As a content marketer, you are faced with two challenges. Customer attention spans are now shorter than ever. In addition to this, content saturation makes it even harder to get that attention in the first place. Fortunately, there’s a fix to this. You have to take a storyteller’s approach to create content.
By writing your content as a story, you are more likely to get and maintain audience engagement. Further, storytelling makes your brand easy to relate to. Even better, a good story can create an understanding of your company, products, and services that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to accomplish. Finally, storytelling creates an emotional response. Create the response that you want, and the action you want is sure to follow.
A successful storyteller engages audiences with a story in which they can see themselves. They create a bond between the reader and the content. Their stories are relevant and believable. When it comes to storytelling for marketing, those elements are still important, but there’s more to be accomplished. The story should answer the questions the customer has at that point in time, and it should create the desired emotional response. This is what leads to improved customer engagement.
Keep reading to learn how to accomplish this.
How did your company get started? What motivated you to offer the products and services that you do? Who are the people behind your brand? What is interesting about each of you, and what makes you and your team memorable to your target audience? What about your origin story resonates? What emotions do you want people to have when they think of your brand? What values and characteristics do you want people to associate with your business?
Your origin story will tell how and why your business was founded. More than that, it should be the cornerstone of all the other stories that are told. It should showcase:
- Your mission
- Your values
- Your products and services and why you offer them
- Your team
Finally, your origin story should answer the question, why should your target audience pick you over your competitors?
Now that your origin story is in place, you can continue to work to create other stories in support of the points laid out in that story. For example, imagine that your branding is heavily focused on patriotism. You could tell stories about your team volunteering at veterans organizations, write profiles about employees of yours who happen to serve their country, or share about your decision to provide free shipping to military bases.
By telling your origin story and further supporting it with other stories, you create an emotional connection with your target audience. Not only do you educate your audience on what you sell, but you also tell them why they should buy it.
All good stories have a conflict. In fact, that’s the point. The story is introduced when the conflict is introduced, injured Angela conflict is resolved. It can help if you think of the conflict as the struggle your customers facing. The resolution is your ability to solve that problem.
For example, imagine that you manufactured and sell gourmet coffees. The conflict is that your customer is frequently on the road, cannot Brew their own coffee, and cannot afford to purchase coffee every day. The resolution is a top-quality instant coffee that you offer.
Take a closer look at some of the other elements of storytelling that can help you to better reach your target audience:
- Provide specific details and examples.
- Use high-quality images to draw attention and better illustrate your points.
- Don’t be afraid to use emotion.this is what will draw people into the story, and allow them to imagine themselves as the protagonist.
- Use a conversational writing voice that reflects your branding.
- Make sure that your stories have a clear point.
- Your customers, not you, and not your products should be the focus of the stories you tell.
Leave your reader with a powerful call to action
Ideally, at the end of your story, the reader will be ready to take action. If you have managed to evoke the right feelings, that can help to validate their choice to move to the next step. The call to action clarifies exactly what that next step is, and how they take it. That action could be making a purchase, subscribing to your email list, downloading a free trial, even watching a video.
Once you have your stories created and know the direction you want to go in for future stories oh, it is time to incorporate these stories into your marketing plan.
You need to push your stories out to the proper channels so that they reach your audience. Part of creating a content marketing strategy is figuring out when, where, and how to do that. You can share your stories on your website, through your blog posts, on your social media channels, like videos, and via your email marketing. Even paid advertising content can be created as a story.
It’s important to tell your company story in your own words. However, you cannot deny thee credibility and importance of the words and experiences of your audience members when it comes to your products and services. Fortunately, now more than ever people are compelled to share their experiences about the products and services they purchase. Reach out to your audience to get their stories. Encourage them to share reviews and testimonials, and to tell the stories of how they use your products and services. Remember that people love to be a part of the story, more importantly, they love to tell stories where they are the hero.
Leverage Your Influencers, Brand Ambassadors and Followers
In this age of 24/7 real-time posting, following and sharing, customers are more often than not becoming the story. From promoting user testimonials to inviting brand ambassadors to share their stories through words, photographs or videos, more and more retailers are finding success by encouraging their customers to share and be a part of the story.
Keep in mind that the best user-generated stories are short and impactful. Encourage your audience to use pictures and videos to make their point. Audience-generated content and very impactful when it comes to earning customer engagement. People want to hear what other customers have to say about you
There’s some additional value to customers generated content as well. You can vary match measure the success of your marketing strategy by watching the engagement metrics around your user-generated content. The more people you have willing to share their stories, and the more engagement those stories get indicates that you are on the right track.
A well-told story is truly a powerful thing for a content marketer. Think of them as tools that you can use to build an understanding of your brand, establish trust, create engagement, expand your social media presence, and create an emotional response. This can drive your audience to answer your call to action. Marketers who use storytelling are better able to stand out from brands who are using traditional marketing techniques.