It’s a fact. We all love a good story.
From being tucked up in our beds as children listening to our parents read us the dark wonders of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grim through to being gripped on the train by the latest works from Larson, Jo Nesbo, Rose Tremain or Nelson De Mille – the engagement of storytelling is timeless.
Therefore, when considering the creation of content that compels others to share your content, and therefore, amplify your message, what better way to start than to think about the stories you can be creating about experiences around your products and services.
Let’s take a quick look at some storytelling ideas:
Educating others about the range of solutions you provide
You may already have FAQs or user manuals/guides in place – but I suspect reading through them as they currently stand is pretty dry. So, now I want you to be thinking about how you could create an educational story about your products or services? You could perhaps create a character that is having specific problems, it could be written as a dialogue – or written in agony aunt style – with My Problem – Our Solution. Either way – already, you can see that those suggestions are already a lot warmer and more compelling than a dry list of FAQs that run on for pages.
Sharing real life examples of what’s working for others
Case studies are actually perfect stories. Here you get the opportunity to use real life experiences – from both your perspective, and the client perspective. If the information is sensitive and your client does not want their name exposing, you can just use a generic term eg: Cosmetic Dentist in London – rather than citing their actual company name.
With a case study you can provide detail of what was happening before your involvement, how you managed the project and the outcomes. A start, middle and end – perfect structure for a successful story. And of course, you can always have a ‘to be continued’ element whereby you keep adding to the story as things progress further.
Sharing expertise and thought leadership
Your opinion and viewpoint can be turned into a story. Let’s say there’s something really topical in the news or trending in social – then you can create a story around your thinking. This enables you to share your personality, your viewpoint and showcase your experience and expertise in a specific area – growing your credibility as a thought leader.
It could be that you interview someone, or have a Q&A session – or undertake a piece of research and build a story around that. These examples and the above are just a few ways in which you can be considering creating compelling stories to share as part of your communications strategy.
As well as the classic great authors throughout time who have told stories – there are some wonderful digital classics to follow too. Seth Godin is a great story teller. And his daily blog is always widely shared - for the very reason that he’s sharing compelling and thought provoking and educational stories.
I suppose the key message here is to get creative, don’t hold back on how you can be leveraging storytelling in your marketing and content strategy. After all – you are what you share, so be sure to make that content as compelling as possible.
@Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative – the online visibility experts. A digital marketing and design agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The agency covers all aspects of online visibility - covering social media marketing, social media management and social media training, and user friendly conversion focused website design.
For marketing and social media advice – view the Carvill Creative Blog