When I was thirteen years old, my class visited the Holocaust museum. That trip had a huge impact on me - seeing all of the suffering and evil that took place during that time in history definitely opened my eyes to the world around me and the people in it.
That night after my homework was done, I pulled out a notebook and wrote a poem about the effect that seeing the history of the Holocuast had on me. My teacher submitted it to a language arts magazine, and that poem became my first published piece of writing.
What's the point of me sharing that memory with you? It's one of my stories, and storytelling is the point of this post. Well, storytelling and what it can do for your marketing strategy.
Marketing isn't just about pimping your products and services...
It's about engaging your audience and making a connection with your customers.
Content that grabs the attention of your site visitors and blog readers is what keep them coming back for more. And what's more attention-grabbing than a good story?
We all have a story to tell!
It's not just famous authors and movie-makers that have great stories to tell. People want to hear about other regular folks. The bestsellers lists are full of memoirs, and some of the top-grossing movies of all time are based on true stories.
Showing your audience that you are bonafide homo sapien by revealing some of the details about who you are, how you got where you are, and why you do what you do has a very endearing effect on them. In other words, humanizing yourself and your company wins you big points.
So, how do you get started? These 5 tips will help you use storytelling as an effective marketing tool.
You want to embrace and engage your audience, so make sure you know what kind of story that they want to hear. Do they want a drama, an adventure, or maybe something more emotional?
Think about what emotions that you want to evoke, and what tone you want to use. If your audience is more of a "happy-go-lucky" bunch, you don't want to turn them away with a strong, dramatic voice.
Gather your info! You want to make sure to have all of your facts, dates, and key events gathered together before beginning to make crafting your story as easy as possible.
If you're truly concerned about not being able to get your story written, you might want to consider working with a professional writer.
An experienced ghostwriter will be able to take the information that you want to share with your audience and craft a well-written, easy to read story that will entertain and inform your customers, as well as boost sales.
Focus on the reader
What makes storytelling such a powerful content marketing strategy is the fact that it focuses on relationships and creates a human connection between you and your audience.
Leave the bragging about how amazing your product or service is and other advertising techniques for another time and place. This should be all about the story that you have to tell.
Instead, focus on human interest. Share customer success stories or the reason that you started the company in the first place. You don't want to destroy expectations by creating a thinly-veiled sales pitch.
Think about the recent Dodge commercial that shared the story of how the company was started by two competitive brothers. That marketing campaign created an emotional connection with the Dodge audience and shared information that many people didn't know about one of the country's most popular car manufacturers. That's what storytelling marketing is all about!
Don't ignore theme & structure
Just because you're creating a story for marketing reasons, doesn't mean that it shouldn't follow the basic structures of storytelling.
Your story needs to have a beginning, middle, and end. It needs to have conflict and resolution, relatable characters or personas, and an ending that leaves people feeling satisfied.
This is so important, I'm going to say it again - this is not a sales pitch! Use an informal, accessible tone that draws people into the story.
Think about how classic fairy tales are started: "Once upon a time..." This is done to let people know that they should settle in because they are about to be taken to another place and time. You could do worse to than remember that when telling your story. Fairy tales have lasted as long as they have for a reason.
I bet that story I shared at the beginning of this post grabbed your attention, and that was exactly what it was meant to do...now it's your turn!
Take that story that you've written, and get it in front of people. Post it on your blog, share it on your social media networks, send it out to your email newsletter list.
People love a good story, and they love to share things that have affected them to those that they care about. If you've done well with crafting your story, it will be shared over and over again.