Storytelling is ancient. Ever since humans could first speak – or far beyond that – we were telling stories. So, how is it still relevant? And what falls under the term “storytelling”?
What Is Storytelling And Why Is it Relevant Today?
Storytelling is, in essence, sharing a story of an adventure, an event, a person or something else with other people. Stories make people feel something, and that is their premise. They are full of emotions, lessons and valuable knowledge that the readers can use in life.
“It takes a master to tell a really good story. If you can manage this – make people feel something – you have succeeded,” says Bella Fox, a chief editor at Writinity.
As a brand, you can tell stories that help people understand you, your origins and products which helps people trust you more.
Shouting about your product and how great you are is not really that effective. On the other hand, gently telling a story that has meaning and value as well as being entertaining is an incredibly effective way to invite people in.
How To Include It In Your Content Marketing?
Including storytelling in your content marketing isn’t that hard. In fact, you could start doing it right away. Here are some pointers:
Using Amazing Images
Images are an inevitable part of a story. Humans have always been incredibly responsive to visual cues. So, take some great images or hire someone to do it for you. NatGeo is an excellent example of effective use of images – they use them to cause wonder, curiosity, interest and so on. This way, they invite people in.
Visuals are attractive and they bring attention to the content that tells the story.
In the future, we will probably see more of video stories as well or interactive storytelling which uses all sorts of media to compile a great story.
Hooking With The First Sentence
“The first sentence of your content should be compelling enough to make the readers read the next one. And the next one, and the next one,” says Anton Buck a content writer at Draftbeyond.
You can use this first sentence to reveal the mystery of the image or entice even more mystery, ask a question and so on. That first sentence is crucial to the sucess of your content.
Telling a story
Now comes the most important part.
“A good image and a gripping first sentence will be of no use to you if the rest of the story is bad. So, give detail, tell the story with the right words and tools, invest your time in making it shine and pop off the page with all of the senses and feelings,” Says Erin Gabe a communication manager at Last Minute Writing and Lucky Assignments.
No Branding Or Promotions
Finally, the most crucial part of storytelling is in what is missing – branding and promotions. To tell a good story, you need to remove all of it. It will do the job on its own, without you shoving your message down their throats. Essentially, the good storytelling will be the thing that represents you rather than links and pointers at your landing page. After the story is done, users should be looking for the landing page themselves.
Use Various Tactics
A good story should do several things:
- It should be entertaining or moving
- Be useful
- Immerse you into its world
- Have great visuals
- Be as detailed as possible
- Provide a good user experience
- Include optimized data visualization
Of course, not all stories are going to have all of these elements but they should tick almost all of the boxes. At least one of two is a good place to start.
Storytelling is an art to be mastered and it’s here to stay. Brands will have to dedicate a lot more time to storytelling than they used to just because of the sheer beauty of this concept. Hopefully, these tips will help you create great stories and improve your brand with them.