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Storytelling 101

Storytelling 101

By - Shannon

Storytelling is an extremely powerful tool that has been used since the beginning of mankind to engage audiences and spread messages. The fundamental rules of storytelling are just as effective today as they were thousands of years ago. As humans, we can’t help but pay attention to a great story.

By reframing your marketing strategy into a simple story, you can tap into human emotions and leave a much stronger impression on your audience. Brands like Apple and Coca Cola know this and have mastered the art of storytelling to drive millions of sales and create strong emotional ties with consumers.

Read on for some quick tips about using storytelling as a valuable tool to sell your brand.

Start Strong

All stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. In marketing, the first few seconds are absolutely the most important, so be sure to drop your audience directly into the action. If your viewer isn’t engaged in the first few seconds, don’t expect them to hang around. It’s no secret that we now consume content more quickly than ever. Give your viewer a reason to continue. Remember, your competitor is only a mouse click away - so say it quick and say it well.

In songwriting there’s a popular quote that goes: “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus.

The Problem

All good stories include an obstacle or some kind of opposing force - a problem, a conflict or a point of interest.

Tension is exciting, and as humans we are hard-wired to pay attention to danger (which is why negative news stories pull approximately 63% more traffic than their positive counterparts). Tales of caution demand our attention and are difficult to ignore.

An excellent way to find your ‘villain’ is to simply think about what problem your brand is solving.

A company that sells mattresses, for instance, might be combatting tiredness. Present this problem to your customer and not only will you be able to grab their attention, you will have also highlighted why your audience needs your product.

The Starring Role

Now that you’ve told the viewer what’s at stake, you can position your brand, product or service as the solution. If your content is a story, treat your product or service as the hero.

By presenting a problem and a solution, you can convert a boring sales pitch into an intriguing story.

Keep It Simple

Storytelling doesn’t have to be in long form (especially when it comes to advertising). In the digital age, we are constantly being bombarded with messages. If you can cut your message down to its core, you have a much better chance of reaching the average consumer.

It’s often the most basic ideas that win out in the end, and the top brands know this - which is why it’s important to cut through the noise by keeping your message short and simple.

Finish With a Bang

The beginning and end are the most important parts of any story, so aim to pack a punch and leave a lasting impression with your viewer. Make it inspiring, make it rhyme, make it a cliffhanger or make it funny - just make sure that it’s memorable. This is your last chance to engage your viewer, so keep it short, punchy and always close with some kind of call to action!

Virtually all major brands use storytelling in some form, so if you can apply some of these storytelling techniques to your content marketing, you should expect to see great results.

Good luck!

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