Storytelling in content marketing has provided incredible opportunities for millions of up coming brands to reach a wider audience, double their sales and make more gains year in, year out.
As a major beneficiary of the miracle of storytelling, I can tell you, storytelling works. I’ve experienced first hand how storytelling single handedly transformed our marketing, from zero to sustainability, ended our struggling beginner days and scored our first sales.
I’ve also curated this same experience for many of our clients and students. So, what you’re about to read is not hearsay…
It’s a lived experience. And you’re about to scoop the real sauce from some of the top secret strategies, when it comes to storytelling in content marketing.
What is Storytelling in Content Marketing?
Story telling involves the use of personal stories, brand experiences or anecdotes to illustrate ideas, evoke powerful effects or create a deeper and more relatable connection with an audience, using content marketing.
As a content writer, digital marketer or blogger, storytelling provides you the chance to enrich your content in a way that leads to even better results.
Storytelling is arguable the most potent form of human communication.
And one of the reasons storytelling is important in content marketing is because people love stories. Compared to ordinary pieces of information, stories are remarkable, memorable and very useful in creating emotional connections.
Using storytelling as part of your content marketing creates an avenue to illustrate your points clearly, showcase lived experience and enhance your credibility thus making your content unique and even more believable.
The following are steps to Use Storytelling in Content Marketing;
Identify your Marketing Goals
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The first step to use storytelling in content marketing is to identify your marketing goals.
At this point, you want to identify the things you plan to achieve with your content. And exactly why these things are important to you.
So, go ahead, list out the specific outcomes you want to get with this marketing effort. Is it to get more visibility, subscribers or even make better sales?
List out each of the things you want to achieve and your scale of preference for each of the item.
Choose an Audience
You can’t use storytelling in content marketing without clearly identifying and choosing the audience you’re creating for.
This is so because certain stories do not appeal to all audiences. And beyond that, the rule of thumb in content marketing is, to create even better outcome, you must create the kind of content that appeals to your audience.
So naturally, you cannot get so much out of your storytelling effort without being able to know the kind of audiences you’re writing for and being able to pick the stories that will appeal to them.
Create a Marketing Strategy
Content marketing strategy here basically involves outlining the kind of content, themes and topics that will get you to achieve the goals set out in step one above.
This is the next step to use storytelling in content marketing. And to get the best results out of this, start with identifying the possible themes you want to write about.
These themes have to be relatable to things your audience care about. Outside that also, it has to be one that can actually get you to achieve the goals listed out above.
After outlining the themes, divide them into topics and sub topics where necessary. And then go ahead to assign days of the week or time as the case maybe, to each topic.
Pick Out Relatable Stories
Now that you have an audience and a remarkable content marketing strategy, your next step to use storytelling in content marketing is to pick out relatable stories you can use in your content.
Considering that all stories, experiences and anecdotes are not necessarily useful for content marketing either because they are not relatable or are not good fit for the content, you want to pick out your stories based on the content.
So at this point, go ahead and pick out your stories, based on the content topic, themes, days or goals you want to achieve with your content.
Here’s an example: As a creator whose goal is to get new clients to sign up for a Web Design training for example, your best fit story should capture how you started your web design journey from scratch to build success to the point you want to train others.
While storytelling in content marketing is better with personal or brand stories, where you don’t have personal stories, you can use other people’s stories that would be as good as yours or as useful for your audience.
Here’s where story curation comes in.
One thing you must note is that story curation is very effective as analogies and for illustrative purposes. But, outside that it can also be used in full swing storytelling.
So, outside your brand stories, you can also use stories from other brands in your content to illustrate a point or create an effect and still relate it to your brand.
So, for example if you’re creating content about why people in your country should learn digital marketing skills and you just recently read an inspiring story about the most renown digital marketer in your country, you could use that in your content if it relates.
In a nutshell story curation connotes being able to pick up powerful stories and spin them around as part of your content and share it in a powerful and engaging ways.
PS: Whatever story you use must relate to your content and its context. And of course, do not fail to credit the original owners of the stories, where possible.
Structure your Story
Stories are powerful tools used by individuals from time immemorial to to shape perceptions, change narratives and set out agendas. But each stories are unique to the individuals or brands sharing it.
In spite of this uniqueness, one of the things common with storytellers across generations, industries and geography is structure.
For each story told out there, there’s a structure that’s followed to arrive at a certain outcome. You’ll notice this in your favorite movies, novels and short stories.
So specifically, your story must have a beginning, a middle part and an ending. It must also have a hero and an antagonist. The antagonist here could be a human or situation (like a challenging event that must be overcome).
To make it all rounded, your three part story could take this form: Begins with a hero who sets out on a difficult journey, the hero meets challenges along the way, but eventually finds a way to surmount the challenges with a sense of victory.
This is a three part structure any story can take to capture the attention of your audience.
Create, Edit & Share
People love stories. But, having a story does not necessarily mean that the story will captivate the interests of the audience.
So, as someone planning to use storytelling in content marketing to captivate audiences, you want to carefully curate, edit and then share a good story, using your content.
You cannot afford to tell your story anyhow and expect that people are going to be interested in it.
Just the same way it is with actual story telling in real life, use powerful storytelling effects to bring your stories to live.
Also, you want to employ the use of compelling adjectives, plots and copy writing skills to convey emotions and create powerful effects.
Additionally, be very intentional about getting your story from its very raw form to a compelling presentation that creates imageries in the mind, evokes feelings and gets your audience on a journey that will lead to your expected outcomes.
Storytelling is an insanely powerful way to build strong connections, boost credibility and share relatable content that will double your outcomes but to get a hang of it, you must understand the secret strategies you can use.
As you’ve just learned today, to use storytelling in content marketing, you must get ready to identify your goals, find an audience, build a content strategy and finally, create, edit and curate your story in a way your audience can relate to it.
Now, it’s your turn! What’s your biggest struggles when it comes to storytelling? Drop your comments below.