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Content Generation: How Storytelling Has Become the Ultimate Marketing Tool
The persuasive power of storytelling in business is nothing new; sales people and public speakers have been using this to engage their audiences for generations!
In a digital world that’s running fast on social steroids, a good story still stands out and entices people to stay awhile and pay attention. Stories don’t have to be long (brief is better, since your captive audience won’t stay forever), but they must be told with authenticity and a personal voice, marketing with a soft sell that is memorable and easy to understand and relate to.
We’ve also seen the effectiveness of this approach in our own efforts at CommCreative. Our CMO Myles Bristowe has experienced the difference a good story makes in the evolution of his well-known Today’s Marketing Cookies series, as he explained in a recent interview, published in A New Marketing Commentator:
“When I first began the project, I think I was trying to prove how smart I was by pontificating about marketing. Then one day, I shared a deeply personal story of when my brother first came home from the Army. The response to a personal story was far greater than anything I had ever written about marketing. Having the courage to share personal stories with my audience has allowed me to form a deeper and more meaningful connection with my fans and followers.”
Savvy marketers tell their tales through multiple mediums, including advertisements, blogs, videos, testimonials and published bylined articles; not just once but multiple times. Using stories to build or strengthen relationships and trust with prospects is the key to this approach.
Storytelling focuses on people, both inside and outside of your enterprise. You can focus on how you or the organization began – what inspired you? Give voice to the staff behind your brand, or tell the story of the people your work has impacted, whether they are consumers, clients, patients or donors.
To ensure that your stories resonate with prospects, be sure to do one of the following:
· Reveal something personal
· Evoke emotion and connection
· Travel a journey with action and resolution
· Include an overall message or call to action
When sharing your stories, remember the impact of adding photos to the mix. Visuals draw more engagement, as evidenced by the growth of Pinterest, Tumblr’s addition of Storyboard, and the 250 million photos uploaded to Facebook each day.
The final key to storytelling is to pull it together – all marketing activities and content should strategically tell the story of how you can resolve the challenges faced by your prospects.
With an approach that weaves a web of stories, you increase opportunities to really engage with your target audience, showing them that you understand their needs and speak their language. The payoff emerges as your prospects start to trust and value your information, sharing it and continuing to come back for more. All good reasons that show why “once upon a time” can lead to happy-ending marketing results!
Photo Credit: monocat