Storytelling has been around long before recorded history - from the first cave paintings to today’s poetic words, music and theater – storytelling has been a part of our history since the beginning. Today, we have the ability to share our stories to the largest audience to date with the help of the Internet and social media.
A good story is relatable to people of all ages and cultures. A great story can inspire, gain attention or respond to something meaningful in our lives. The most memorable stories often have characters that are cared for, and a problem or issue that people emotionally connect with.
As marketers, we are constantly telling stories to our audiences through our content. With every content marketing effort, you must work to connect with your audience through great storytelling.But what can make a story truly excellent, even when the subject matter isn’t the most interesting? Here are some storytelling tips that are sure to enhance your future content:
1. Learn From the Masters and Remember the Essentials
The fundamentals for storytelling is pretty simple; without memorable characters, nobody will care about the plot. Similarly, if you have an interesting story full of peaks and valleys, but no conclusion, people will just be confused and left feeling unsatisfied with your story. Make sure to remember the basics and tell your complete story to the audience.
Study successful storytellers including fiction and non-fiction writers, playwrights, directors, actors and even storytellers in your industry. What inspired them to tell their stories?What are some industry leaders writing about? Borrow what you can from their methodology, patterns and idiosyncrasies. These people were successful storytellers and business owners for a reason, so see what you can learn about their practices and apply them to your own content projects. This will can also give you great insight for areas to improve on your content, or take a completely different angle that the audience might connect more.
2. Use Different Media for your Stories
It’s important to dissect your favorite stories every once in a while to discover why you like them so much in the first place. Is it the plot line or the characters? Does the story teach a lesson that resonates with you? It may be easy to see why you love certain movies or novels, but applying it to business may be more difficult. Think of your favorite YouTube videos or blog posts – why do you like them so much? Why do you return to your favorite site to read articles? This insight and awareness can be greatly beneficial when creating your own story.
Storytelling comes in many forms – articles, novels, movies, blog posts, videos presentations and more. Different media is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and improve and expand your content portfolio. If your story has lots of dialogue, perhaps a video would be best. If the story is a narrative, the written word may be better. Be sure to research what medium your target audience prefers and also consider which medium works best for the story you are trying to tell.
3. Fascinate Your Audience and Keep Their Interests in Mind
Working to fascinate your audience may not be an easy feat, depending on what industry you’re in. To tap into your audience’s fascinations, consider working in one of the seven fascination triggers. These triggers, as described by branding expert Sally Hogshead, include: power, lust, mystique, alarm, prestige, vice and trust. She explains, “By mastering the triggers, your ideas become more memorable.”
Think about what is interesting to your audience as consumers and utilize that storyline.Tell the story for your audience, and always keep their interests in mind throughout the creative process. Your content should not only spike the interest of your audience, but offer something valuable to them within the story. Whether it’s for further knowledge or entertainment, you must have something to offer that will interest your audience.
4. Be Honest and Show Your Personality
While some degree of enthusiasm is permitted in marketing and in business, it’s not a good idea to embellish your stories just to earn the interest of your audience. The last thing you want is to be known as dishonest and lose credibility.That kind of attention is short-lived and it is not a sustainable approach to marketing.
Sometimes brands are afraid of letting their personality show for fear of being labeled a certain way. The fact is, people connect with other people, and even more so with other people who are similar to themselves in some way.If your story doesn’t divulge something personal or unfamiliar about your brand or business, your story could end up being boring. People don’t spend time with boring stories – they move on to something that is compelling and engaging. Don’t let your story get skipped over. Share your personality and individuality with your audience.
Be Proud of your Story
Storytelling has changed a great deal from cave drawings to 3D movies and is constantly progressing. Overall, there are many techniques to telling a memorable story. Most importantly, be true to your brand and tell a story that you are proud of.
Brad Kuenn is a Content Writer, Editor and Strategist living in Nashville, Tennessee, and he provides research, content topics, writing, editing, and content development expertise to clients. He has a passion for writing as well as art, which shines through in his work. His creativity and attention to detail makes him a valuable asset for a wide range of clients. During his time off he enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and his two dogs Brutus and Kane.
Connect with Brad: Twitter LinkedIn Google+