Chapter ONE: The Power of Storytelling

In this guide, I will cover each and every inch of storytelling you need to know before starting your content marketing outlines.

Before we dive into “Power of Storytelling” I would like to set out to do a short introduction of content marketing.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is such strategic marketing that engages and persuades a specific audience to buy your product or service providing valuable, relevant, and consistent content.

Statistics show that 65% of B2B marketers were successful in 2019 using content marketing strategy.

Content Marketing Statistics

And for the very first and foremost approach of content strategy is to set a powerful appealing story for your targeted audiences.

What is Storytelling?

Storytelling is a well-planned process keeping your buyer personas top in mind to present your products like an emotional way to resonate with your audiences. In Marketing or business industry storytelling works like a missile.

Why It is Important?

An average US citizen consume 100500 digital words every day. So what do you think your products or e-books or articles are remembered by them at the end of the day?

No, not at all.

They only remember what makes an impact on them. They remember things like happiness, fear, panic, guilt, amusement, or even hope.

That’s why, if you will be able to make an impact on them, boom! You will be able to sell your products to them.

How do you make up a compelling Story?

According to Simon Sinek, people do not deal with ‘what,’ they only deal with ‘why.’ If ‘why’ is satisfied, then it comes to ‘how’ that ends up with ‘what.’

People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.

Why: Why are you doing what you’re doing?

How: How it helps us?

What: What are you offering to solve this problem?

Simon Sinek's golden circle
Figure: Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle

‘Why and how’ deals with your audience’s feelings and emotions directly.

What deals with the solution to fulfill your audience’s needs.

At the time of outlining your content, think about the ordering of why, how and what.

Now it’s time to look forward to your story’s elements that present your product to your audiences.

Your success depends on most of these elements at the point of view of how you empathize and relate to your audience.

Storytelling (Infographic)

Here is a simple infographic of Storytelling. See, how a story affects our Brain and converts non-consumer to the consumer.

Elements of Storytelling

The art of storytelling begins with three elements.

  1. Character
  2. Conflict
  3. Resolution

Make sure your story should have all of these points to make a better connection with your audience.

Character:

Every story must have characters. It makes sense. A story without characters is like a pool without water. Useless!

Every story revolves around at least one character.

Outlining your content should start keeping in mind your buyer personas.

Who is your buyer?

Is he a teacher or businessman or doctor?

This fictional character(buyer) helps you to outline your goals from the perspective of your buyers’ wants and needs or challenges they would like to face.

So, in that sense, your story should have first person, second person, and third person.

Power of storytelling Characters

First-person

The character defines who is behind the story, the Author.

Example:

 I/We will teach you.

 I/We examined that.

I/We suggested that.

This type of language is more confessional.

Character First Person
Source: Neil Patel

It would be better if the first person is well known.

It helps to build trust quickly. And trust is the best weapon for selling products. Who doesn’t know?

If that author is not well known, no problem.

But if so, then it will be easy to make connections.

Second Person

The character is your audience. Your targeted buyer.

To make a top-class connection with them, make sure you should understand your buyer personas, their pain points, their challenges, their goals.

Example:

  • You will learn
  • You will see
  • You will notice
  • Your competitors
  • Your business
  • Your life, your money

The second person is based on the ‘YOU’ point of view. Tell the story in a way that shows empathy for them.

Character Second Person
Source: Backlinko

Third Person 

These are the characters based on ‘He, They, John’ point of view.

‘Case studies’ hugely impact on this zone.

Example:

  1. My students experienced a successful outcome.
  2. They have founded a billion-dollar company based on the technology(Case study)
  3. Neil, one of my friends, has experimented with this issue.
Character Third Person
Source: Backlinko

Like that. You can present someone while presenting in your story.

If you don’t find a third person, do not worry. Create a fictional character yourself.

You can borrow a case study from others like from your friends or from your mentor or from the internet. Then merge it with your fictional character. It would be a proper way. 

Remember, a story is just a story. It can be both fictional or non-fictional.

Conflict

By this time, you have a proper idea about your characters. Now it’s time to jump into the another most important part ‘Conflict’.

A story should not lack of conflict. A story without conflict is not a story. Instead, it’s just a pitch, tagline, plain statement or absolutely selling intention point.

From marketing perspectives, conflict determines the stages of the buyer’s journey, their problems, their needs. 

What challenges they face every step of their journey and how you help them with your products.

Three types of conflicts generally work in content marketing.

Person to Person

In this process, you need to make your audience realize that their targeted market is so competitive, and they can hardly achieve their goal without your service. They will fall behind if they don’t take any action right now. 

Person to Technology

Make it clear to them how to scale up their business by using technology(your service). How your service saves their time and manpower as well as their cost.

Person to self

In this conflict, you have to make them realize how any individual makes his/her life better using your service.

You can use any of them or all of them based on your business goal. 

Make sure not to be overly dramatic, be genuine. Not to promote your product directly, just determine the problems and solutions.

As you’ve known the types of conflicts, try to come up with any of them in 3 stages given below.

Buyer’s Journey Stages

Storytelling Buyers Journey Stages

Awareness Stage

At this stage, you need to educate your audience. They want answers, solutions to overcome their problems, and you need to fulfil their demands at this stage.

Example:

Evaluation Stage

Here you stand out with your case studies, work sample, datasheets of your solution. Why your solution is best is determined in this section.

Example:

  • This keyword research tool helps 100 of my users to bring success. (Case study)
  • How a lady designed her bedroom with our products. (Photo gallery).
  • These are my 100 plus happy clients happily divorced.

Action Stage

At this stage, someone is thinking of buying products or services. You should not leave them hanging at this stage. You should call them to take action. You may provide a free trail or coupon code or free consultancy at this stage.

This free service will build your consumers’ trust, and they will be confident to purchase from you.

Example:

  • Start 7 days free trial.
  • Use this coupon code for a 25% discount.
  • Fix a date for free consultancy.

Storytelling Buyers Journey Stages Examples

Spend some time outlining the problems, solutions, and services for different buyer’s journey stages. And you will have a better idea of the conflicts you can use in your content.

Make sure your conflict must fit your prospects. If it doesn’t fit, You will fail to establish connections with your audiences. They will lose their interest in going through your content.

Resolution

This is a call to action stage you already went through a little time ago.

It fulfils the purpose behind the story by providing context and emotion for the audience for relating and processing the story.

Example:

A shoe company TOMS have launched a campaign like that ‘If you buy a pair of shoes, we will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need.’

In effect, they have sold more than 60 million pairs of shoes.

Resolution Stage Example

How is it possible? 

They were able to spread social good by that campaign. People thought that they were changing the world by only buying a pair of shoes.

Summary

For successful content marketing, you need to create a powerful, compelling story first and foremost.

Strategy begins with keeping your buyer personas top of mind and thinking through what will work best for them.

Make sure, in the power of storytelling you should

  1. Use conflict to create an emotional appeal.
  2. Be consistent and authentic.
  3. The story needs to be concise and clear.

According to David Ogilvy,

“Tell the truth, but make it fascinating.”

You can find more: The Power of Storytelling

The Power of Storytelling:TEDx Talks

It’s You now

First of all, thank you for ending up this article.

We discussed here the power of storytelling in this chapter. In business, marketing in short in every space storytelling sells better than anything. So time is your’s to apply it.

If you’ve found any value, share it and comment here for letting me know if you have any problems or not. You can contact me for free consultancy.
Regards Niks.

Credit: Credit goes to HubSpot to share this knowledge.

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