How to Tell a Story Through Content Marketing
Storytelling is as old as civilization itself. It’s how we pass down history, how we teach lessons, and how we communicate with others. Today, that communication stretches into the way that brands engage audiences, using this ancient art to tell their own stories and influence consumers.
People love a good story. So much so that 92% of consumers report that they prefer advertisements that feel like a story. Businesses that are able to successfully integrate storytelling into their content marketing build brand loyalty by allowing their audience to connect with them on an emotional level and gain insight into the company’s purpose.
Whether you’re a mom and pop shop or own a handful of practices, storytelling is an excellent way to improve your content marketing strategy. Small businesses benefit from their ability to directly connect with their patrons, as they are a part of the communities they serve.
Let’s walk through some of the key components for incorporating storytelling into your content marketing plan at your local business.
How to Tell a Story Through Content Marketing
You have a story. Your practice has a story. Now, you just have to figure out how you want to tell those stories to your audience. Inherently, we all know how to do this. We give anecdotes around the conference table and recall memories with loved ones, but when it comes to content marketing, it’s best to put your plan down on paper.
Decide which story you want to tell. Do you have a compelling story of how you became the accomplished owner of your business? Can you describe how your brand has become ingrained into your community over the years? You can even use a testimonial from a client or influencer whose life was positively impacted by your practice. For example, you could follow the inspiring story of a client from injury to full recovery. *que acoustic music*
When deciding how to go about telling this story through your content, keep these tips in mind.
Hook Em’ From the Start
Hey, first impressions count. Generally speaking, you have about 15 seconds, whether that be in text or media, to win your audience’s attention. The best way to make an impact in the first 15 seconds is to use emotionally charged language and compelling images to draw the viewer in.
If you’re telling your story through text, begin with a statistic, quotation, pain point, or other impactful statements that grabs readers attention. For example, if you’re an optometrist, you can cite the percentage of people that experience vision loss or glaucoma in their lifetime. Or, a chiropractor may tell the story of how a client became injured in a car accident. The goal is to get your reader wanting a deeper explanation for the content bomb you just dropped.
In a video, make sure your brief introduction gets to the root of what the topic is so that viewers know what they can expect from the content. Your audience will be more interested in continuing to watch if they feel there will be some sort of reward, such as information or entertainment.
Your text content should always include images to compliment the purpose of the story. The brain processes images 60x faster than it does text, meaning oftentimes, your visual is what captures your audience’s attention.
Try using high contrast photos that really pop on the screen. Appeal to the reader’s emotions, such as triggering a sense of curiosity, empathy, or excitement. The images you choose should be interesting and clearly translate the subject of your story. What good is a great picture if it doesn’t fit the context?
Since you may be using this story in a variety of ways, try to keep your images consistent. Consult your branding and make sure that the images fit in well with the rest of your content marketing collateral.
Create a Campaign
A story can often be spread over multiple blogs, videos, social posts, or other forms of content. When planning your content strategy, decide what your goal is. Do you want to drive more web traffic, attract new clients, or boost social engagement? Set your objective and find a way to track your progress through data. This can actually be very easy to do with online tools, such as Facebook Insights to monitor your page’s engagement.
If you want to carry this branding theme throughout several pieces of content, don’t publish your first piece without first deciding what your next piece will be. Think of each piece of content like a new chapter in your story. Planning your content ahead of time will create cohesiveness and enable you to better communicate with your audience.
Start at Chapter 1
To begin planning your own content strategy using storytelling, consider which narrative you want to follow. Brainstorm how you can use this story to connect with clients and what sort of marketing collateral needs to be created.
Think about which channels you can use to communicate this story, such as your blog or social media platforms. Remember, you don’t have to just stick to one story! This process can be used over and over again with different content. Most importantly, get creative and have fun.