Have you ever read a blog post that you remember to this day? What were your thoughts when you were reading it?
How did the blogger write such captivating content?
From where did he get the idea?
Did you relate to the story you read? Were the sentences engaging enough that you didn’t skim, but read every word?
The aim of the blogger was to weave such a compelling story that the reader wouldn’t want to leave without known the ending!
Storytelling is an online content component that can be utilized pretty easily. However, there are certain steps you need to follow to take your content from good to best. If you are a first-time blogger, then let’s start with the basics:
What is Storytelling?
Conveying the facts through a narrative
If you want to know about a company, you can click the “About” section and read all about its incorporation and founding members. There are sales pages, tutorials, and plenty of other formats through which content can be delivered but where there is a story; people tend to get into it.
Here’s an example:
“We sell shoes that are more comfortable than other companies.”
“Behind every idea is a problem. We had a simple one: heel tend to get too uncomfortable when you are standing for long hours. As an event management firm, most of our female employees faced this problem. They had to take short breaks and relax, or their productivity would drop. This led us to think about what would help them stay on their feet during an event and not feel any pain.”
Which one sounds better? The second story allows you to relate with the problem and tells you that you are not alone. On the other, the first story is short and offers no insight but a statement. This doesn’t mean that the first story does not hit the mark, but the latter is obviously more appealing.
Here’s another example of storytelling that is short but packs quite the punch:
Say hello to iPod.
1,000 songs in your pocket
Good Stories Are Like a Roller-coaster Ride
Stories tend to bring out our suppressed emotions. You can make the audience feel sadness, humor, anger, nostalgia, inspiration, hope, and more. Well-constructed stories target the emotional center in our brain. Most of our daily and life decisions are based on emotions. We like to think that we are making a rational decision, but the truth is that our emotions rule over us. This is what a blogger needs to target.
The 3 Parts That Every Story Should Have
Every story is has three bases. Just like a novel, a blog should also have the following three ingredients:
1. Main Character
Every story must have a hero! You can either choose a well-known figure or a made-up character. This character is the story’s focal point and you want the reader to be in their shoes.
What’s the central conflict? Every journey has one, and so should your content. Write about the obstacles the main character faced, the challenges they had to overcome, and the lesson they learned.
You need to wrap the story with a neat little bow. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a happy ending, but one that clearly makes a point. Lastly, don’t forget the call-to-action!
Now that you know the basics, let’s talk about how to utilize storytelling for successful content marketing:
How to Utilize Storytelling for Your Online Content
Know Your Audience
Who are your readers?
What age group do they belong too?
On what topic have they shown the most interest?
What are their aspirations, hopes, pains and needs?
Answer all these questions and you will know who you are writing for. Also, do a keyword and market research to know what is trending.
Articulate the Story
Do you have a goal in mind? In order for the story to reach that goal, you need to be clear about what you are trying to convey.
Is it the values?
Is it information about your product?
Do you want to motivate people to follow an idea or belief?
In short — be crystal clear and use the same tactic for an inspirational, funny, or dramatic piece.
Don’t Forget the CTA
Once your reader finishes reading the story, what do you want them to do? This is where the call-to-action comes in. It should be in clear sight so that when the reader utters the last word of the blog, their eyes automatically go to the CTA. Make sure that it aligns with your story’s objective so that the reader can make sense of it.
Create a Structure
A rough outline of the structure will give you an idea about how the story will look. Storytelling is not just about writing a compelling story. You also need to be strategic about the placement of the content. The opening should be light and breezy, which gradually builds up to the main point. Once you create a piece that seems coherent to you, you can easily decide what parts are optional, the ones that are important, and what can be eliminated.
Write, Edit, and Refine
These three elements of storytelling go hand in hand. Put your fingers to the keyboard and start writing. Go for volume first and then edit it down. Right anything and everything that comes to mind. Later, you will have plenty of time to review and refine it.
Medium Selection and Distribution Strategy
You are halfway through the battle. Now that you have created the content, it’s time to choose your medium and distribution strategy. Check out WordPress plugins to know what options you have.
Storytelling is one of the most effective tools you can use to convey your message. It’s the ultimate method for content communication that is memorable, engaging, and heart-touching. So follow these steps on how to utilize storytelling for successful content marketing, add in the three elements of the story, and viola! You will end up creating a masterpiece.
Qamar Zaman is the founder and Chief Officer of KissPR Storytelling– a Dallas-based SEO and digital marketing agency. Founded in 2003, the agency has helped several small and medium-sized businesses connect with their target audience. Through this platform, you can share brand stories and personalize them to attract organic leads that can help you with your business’s long-term growth.