Creating content that gets shared on different platforms at a fast pace can be a real challenge.
As social networking websites have developed into visual mediums par excellence, crafting eye-pleasing stories has become one of the most prominent conditions for entrepreneurial success on any market.
In a previous blog post, we introduced 10 foolproof methods to create strikingly beautiful content through storytelling and the most amazing visuals, proving that behind-the-scene photos, shareable pictures, DIY videos, infographics and small portions of reader-oriented, information-rich, clever written material represent the key ingredients of a winning formula for a memorable story.
These are the elements that make a good story truly great.
You may ask: why does it matter? Well, if you don’t like the idea of creating art for art’s sake, maybe you’ll choose to come up with a cohesive narrative after taking a closer look at recent statistics reflecting the importance of storytelling.
How Do You Actually Build Buzz? The Answer May Lie In Storytelling
Maybe you’re not an innate storyteller. Perhaps when you tell your jokes, people scratch their heads and laughter almost never comes easy. Maybe you always have a hard time staying focused.
The bad news is that you have a long road ahead of you.
The good news is that the art and science of storytelling can be mastered.
Here’s a great way to get started:
- Discover and explore the unique particularities of your product.
- Find out how people could profit from these one-of-a-kind features and benefits.
- Think outside the box and tell your story from a different perspective.
A Simple Pattern
When in doubt, follow Pixar’s Andrew Stanton word of advice “don’t give them 4, give them 2+2.” Provide the bait, and let them come to you. Reveal a common problem as a part of the context, describe a struggle, add ounce of mystery, an “aha” moment, a revelation and a sense of accomplishment, and your job is pretty much done for the day.
This is the simplest pattern that you can follow to create buzz around your brand through a well-rounded story.
Five Key Strategies to Apply to Support Your Storytelling Efforts
Here’s how the human brain works: it is hard-wired to retain stories, rather than storing facts and figures for a long period of time.
A recent study mentioned by The Guardian indicates that 63% of the test subjects from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business remembered the story shared by one of their teachers, while only 5% of the respondents cited a statistic extracted from the presentation.
In this context, it’s safe to say that these days, you either have something interesting to say, or you stay silent and go home; this appears to be the unspoken rule that all company owners have to follow on their way to the top.
In this particular set of circumstances, storytelling represents the most effective strategy that brands can put to good use to grow rapidly, naturally and risk-free.
Carefully chosen strings of words can help you gain and maintain the attention, interest and loyalty of a highly selective audience.
Assuming that you are determined to give this approach a try, you may want to get inspired by checking out the five methods to weave premium storytelling in your content, listed below.
1. When Reality Isn’t All That Exciting, Rely on Fiction to Bond with Your Readers
At this point, you are fully aware of the fact that storytelling is a safe bet for your marketing plan. Using the right narrative, you can highlight the realness of your brand, underline the remarkable benefits of your products and separate yourself from your competitors, while also informing, educating and entertaining your readers.
This is what stories do: they keep your prospects engaged and let them know who you are, without giving them the impression that you’re trying really hard to sell them something. This sounds like a lot of fun, but what can you do when you have very few things to brag about, simply because your business venture is fairly new and you have very little experience in your industry? In this case, let your imagination run free, push the creativity pedal through the floor and create a work of fiction reflecting your grand vision, values and purpose in business.
This approach will help you keep your readers on your side, even when you have no other ways to convince them that your product is worthy of their time and money. Stimulate your visitors to exercise their imagination and come up with scenarios that could bring them closer to your product or service. Here’s an example reflecting the style and type of hooks that you should recreate to bring (and keep) your public into your world. “Imagine that you’re a busy entrepreneur striving to cultivate his bond with his audience. What if someone whom you know and trust would tell you that quality content is the secret element that could fuel your support your communication with the people who matter to you the most?”
2. Explore the Enormous Power of Customer Testimonials
Fiction is a great option for startups, but as time goes by, you may get different other opportunities to perfect your storytelling skills and capture the attention of your potential clients.
Your products are literally flying off the shelves. People buy them on impulse, offer you positive feedback and recommend them in their circle of friends.
Why not use this favorable context to your best advantage?
Encourage feedback through the calls to action included in your captivating story.
Kindly ask your readers to craft their own short stories, revolving around their past experiences with your brand. This strategy can get you very far for two reasons. First of all, most people are self-centered and deeply in love with companies enabling them to step into the spotlight. Secondly, customer testimonials are a gold mine for any business, simply because they help their users build credibility and trust. Prospects don’t want to be the first ones to try a product (especially if it’s not free). By showing them that your goods have already been tested and vetted by a large segment of buyers, you give them another good reason to respond to your CTAs.
3. Use Firsthand Experienced As the Catalyst of Your Story
As a Forbes article points out, the ideal story has the power to get individuals in the right state. This trance represents the end result of a physical, emotional and mental process. Your tale emanates a mix of contagious energy and positive feelings, allowing you targeted audience to become a part of your story and pick up on your joy, values, beliefs and enthusiasm.
However, in order to make this work your written material has to display a strong sense of authenticity. In other words, you have to be able to convince your readers that the story happened as you tell it.
Turn yourself into a credible witness by achieving the perfect balance between facts and fiction.
Use hard numbers to support your claims and avoid hypes at all costs.
4. Organize a Brainstorming Session
Assuming that you’ve already crafted a few good stories based on fiction and the feedback that you’ve received from your past clients, what other option could you explore to become a more inspired storyteller?
Here’s an idea: why don’t you ask your team members to support your narrative?
Sometimes, some of the best content ideas come from the people who have already interacted with your brand; who know what you stand for and can resonate with the type of message that you’re trying to send to your clientele. Therefore, rely on the contribution of those who have learned the features and benefits of your products by heart and ask them to tell you how they feel about what you have to offer. How would they rate and recommend your services? What are the best attributes of your goods? What makes your business stand out from the crowd? This valuable input can help you refine your speech and create some of the most believable characters for your next stories.
5. Turn Yourself into the Leading Character That Your Audience Could Resonate With
While establishing a dialog with the members of your team (and various other people in your circle who understand your struggle and are connected with your brand/products on a certain level) is always a good idea, it is extremely important to maintain your own voice.
Employ the “dine and dash” tactic when it comes to collecting and inventorying material for your next piece. Listen to what coworkers and past clients have to say about your merchandise, but don’t hesitate to create one or more alter egos, turn them into the ideal buying personas and convert them into the leading characters of your story.
You can elaborate the most accurate version of the buyer persona based on key elements (location, age, gender, interests, education level, job title and so on) and personalize it using your own experience, insight into your market and your clients’ product use.
The Key to an Interactive Experience through Storytelling Opens All Doors
Through storytelling, you can highlight the elements that you have in common with every other person on this planet.
We are all different, and yet we tend to respond to a wide range of stimuli in a similar manner.
We laugh when we’re happy.
We cry when we’re sad and we frown when we feel frustrated, confused or displeased.
And we trust, love, and appreciate stories and characters that we relate to… which means we’re more likely to buy.
Going beyond the mere act of communicating information, a good story creates creditable characters, sends a powerful message and feeds the empathy and interest of a grand audience.
There are several ways in which you could weave beautiful, compelling storytelling in your content, according to your aspirations, possibilities and creative vision. To make the best choice and come up with a cohesive narrative revolving around your authenticity, spotless reputation, popularity and overall greatness, let a team of professional content creators write and tell your success story.
Featured photo: Canva created with iStockphoto, Stock photo © Valeriy Lebedev. Courtesy batman.wikia.com; Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures