The internet is brimming with information, and people are too busy to read. So, how can you keep your content strategy effective and make your marketing message rise above the sea of content?
Information overload is one of the marketing problems faced by today’s marketers and entrepreneurs. If you’re one of them, then you know how difficult it is to have your content get noticed, read and digested by your target audience.
However, by incorporating an effective storytelling strategy, you can convey a message that is going to appeal to your consumers.
In fact, Ann Handley, chief content officer of MarketingProfs, expressed in the book Content Rules, the importance of having a bolder, braver and bigger content marketing campaign with an emphasis on storytelling.
Why Storytelling Matters in Business?
You like to tell and share stories to your friends and family, right?
In business, stories are just as important. Through them, you can convey messages to your customers and prospects.
Good and compelling stories surprise people.
They paint a mental picture.
If you don’t have good stories to tell about your business, then how can you make your brand appealing and memorable to your consumers?
Keep in mind that today’s business marketing landscape has shifted, from being brand-centric to being customer-centric.
Therefore, businesses should have to pay attention to their consumers. They must address their needs and wants not only with the products they offer but also through relevant high-quality content.
Businesses can only achieve this by telling a compelling story about their brand and products.
Once you inject effective storytelling into your marketing strategy, your readers will be coming back for more.
“Because our brains value stories over anything else,” said John Bates, CEO of Executive Speaking Success and Business Coaching in his Ted talk session.
Storytelling is, therefore, the best way to make an emotional connection with your audience and get them reeled in.
Fundamental Structure of Storytelling
If a certain story hits you with something very interesting right from the start and encourages you to ponder on it or take action, then that is a good story.
Storytelling is crucial in building sales relationship. It has 3 invaluable key purposes which are:
- To deliver information;
- To persuade customers; and
- To create a personal connection
To make your storytelling effective, you need to learn the fundamental structure for crafting a perfect story. This fundamental narrative structure is called Freytag’s pyramid, named after Gustav Freytag, a German novelist.
Freytag’s concept follows a structure that is similar to a pyramid where the important elements of storytelling are structured. This storytelling formula consists of exposition as the first part of the narrative.
It is this part where the problem or conflict of the story is presented.
This is then followed by the rising action, the climax, and the falling action. The story will then end with denouement where the solution to the problem is presented.
As a marketer, it is essential for you to learn the basics of storytelling and apply it to your marketing campaign.
However, learning the basics is not enough. You also need to know how to make your storytelling effective. That way, your marketing messages can cut through the noise of information overload.
How Can You Make Storytelling Effective?
By now, you know why storytelling means so much for your business.
But what if you are not a good storyteller?
What if your stories don’t get noticed by people?
Just relax and take it easy!
We have here a compilation of proven tips on how you can get your marketing message appreciated and acted upon by people in today’s saturated market.
1. Leverage the power of multimedia
You must embrace the reality that everybody loves multimedia.
In fact, based on LookBookHQ’s survey, press releases that contain multimedia garnered a 77% higher response rate compared to those that are purely in text form.
Moreover, blog posts that include relevant videos got linked to 3 times more than those containing pure text only.
This simply means that people are more visual these days.
Conveying your message through videos that stir up emotions is an effective way of telling your product or brand story.
An old storytelling advice that says “Show, don’t tell” proves it truer than ever in today’s era of information overload.
This means that in addition to your uniquely written posts, you have to mix it with other forms of high-quality content such as videos with compelling stories.
2. Make your story simple yet interesting
In the sea of information, it could be possible that your content can get lost in the scene.
According to a survey, 79% of internet users just scan the content instead of reading it word by word.
So, you have to keep in mind that people have a short attention span.
Be sure to create content that do not get skimmed. Create a title that has a strong impact, and frame a story with information that you want your audience to know.
Additionally, make your brand or product story easy to understand and memorable. Add value to your stories by understanding the reasons why people should buy your products.
You have to be truthful about your products, brand or industry.
Keep the story short but consistent. Remember, no one wants to read long boring stories.
3. Add a personal touch to your stories
You must be aware that people don’t care about your marketing goal. Consumers only want to know about your brand or product. To appeal to them and create an emotional bond, use good stories that relate to their needs.
People want personal stories of real people.
To market effectively to your audience, you must tell them beautiful stories that make your offerings appealing to them.
This explains why adding a personal touch to your story is highly effective. The library is the best place to find beautiful stories. There are many different kinds of good stories that can give you the inspiration you need ‑ from fairy tales to heroic tales.
Content with a personal touch can appeal to even the busiest person in the world. It can move and entice people to read the whole story.
Hundreds of thousands of marketing messages are being hurled at online users on a daily basis. And only those personal stories of real people can stand out in a saturated market.
4. Attention-grabbing headlines can make a difference
If your target audience are busy professionals, don’t expect them to click on your long and boring headlines.
No matter how great your content is, they’re likely to abandon your site the minute they see your awful headline.
Busy people don’t have time to find out whether you have valuable content. You need to have catchy headlines that would drive them to do so.
Always make it a point to think of a head-turning headline for your marketing message. This is one of the best ways you can do to avoid people simply skimming over your content.
5. Keep your content intact
Along with the fact that millions of emails are being sent and 700,000 searches are performed, as well as more than 60 hours of video are uploaded, it’s possible that your content could get lost in various places.
You can keep your content intact by packaging together the relevant aspects of your marketing messages into a consistent narrative.
Remember, if your images, text, videos and other marketing materials got distributed separately online, your content will have the tendency to get lost in cyberspace.
6. Create enticing characters
In brand or product storytelling, you will need to craft admirable characters that your audience will like. You don’t need to create brand mascots or formulate fictional characters to tell good stories.
Although a brand mascot can be a great character to include in your story, it’s not necessary. You can either tell stories from your customers’ perspective or from your employees’ point of view.
You can always effectively present your marketing messages and create stories in a variety of ways.
Remember, what matters most is creating characters your audience can emotionally relate to as they’ll follow your characters’ story arc or take part in the story you are telling.
7. Consider using perpetual marketing tactics
You can make your content an ultimate page turner by incorporating the perpetual marketing strategy.
In this style of marketing, your message feeds off the next.
For example, you can make use of “Watch This Space” in getting your audience hooked on your Facebook page or website. Also, consider using teasers with effective storytelling in marketing through email and social media sites such as Facebook and Pinterest.
This style of marketing technique offers a huge opportunity to combine mobile and offline marketing in your campaign. It leaves your audience coming back again and again for more.
Compelling and effective storytelling can have a powerful effect on people’s attention and can stir up their thoughts and emotions.
If your marketing narrative is well-told, it can resonate well with the right audience including the busy people who only have a limited time to read.
There are many things you can do to deliver engaging stories that cut through the noise in today’s saturated market.
Remember, good stories will captivate your audience’s attention. They can create mental pictures that your audience will remember.
You may know of other useful tips for effective storytelling.
Or perhaps you want to share your experience on how effective storytelling has helped you in your marketing effort.
You are welcome to tell your story below.