Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways of attracting and hooking audience. A good story has the capacity to capture the imagination of the listener or the reader. You get the reader’s attention from the beginning till the end of the story if it is interesting and means something to the reader.
We all love stories, whether we are telling them, or we are listening to them or reading them (or watching them unfold on Netflix).
This blog post contains a nice infographic on how to create a good story, what really makes a good story.
Storytelling in content marketing is so important that Nike has been hiring people in the role of “Chief Storyteller” since the 1990s.
Other companies like Microsoft and IBM have also shifted towards telling stories instead of simply promoting their products and services.
A good thing about storytelling is that when people come across good stories, they don’t just listen to them or read them, they also share with the others. Every good story has the potential of going viral.
Consumers are more likely to respond to stories than simple marketing messages. They are engaging. They are captivating. They are relatable. They can easily explain concepts that are difficult to explain otherwise.
Storytelling sets you apart
There is a plethora of choices available to consumers these days. Take a simple product like talcum powder. There may be scores of varieties to choose from. If 19 talcum powder companies simply extol about what their talcum powder can achieve and how great the smell is, and one talcum powder company tells stories about how people’s life changed with their talcum powder, you can easily guess which talcum powder people are going to purchase more.
Another important aspect of storytelling is that it allows your business to add a human element to your content marketing. You are not continuously blabbering about the greatness of your product.
You actually tell people why your product is great by narrating stories of people who have used and benefited from your product.
The characters that you use in your storytelling are relatable because they come from day-to-day life. Your narrative no longer remains boring.
It can draw people to your messaging. People begin to believe and understand that behind your product, there are actual people whose lives are being changed with your product.
Instead of using figures, data, and facts to tell people how great your product is, your business can use the power of storytelling to actually show it to people what wonders your product is working. Suddenly there are faces in the story. There are names. There are incidents. There are anecdotes. There are pleasing ends.
What is storytelling and how you can use it as a powerful content marketing tool for your business?
The importance of storytelling lies in the fact that people can easily relate to stories.
This mandates that you tell your story to the right audience. If people cannot relate to your story, your story isn’t effective.
Every story has a plot. It has characters. It may have a hero, villain or in adversity.
There is a conflict, there is a climax and then at the end, unless it is a horror story, a resolution.
When you are storytelling for content marketing, you tell stories of individuals who have changed their lives for better, because of your business.
It doesn’t always have to be a story directly connected or related to your product or service.
A water purifier company in India these days tells stories of different communities struggling to get drinking water.
The company doesn’t directly promote its water purifier. In the end it simply says that the story has been sponsored by the waterproofing company.
Personally, I don’t agree with the central logic of their stories because the underlying theme is that instead of pressurizing the municipality and the government to supply clean drinking water, the stories encourage people to reconcile to their fate and then ultimately, start using a water purifier.
There is another story of a remote Indian village where people live in a desert and there is scarcity of water. They show a city dweller taking a shower and then they show a villager using a tiny fraction of the water wasted in the shower, to drink. Then in the end, there is a message from the bank that they finance projects that undertake challenging tasks such as bringing water to remote desert villages.
In the above link, the writer says that even the darker shades in the stories shouldn’t be hidden because they help you connect with the audience.
Suppose, to promote my content writing and copywriting services, I write a story about this individual who is losing all his business because the writing on his website isn’t up to the mark.
The conflict can be that this individual doesn’t consider writing important. He thinks that since his website is very attractive to look at with great images, graphics and animations, his customers should feel impressed and then buy from him.
His website doesn’t convert. He doesn’t get targeted search engine traffic.
Disillusioned, he is ready to give up. To make matter worse, he has taken to drinking and is even on the verge of getting a divorce due to his financial-condition-related mental stress.
Then, someone suggests, since there is nothing much to lose, why not try changing the copy of the website and see what happens.
Then I tell how I go through different interactions with this individual and completely revamp the writing on his website.
Within a couple of months, both his conversion rate and search engine rankings improve, and his business begins to pick up. He stops drinking. His marriage is saved.
Many business owners will be able to immediately relate to the story.
What about if you want to promote a food delivery app?
Wouldn’t it be better if there is a blog post in the form of a story about how a person desperately needed food during an ungodly hour? Then you tell how, because of your app, he was able to order food and save the day.
Content these days is the cornerstone of all marketing activities. Storytelling can help you stand out in a world where almost every company uses content marketing to reach out.