A Novel Approach to Content Marketing – The Art of Storytelling

iStock_000054794662_MediumWhat makes a brand unique? One of the greatest challenges that businesses face when it comes to establishing their identity within the online world is standing out from the competition. The right story can define a brand, and the power of storytelling can help to turn digital marketing efforts into something new and truly engaging for your target market.

Today, customers don’t like to feel as though they’re being sold something wherever they turn online. Storytelling can help you to connect with your audience on an emotional level – ensuring that the relationship you develop is one based on loyalty and mutual value, rather than a desperate need to sell.

Storytelling Makes Connections

Storytelling is an art that has existed for as long as our species. Interruption marketing on the other hand – spam, telesales, direct mail and the like – is in its death throes. No consumer wants to stick around to read content based entirely on provoking a conversion. Businesses need to find a way of hooking their audiences’ attention, and keeping it, before your message ends up getting lost in a sea of competing voices.

The notion of storytelling in content marketing has never been more popular than it is today, and it works by convincing companies to tell their story in a context that gets people thinking about their own lives, problems, and needs. At its heart, storytelling is about using a setting, storyline, and characters to take an audience somewhere and prompt a reaction – and that’s the main aim of content marketing too!

The results can be enhanced by word-of-mouth and social media, which help to drive increased traffic towards your website, improves interaction, and raises brand perception.

Know Your Audience

If you’ve ever engaged in storytelling before, through the creation of a script, simply by reading to others, or being involved in a video production, you should know that the way you tell your story will change depending on the audience you’re speaking to. Many companies find that it’s useful to develop marketing personas, as these can help to define which parts of the market are most likely to consume the content that you will be creating. The right persona can offer an insight into the factors that motivate your audience into engaging with your services and products – and what they want most from you.

Have Something Valuable to Give

The best stories will always be the ones capable of creating a response in the reader. Marketers are often tempted to try and persuade their audiences that their products or services are the best at all points of the content marketing experience – but this is rarely valuable (or interesting) for the reader. Today, you need to compete for your audience’s attention, and this means convincing them that you have something valuable to give.

Almost 75% of all adults use social networking sites today, and companies can use this platform to learn more about what their audience is talking about. If you can find out what matters most to your target market, then you can adjust your storytelling techniques to cover topics that are relevant to their problems, and needs. The more you do this – the more valuable you become.

Know Your Story

Remember, once you’ve decided to take advantage of storytelling as part of your content marketing strategy, it’s important to remain consistent with the image you present. Getting organized and ensuring that you present the same voice and tone across every social media channel, website, and marketing platform you use is the best way to develop your brand identity, and help your audience develop a sense of familiarity and loyalty with your company.
Decide on your story in advance and know exactly how you want to tell it. If you’ve used storytelling in your marketing techniques before – let us know what worked best for you in the comments below!

Coming soon – an article that will prove beyond reasonable doubt that every single idea, fact and statement in the above post is correct. Stay tuned!