The other day I walked into a sign post. How humiliating!! I was walking with my daughter looking down at her as she recounted how she scored the winning goal at her soccer game, when all of a sudden CRASH!!!!
The sign post and I had a run in. I’m embarrassed to admit that sign post won and I stumbled to the ground in tears and pain. I quickly looked up to see if anyone had been witness to my folly. My gosh! Can you believe it?! 39 years old and I still can’t put one foot in front of the other without crashing into something solid! LOL!
The moral of the story; always look where you’re going!
Did you enjoy my story? Could you picture yourself in my shoes? Does it remind you of a time in your life where you too have done something embarrassing or clumsy and had the occasion to laugh at yourself?
Stories create powerful opportunities for connections. They can teach valuable lessons and explain difficult concepts in such a way that the reader doesn’t even realize they’ve learned something until after the fact. Their entertainment factor creates excitement and engages readers in a way that no other medium can accomplish.
Marketers are quickly jumping on board the storytelling bandwagon and capitalizing on this unique opportunity to inform and connect with their audiences. You may not remember much of what I choose to teach you but you will definitely remember that I walked into a sign post in broad daylight. Tell your story andÂ you’ll find that your brand will live on in the hearts and minds of your readers way into the future!
1.Storytelling Builds Memories
You don’t have to make someone cry. You just have to make them see the story and imagine themselves in it – Kindra Hall
Storytelling creates pictures and imagery that elicits emotions from your readers. It’s a sensory experience whereby which you can introduce elements of touch, taste, smell and feel that have your audience living your message not just reading about it.
Storytelling is also an extremely powerful marketing tool. When you tell a story you build connections to your readers as they find themselves lost in your words and relating to your struggles.
We vividly remember fairy tales because they remind us of our childhood. At the time we didn’t understand that we were learning life lessons and gaining wisdom because it was wrapped up in the words of an exciting adventure. Who knew that Red Riding Hood was really a tale to show us that stepping off the beaten path could lead to danger if we weren’t careful. The adventure drew us in because it was entertaining and engaging and therefore memorable.
Storytelling is a means to create intrigue and excitement while at the same time delivering powerful words of wisdom. Marketing through storytelling creates experiences that remain etched in the fabric of your reader’s memory bank. You’ll want to focus your efforts on illustrating important messages and calls to action.
Your storytelling endeavors are the fairy tales of marketing. Use excitement and adventure to relate important messages and life lessons that naturally draw your readers to action.
2. Storytelling is a Natural Motivator
The moral of the story is: You can catch more flies with honey!
Cold messages and forced sales pitches are direct but lack feeling. The point of marketing is to sell a product or service but without connections your words fall on deaf ears.
Storytelling is the key to creating connections and naturally motivating individuals to take action. The words you weave and the stories you relate emanate emotion and allow readers to develop an unconscious emotional bond with your message.
Take TEDTalks for example. Here they have created a brand and industry that heavily relies on storytelling as a means to relate important information. You’ll often notice that speakers will begin with an introduction that showcases a personal story or experience. Listeners can’t help but be drawn in by these accounts of hardship or misery that end in triumph or personal victory. The momentum builds and naturally leads to motivating words of wisdom that drive home a point or message.
If you fashion your stories in a similar manner you will be sure to be noticed and create a motivational platform that will inspire your readers to follow your lead and take action. Often embarrassing stories with humorous anecdotes attract attention. Laughter is the best medicine and in this case an extremely powerful tool in your storytelling arsenal.
Underlying each story should be a message that creates a call to arms. Embedded within the fabric of every fairy tale is a moral compass that is meant to drive future action and so following suit, your stories must directly drive readers to your desired outcome.
3. Storytelling Builds Relationships
I can’t emphasize enough the role that relationships play in marketing. Your customers must learn to trust and rely on your brand. For trust to occur, relationships must be developed that are symbiotic in nature. Take every opportunity to connect with your audience as they are your bread and butter.
Choosing just the right story is the key. This is where you truly need to know your audience. What motivates them? What do they yearn to understand and learn? Having detailed customer profiles allows you to map out the direction and scope of the stories you should include in your content.
What takes a story from good to great lies in the specific details. Your audience should be poised on the edge of their seat while you’re telling your story. If you’ve done your homework and truly have your thumb on the pulse of your customers then you’ll know how to elicit this type of response simply by paying attention to what interests them.
Word of mouth advertising is the best way to get your business noticed. Your reputation proceeds you and therefore your business depends heavily on referrals and repeat customers. The relationships you build and maintain will create opportunities for this type of advertising to support your future business endeavors.
4. Storytelling Makes Content Exciting
There is a market for every industry and a story for every occasion! You’d be surprised the number of times I get asked to create content that will turn an otherwise boring subject matter into one of intrigue and excitement.
The key here is to understand that questions naturally lead to answers. Someone has asked the question and therefore the answer is out there. How you deliver the answer is what sets you apart from the average Joe and takes a subject matter from boring and dry to exciting and engaging.
You can choose to deliver it straight in the form of a list or a how-to guide. However, these mediums have been heavily overdone and lack the substance to hold the attention of your reader. The benefit they offer lies in their ability to organize information and allow readers to follow clear and precise steps.
Finely tuned stories that incorporate humor and intrigue allow the audience to see the answer through different lenses and from a fresh new perspective. You might want to think of incorporating the use of a unique and funny story in the middle of a how-to list just to create a natural break and sustain interest.
Everyone enjoys the opportunity to laugh at crazy foibles or incidents of hilarity. You can’t be afraid to step out of the box and break the mold of the expected. Add your stories and flip that pancake from boring to exciting in one fell swoop!
5. Storytelling can Make Something Old, New
Give an old idea new life by adding polish and shine and making it uniquely yours with the simple addition of a well-placed story.
New ideas are rare commodities these days in an overly competitive market. Blogging, search engine optimization and content marketing have all made their debut and are now common online features. Creating content that hasn’t already been done is becoming a much harder task.
Why not take something old and revamp it to smooth out the rough edges and deliver it in such a fashion that creates intrigue and excitement?! Storytelling can help you accomplish this feat. Creating content that delivers a familiar topic but adds spice by presenting it with a personal spin is a fantastic means to attract readers and increase your conversion rates.
The Content Marketing Institute reports that nearly half of content marketers are now publishing new content almost daily to several times a week. With this type of output it’s becoming increasingly difficult to come up with new ideas. Brainstorming a variety of subject headlines can assist you to come up with a new angle that addresses the needs and concerns of your target audience. During this process you may wish to incorporate the storytelling process to assist you to deliver your message.
Put on your storytelling hat! Add value to old content by making it new again. With a little elbow grease and an exciting story you will have your viewers on the edges of their seats and seeing your content from a completely new perspective!
Get Your Story On!
There’s nothing like a good story to motivate and inspire. Connections and relationships are formed through the use of personal accounts that add humor and intrigue to an otherwise dry and boring subject matter.
Stories allow us to become personally and emotionally connected to the message. Like no other medium out there, storytelling has the power to motivate readers to action. As content marketers it is our job to inform and enlighten but if we seek to entertain we will create memories that will stay with our readers long after they have left the pages of our sites.
Etch your brand in the memory of your visitors by carefully crafting a story that will intrigue and delight! If you think back over your life, which stories are ones that truly stand out in your memory? What characteristics made them memorable and how can you duplicate their success by creating a story all your own? Take a moment to think about it and then please leave your comments and share your experiences below.