Once Upon a Time, There was Boring Content
Is your content engaging? Does it pull people in?
The fact of the matter is that most businesses don’t realize that their content is not resonating the way it should with their audience. It’s easy to get into a mindset that what we consider to be the most important aspect of a product or service is what an audience will consider a priority, as well– but this is often not the case.
So, how do you create an engaging, compelling message to connect with an audience without putting them to sleep with details?
An answer to that is applying storytelling fundamentals to your messaging to drive a human connection to your business. People will remember an emotion before logic, and people will be advocates for a business that has established an emotional connection.
Applying Storytelling Elements to Content Marketing
The Golden Circle
Before even discussing applying fundamental aspects of storytelling to your content, you should establish and be able to clearly articulate ‘The Golden Circle’ of your business:
Why? – This is the motivation as to why the business was conceptualized in the first place. This is the feeling or emotion behind your business.
How? – The pain points that the customer has that you can solve. It makes your business special, sets you apart from the competition.
What? – The product or service that serves and ultimately cures the pain points that customers are experiencing.
The next steps in crafting a compelling story include the elements of Character development, conflict clarification and conflict resolution.
This one is pretty easy. You’ll need to decide who is leading the story and from which point of view or perspective it should be told to best serve your specific piece of content.
1st: First-person statements like I or we:
Use first-person point of view when you want to build authority or expertise in the field in which you serve. For example, if you have a piece of content that has wants to convey a message, we do this better than our competition. You would use the 1st person point of view to build trust and top-of-mind awareness when someone is looking to address the pain point that you ‘cure’.
2nd: You statements addressing the reader directly
I am using you statements in this content piece right now. I am building a sense of compassion and empathy knowing that you are reading this as if I am having a conversation with you and only you.
3rd: He/She/They/Them statements refer to a third party.
Using 3rd person point of view is often used when offering case studies, referrals or customer experiences. This plays into building trust, authority and empathy knowing that someone has experienced the same pain points and your company has addressed them and did it the best.
What kind of movie would Halloween be without Michael Myers? There has to be some sort of conflict within a story to make it interesting. Customers begin to identify with you when you are able to establish the character in your content, but now you have to present the problem or need that the character has.
In the marketing world, the conflict is the pain point of the customer. This pain point establishes an emotional connection to the character through the shared experience of having the same issue or problem. This is when a customer truly bonds with the character within the story, and references what stage of the buyer’s journey the customer is on.
In clarifying the conflict within your story, you’ll also need to decide the fundamental purpose of your content – are you looking to develop Awareness, Consideration or encourage a Decision? Knowing this context will guide your story, strengthen its impact and help you to develop a powerful conflict resolution.
The conflict resolution brings the story to a close. For your business, it may be the call to action you want the customer to take like making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter or to encourage website clicks – but just remember that whatever the goal is of your content is what your resolution needs to be in your story.
This could just be a simple button, but every good story needs an ending that proves to the reader it was worth engaging with this piece of content.
So, are you ready to engage with your customers using the fundamentals of storytelling? Be clear, concise and keep on brand. You don’t have to start out every social media post with Once Upon a Time, but you’ll still be able to get the user to pause, connect with your content on some level, take note of what you are offering and recognize the pain point cure you can give them.
And yes, they’ll all live happily ever after. Want to know more or have any questions? Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org