Let’s get this out of the way, you are not a storyteller. Now, why is your favorite Sacramento web design blog telling you this? Because you need to focus and set your sights right.
You are not the next Tolstoy, Virginia Woolfe or Charles Dickens. You are not, and will probably not ever be an “actual storyteller” in the classic sense of the word. And this is quite important when it comes to content marketing.
As of late “storytelling” has become the sort of a buzzword in this content-marketing community. At times it seems as if its being sold as a magical elixir of “profit inducing” qualities. Like with most trends though, there is much that is useful, aside from the hype.
So why is storytelling useful then?
When marketers first tapped into the power of “telling a story”, it merely meant that you shared something personal with your audience. That’s it. It didn’t mean you had to make these super elaborate stories with special plots and twists and turns.
It just meant that you related to your audience like an actual human being. You know, like how you tell a personal story to a personal friend. “Become a storyteller” sounds more fancy, so that’s why it caught on.
If it were closer to reality, the advice would have said “Talk and relate to your potential customer as if they were a personal friend”. And this is another keyword right there “relate”.
The easiest way to “storytell”, just relate!
Now you can find all sorts of fancy guides to storytelling on marketer blogs. Some look like a marketer version of “war and peace”. In my opinion they just over-complicate a rather simple matter. This is because over-complicating sells, while simplicity doesn’t.
We’re here to give you what works, not to make your life harder, and we much prefer the 90/10 rule. If you want to use all of the benefits of “storytelling in content marketing” just focus on relating.
Whenever you write an article (or script a video or audio), empathize. Imagine what your customer avatar is feeling, thinking and feeling. Imagine what their fears, frustrations and worries are. Is there something bothering them?
For example, are they suspicious about certain facets to the topic you’re about to delve in? Immediately relate to them by sharing a piece of you. It can be about how you, yourself were a skeptic at one time. It may be about how a friend of yours was skeptical.
But how do you know what to relate to?
You don’t know these people for real. But there are some things you can guess about them if you just sit down and think about it. Ask yourself a few important questions.
If you answer these questions, you have a great start at empathy.
And the great thing about the empathy formula? It’s easy to apply!
It doesn’t matter what topic you are writing about. Just make it your mission to always consider the reader’s perspective. Put yourself in their shoes and immediately relate to their thoughts, feelings, fears and desires.
“…treat people with understanding when you can, and fake it when you can’t
until you do understand.”
If you’re not getting it yet, we’re talking about empathy here. The ability to “feel for” and try to understand other people. While you might think that this is limited to offline one-to-one interactions, it isn’t so.
There is an art to empathizing with a random reader or viewer – the best Sacramento web design team can help you with that
Obviously “empathizing through content” will never be as good as empathizing with a living, breathing human right in front of you. But you can still try and cultivate such an ability, it just requires knowing a few tricks.
You might be aware of how fortune telling works. It tells vague statements that may or may not true. The target simply picks up on what is true, and ignores what isn’t.
Now you shouldn’t be deceitful on purpose. That’s not the point here. The point is to understand that people will pick up what is in fact relevant to them.
2) Make it conditional
While you’re generalizing, precede every generalization with a condition. Let’s imagine that you are creating a video that explains a fitness regimen.
For example you may say “now, you might be watching this video because you want to lose a few pounds”, “or you might just be interested in increasing your wellbeing“, “or you might be here because you just want to get more toned”, “whatever the reason you are here, I’m about to end all of your frustrations with some amazing fitness tips”.
See what we did there? We mentioned 3 different generalities that might be true about your viewer. They’ll pick out the one that applies to them and feel understood and empathized with. And then notice how in the end we related with a generalized “frustration”?
This doesn’t mean you have no use for more complex “storytelling” advice
If you ever find the time or inclination to study those more complex guides on “storytelling”, feel free to do so. Realize that these simple tips I’ve shared with you should account for 80% of your results.
And if you want to summarize this entire article in just one word, remember this “Empathize”. It really is that simple. The other guides you read with more complex advice, maps, charts and strategies, are really dealing with details.
When you focus on the “core” of something, most details tend to take care of themselves.