In the world of Content Marketing, Storytelling is the new darling. It has taken over the world of online marketing and is currently one of the most critical business skills that engage your audience and lead to higher conversions. The reason behind this is relatively simplistic: storytelling puts your audience in the narrative, plunges them into action, and makes it more personal to them.
There is no doubt that storytelling is compelling. However, how do you use storytelling in your marketing? Below we will examine seven storytelling techniques that you need to use this year to make a difference.
1. Make The Story Personal
You can state all the facts and numbers you want and give impressive statistics related to your product. You can outline the advantages of your product and compare it to other competitive ones. However, nothing you say will connect with your audience unless you make the story personal.
People crave more than just facts and numbers. Our brains are wired to find connections that resonate with us. When the story is personal, it will connect with your audience, and they will feel a personal connection to your product or services. You are not just telling your story; you are also showing their story.
When you make the story personal, do not be afraid to show your weaknesses. Nobody is perfect, and when your audience sees your honest side, they will make a connection with you and trust you (and your product or services) more.
2. Make The Story Visual
Humans are visual beings. Visual stimuli are more potent than auditory or verbal. A picture is a thousand words, and you should use photos in your story. Make it visual and bring your story to life.
However, beware not to use images that set your audience apart from your story. Sure, beautiful models with stunning couture clothes, immaculate makeup, and gorgeous coiffure cooking using your kitchen appliances, are more appealing than the housewife-next-door. However, this takes away from the personal effect you are trying to create.
Make your story more personal by using images of real-life people using your products or services. Do not use actors or models; it is harder to form a personal connection with your story if the visuals complementing your story do not resonate with real life.
3. Use Action to Keep them hooked
Your audience will quickly get bored if there is no action. You need to keep the pace of your story moving and your audience engaged. Of course, action should not include hype chase and run, of the movie type. Action can be subtler but indicated with the use of dynamic action verbs.
Try to include as many action verbs in your storytelling to keep up with the story’s tempo. Use active rather than passive voice and use verbs that describe what is happening rather than what state things are.
4. Have Characters (No Matter What Message you Want to Convey)
Stories need good guys and bad guys. The quintessential battle between good and evil should find its way in your storytelling to make it successful. Of course, your audience should always be portrayed as your hero fighting the evil enemy.
For your storytelling to be compelling, you need to ask yourself: What is the enemy of my audience, and how can my product or services help my customers combat this enemy?
The enemy can be a tangible thing (like hailstorm if you are offering hailstorm roofing services) or a fear within your hero (potential sickness if you are offering health insurance).
When you put your audience amid your storytelling (albeit inadvertently) as your hero, you make your product or services even more appealing.
5. Use Conflict In Your Story
A story without conflict is dull. If you have a hero and an enemy and nothing happens between them, there is no point in having an enemy. Conflict will bring the problem to the surface and the forefront of your audience’s attention. Friction will also demonstrate the need for your services or products without which the conflict cannot be resolved.
For instance, if you sell spyware protective services, you need to show how your audience may find themselves in distress when there is a security breach in their systems. Showing that your services are the obvious solution to resolve this conflict, you are more than likely to convert your audience to clients.
6. Add Surprise Or Suspense
To keep your audience captivated in your story, you need to add surprise or suspense. These elements are as essential in your story as any other component. Stories without twists and cliffhangers are boring and mundane, and your audience will soon lose interest.
Surprise your audience with the positive outcome of using your products or services. Show them how easily the conflict between enemy and hero can be resolved with a pleasant surprise at the end, compliments of your services. Alternatively, add a bad surprise to your story and show your audience what happens if they choose to forgo your products or services. Whether it is good or bad, every excellent story should have at least one in it.
Similarly, add a little bit of twist and suspense and offer your audience some cliffhangers to ponder “What if?” Let them question what will happen if they do not use your products and choose not to convert. If you raise a question in their mind, they will want to find the answer. More often than not, they will find the answer to what you are selling.
7. Use Language That Resonates With Your Audience
When stating facts, numbers, and statistics, formal corporate language is your go-to option. When you are storytelling, however, you should avoid formalities and talk like you usually speak. A story cannot resonate with your audience if it is full of formal jargon. Avoid using words that nobody understands because you will lose the power of your storytelling.
Tell your story the way you talk to your friends. You want to make a personal connection with your audience, and capture their attention, engage them long enough to lead to conversion. Formal language is tedious and tiring. You would not use it in a casual conversation with friends. Why use it in your storytelling and ruin everything you are trying to accomplish?
In the world of content marketing, storytelling is the new darling. It is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to connect with your audience effectively. Marketeers swear by it, and the audience are captivated when they are plunged into the action of these stories. Storytelling can be a powerful tool at your hands if you follow these techniques. Which one of these techniques will you use in your next story?