We discussed the benefits of storytelling in your content marketing strategy, but we glossed over the how. Though the idea is easy to understand, the process of storytelling isn’t so easy. Instead of simply speaking to your target audience, the idea is to engage them with purposeful, relevant narratives.
To effectively carry out your brand’s narrative through storytelling, you must follow certain steps to achieve your overall marketing goals. Here are a few key elements we integrate into every content marketing strategy.
1. Customer Profiles
How do you know if your story will be interesting to your target audience? Well, you first have to know who that audience is; what are their likes, their hobbies, their demographics and psychographics? Once you determine who your audience is, you can tell them a story to which they will respond.
Once you know your audience, think about the questions they may already be asking themselves. Are you meeting them halfway with relevant content? You don’t need to be a mind reader to determine what your audience is thinking. Practice good audience listening through your social channels and website analytics to see where their interests lie.
2. A Useful Message
Though you may be sharing an interesting story, it won’t benefit your brand’s marketing goals if the message doesn’t have a purpose. This premise can be the hardest piece of your content marketing strategy, especially since your business’s goals are likely to change and grow over time.
To keep your story relevant, think about the purpose of each, individual piece. What are you trying to accomplish? Continue to listen to audience feedback — like blog post comments, social conversations, and campaign analytics — to see how your audience’s purpose changes over time. Make sure your content marketing purposes align with your customer’s.
3. Create the Story
You’ve determined your audience and identified the purpose of your piece, now it’s time to craft your story. Storytelling stays true to form in every media — marketing included — so be sure to incorporate the timeless story elements — characters, settings, and plots.
Not every story in content marketing will incorporate a plot, but characters are vital. Often, your character will be your brand in general. Occasionally — with long-form content — you’ll want to incorporate more tangible characters with whom your audience can relate.
The driving component of your stories setting is the scope. That is, does your brand focus on the future, like a technology company sharing their vision? Or, instead, does your scope focus backward by giving reference to your dedicated years of service? Whatever your scope, be sure to focus on moments that will also matter to your audience.
The layout and design of your marketing piece tell a story. Especially with photos or videos, people only need a few seconds to make an emotional connection.
What message is your design attempting to send? Does it support the story of your advertising piece, or is it distracting from it? These questions are imperative to the success of any storytelling campaign.
The best content marketing strategy is encouraging your audience to do the work of sharing and promoting the content for you. However, for your audience to do the work, your content needs to be worthy of sharing.
The prime way to make content share-worthy is to follow the previous steps. If you incorporate purposeful stories that invoke an emotional response, your audience will want to share it with their family and friends. You can also double-down on this tactic through a call-to-action that encourages readers to share.
Are you ready to elevate your content marketing strategy? The team at Concept Marketing can assist in determining what makes your brand unique, and then tell its story to the world. Let’s get started!