Storytelling has been a bit of a buzzword lately when it comes to digital marketing. However, despite its popularity, many people still aren’t sure what this term really means. A world obsessed with connections and deeper customer/brand relationships has sparked the need for deeper, more engaging stories in branding.
There’s so much content on the web, that you need to make sure that your posts not only offer value but something that can resonate with your audience on an emotional level. The better your storytelling efforts are, the more you can increase your chance of loyal customers, and even open your business up to the benefits of social sharing.
So, how can you make use of storytelling in content marketing? Here are some of the things you’ll need to know.
1. Good Storytelling Builds Connections
You’ve only got 8.25 seconds to make your audience care about your company, so you’re going to need to convince them that they’re worth your time quickly. Figure out why your brand matters to your customers, what you can offer them that your competitors can’t, and appeal to their short attention spans with instant value.
Once you’ve caught the attention of your audience, your story will be what compels them to keep reading. By using emotional intrigue, you’ll capture them on a level that’s deeper than the “what’s in it for me” instinct, and start building a relationship.
2. Good Storytelling Is Creative
Let’s say your service or product is very similar to those offered by your competitors. In that case, you’re going to need to know what makes you different and show those differentiators to your audience. Think about your history as a business, but a creative spin on the elements that make you unique, and share them with the world.
Although a lot of stories share the same elements, most come with their own distinguishing features that help them to set each company apart. Make sure your story is as unique as possible.
3. Good Storytelling Knows how to Sell
At the end of the day, as wonderful as your story might be, the ultimate aim is to use it to drive profitable action for your business. Remember, great stories come with conflict, but that conflict shouldn’t be with your business. Instead, conflict is the pain that your customer experiences. You should be the hero that comes in to resolve that issue.
Show your customers that you can save them from problems, and you should have no trouble selling.
4. Good Storytelling has a Strategy
When it comes to storytelling, it’s important to make sure that your marketing angle isn’t obvious. While your main aim might be to drive people to invest in your company, you don’t want your customers to feel like they’re being “sold to”. In other words, you need a strategy for success.
Think about how you can use storytelling to build relationships with your audience, and how surrounding things in your company can support your narrative. For instance, if your story portrays you as a generous company, get involved with some local charities to support that idea.
5. Good Storytelling has Empathy
Customers want to do business with companies that they can relate to. If you want to create a relatable story, then you need to feel your audience’s pain. Empathy will allow you to create content that motivates your customers into action. Of course, if you don’t know your customer, you’ll struggle to create a compelling story.
Conduct some research into what your customers appreciate, what they think about, what their concerns might be and even what your competitors are doing to attract the market. From there, you can begin to develop a more empathetic story.
6. Good Storytelling Doesn’t Happen in a Day
Last but not least, it’s important to remember that you’re probably not going to create a compelling story and market it to your customers within a day. Storytelling, just like content marketing, is a long-term strategy that unfolds with time as you build deeper relationships with your audience.
Take the time to interact with your customers, learn what your business is all about, and what they expect from you. The more your brand starts to grow, the more your story will grow with it, and begin to influence every part of your content marketing strategy.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.