Content marketing is an effective approach to not only growing an audience, but building the business itself. Of course, it’s very competitive and unforgiving since there is so much great content out there now. If you want to survive and thrive with your content, you need to develop your writing skills. Storytelling is an inescapable component of content marketing, and mastery will help determine your success. These six keys for better story telling will help you write better content and incorporate it correctly into your overall marketing plan.
People can see right through your thinly veiled marketing attempts. Pandering and insincerity will be spotted and lambasted every time. Just think of a few Twitter faux pas from the last week, and you’ll see what I mean. Content stories are a chance to relate to customers to draw them to the brand. It will only work if you honestly meet them on genuine common ground.
Working in tandem with that honesty is a personal presentation. Brand stories are not advertisements. They are open communication with an audience. Allowing some vulnerability and real connections are what truly drive the success of storytelling marketing. Remember: the brand is ultimately made of people, and it is with those people that your customers will connect.
When you are willing to get personal, you can tap into the aspects of storytelling that are the most compelling. Namely, you are developing a relatable character. Whether your stories are true or fun fictions, the characters in those stories must be presented in the right way. They should have relatable goals, realistic flaws and a real-world outlook on their situation.
Show, Don’t Tell
This is perhaps the oldest and most commonly told bit of wisdom in the art of storytelling. Yet, it is also the most frequently overlooked. When telling marketing stories, there’s an innate desire to include all of the necessary information. You want the audience to clearly see how the story relates to your brand and how they can benefit. This is a classic mistake. You don’t need to paint the background before you begin the story. Instead, start in the middle of a scene and let the details naturally reveal themselves through events and dialogue.
This is not an advertisement. This is not an advertisement. Really, this is not an advertisement. Chant that in your head if you must as long as you remember the purpose of content marketing. The stories are not supposed to convert sales. They are supposed to drive traffic and engage the audience. The stories build a relationship. You have other tools and resources to convert sales out of that relationship.
Leave Them Wanting More
Think of the most compelling books you’ve ever read. Every chapter probably concluded with a bit of a cliffhanger. You simply had to turn the next page. The best content websites do the same. Many of the sites you’ve wasted hours scrolling end each list with recommendations for more you might like. Even Wikipedia can get you lost in a sea of interesting new information. The trick is to always offer more than the readers get. Any story can be self-contained and complete, but it should never quite be fully satisfying. If you can’t pull that off, then recommend a few more compelling links at the end of each piece of content.
So how are you telling your stories? Whats worked for your company? We’d love to hear about it!
If you’re looking for a platform to help you, check out our content marketing software 😉