights the benefits of your product but also helps humanize your brand and allows your audience to emotionally connect with it.
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All good stories have conflict. When something stops the protagonist from reaching their goal, it creates tension and gives the audience a sense of longing for the story to come to a happy or positive conclusion. Essentially, it keeps them reading. For example, if you’re writing about your own experience and why you created your business, don’t just say “I had this problem, so I created a business to solve it.”
That might be true, but it doesn’t tell a great story. Did you try something else before starting your business? Was there some funding you had to secure or an obstacle you had to overcome before your idea could come to fruition? Talk about it. Tell your audience how you solved your conflicts and triumphed over your challenges.
Highlighting the stakes helps to heighten the conflict of your story and add more emotion for your readers to connect with. Using a previous example, if a hospital was telling a story about one of its previous patients, it could simply say that the patient had an infection in their leg, which the doctors and other staff members helped heal. But by telling the audience that the infection might cause the patient to lose the leg, it creates a fear in the reader and helps them to root for the doctors and the hospital to save the leg and help the patient.
What are the stakes for your customers? What’s at risk for them if they don’t use your products or services? It doesn’t have to be a matter of life and death, but it’s helpful for them to see how your brand or business can benefit them.
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Each of these listed elements helps you create a more dramatic and exciting narrative. But keeping your story authentic and simple can help your audience develop trust in your brand and show them you’re not overdramatizing or exaggerating the effects of your products and services. Make sure you only talk about details that are relevant to the story and don’t embellish the conflicts or stakes.
For example, if your business helps people improve their finances, instead of saying “our services save people from financial ruin,” you might try, “our services help people improve their spending and investments to avoid any future financial challenges or risks.”
Looking to improve your marketing with quality content and stories? CopyPress has a team of writing experts who can help you create blogs and articles that engage your audience and highlight your products and services. Schedule a free call with us today to learn how we can help your content marketing efforts.
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