Storytelling is a method of communication, an act of sharing a tale or a series of events, which is as old as time itself. It is one of the most powerful tools of communication even in the modern world. People of today’s generation are not likely to read boring and soulless content. They want to read content that has a flow, that connects to them in some way, and cuts through the clutter of too much information. Hence, storytelling in content marketing has become an essential technique, and a topic that is hotter than yesterday.
Why should you use stories for content marketing?
There are several reasons as to why you should be using storytelling in your content marketing.
Firstly, people relate to stories more, in contrast to dry statistics and facts. Research confirms that despite the content itself, the success of a post is mostly defined by its structure. And story format works the best.
Secondly, stories are interesting and compel reading till the end. Stories catch the attention of everyone People are curious in nature and when a narration is impressive, people are more likely to get engaged,
And finally, stories create trust. You don’t share your personal experiences with everyone, right? And typically storytelling reveals a personal angle, so it makes you closer to that person. Likewise, publishing content in story that your readers can relate to, creates a sense of trust and makes them come back to you for more.
The ingredients of effective storytelling
How to incorporate storytelling in content?
There are a lot of elements that make a story. Too many to name, of course! Here a few storytelling features that we will discuss in relation to content marketing:
Storytelling is an art, thus it has to be creative. Find out a creative way so that your story appeals to a large chunk of audience. You could use a ploy, such as creating a character. Your characters can be anybody, the CEO of your company or a project manager, the employees or it can be based on unique personas of your target audience.
Whatever you choose, your main character should be someone that your target audience cares about.
Personalize your story on something like how a brand was born, what inspired the Founders to start the company and what their personal mission was.
In another scenario, you could do a marketing campaign where the main character talks about the product or service, answering the possible questions that people may have. Make the story teller look as similar to your clients (users, readers, etc.) as possible, having the same problems and worries.
Give your narrative a new perspective
Your story can create so many new possibilities for your readers. If your objective is directly related to marketing, think of all the possibilities you can incorporate to give a different angle to the story.
Add a twist to your story. Let your readers think, imagine and open their mind to it.
Visualization – build up the dream and imagination
Help your audience visualize your narrative with the help of the right images. Aid your content with visuals in such a way that it helps your readers to dive into the text and feel the atmosphere. It is not enough to just separate text into paragraphs and add some pictures. Think of other visual formats apart from pictures, too. It can be illustrations, GIFs, infographics, videos, etc.
You know that no one will read long walls of text about the advantages of your brand. Sometimes stories can be told with many pictures and very little text.
The most powerful stories appeal to universal human needs, drives emotions, and experiences. If you are trying to pull people around your cause, you need to tell your story along the lines of these human emotions. Speak in a way that it is inspiring without being preachy.
Carve out your brand story around your experiences to amplify your customer bonds. What inspired you to launch your business? What struggles did you overcome?
Examples of good storytelling
Incorporating storytelling in a B2C travel company’s content
A travel company that wants to share the travel experiences of their happy customers can do it like this:
1. Ask your happy customers to write a travelogue or write one for them.
2. While writing a travelogue for your customers, gather enough information, know what they liked most about the trip and include their personal quotes.
3. Narrate their travel experience in the form of a sequence like Day1, Day2, or location 1, 2, and so on.
4. Incorporate a lot of happening pictures in the content that merges well with the sequence of events.
5. Add in humour, drama and action to make the story livelier. Talk about one adventure that they enjoyed doing during the entire trip.
Injecting storytelling into a B2B case study
Case studies are typically written as a summary of facts with figures, categorized as under:
Background, Objectives, Challenges, Solution, Benefits / Results (ROI)
But how can we make it better? A software company that wants to tell a story about software success could do it like this:
- Identify characters in the story
- Describe how a customer did something earlier: Write in steps with pictures, if possible, what they did earlier and how much time they took, and what problems they faced.
- Then write about the software implementation: Who implemented the software, how it was done? How challenges were overtaken?
- Post implementation, describe how the process or activity works better with your software and how the client is happy, and quote the client’s words. Talk about how the client’s customers are happier. Narrate an incident.
- Bring in characters as part of the story.
Recent social trends in storytelling
With the advent of more and more digital technologies, businesses today can also tell their stories with the help of storytelling features introduced in Facebook and Instagram. One can share multiple photos, videos and their daily moments in slideshare format without overloading their profiles. Did you try this storytelling technique already?
People will see stories from accounts they follow in a bar at the top of their Facebook and Instagram feed – from their friends and favourite businesses.
People love stories, they are eager to know about something similar to what they have experienced or seen. Stories can influence people’s attention and get more likes and shares for your brand.
Storytelling in content marketing can define how your business relates to the reader’s problems, interests and beliefs. With the help of story-oriented thinking, you will not only pay attention to the benefits of your product, but also to the way’s your product can solve the problems of your audience.
Ready to implement storytelling in your B2B content marketing strategy? You may not have a huge budget, but you always find great stories to tell—stories about your company, your employees, your customers, or your industry.
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