Most businesses spend a tonne of money on their marketing and see little to no results. As a business owner, the worry starts to set in then, “did we do it right or is the product and service actually good enough?.”
The truth is, you can spend thousands on creating high-quality content such as websites, advertisements and social media pages, but if your story is not clear and relevant, how is anyone going to listen? Sure, a great design will grab the attention, but in addition, it’s the copy that sells your product or service.
Understandably, getting your message right is not a simple task. It’s an art. It requires creativity, vision and a lot of practice. It’s all about trial and error, really, but it’s one of the five fundamentals of social media marketing - inbound marketing.
Storytelling is the marketing tool that will drive the results you’re after. That’s why this blog post will share the art of storytelling and the framework for a great story.
What is storytelling?
Storytelling is the art of delivering a narrative effectively to your audience. Whether your story is factual or not, it allows you to educate, entertain and inspire your audience by communicating what your brand stands for and who your customers are. A story highlights passions that spark an emotion that can be felt and understood to create a sense of community.
Stories are a universal language for everyone, no matter their cultural or social background. It’s like painting a picture with words. But why does storytelling work so well? Because it’s been around for as long as we can remember. Every single piece of content follows a story from books, movies and music right through to advertisements.
That’s why storytelling is so important in delivering a marketing message, as it’s the most effective way to get a message across.
So, with that being said, let’s dive into what makes a great story.
How To Tell A Great Story
In our previous blog, three best social media marketing books you should read, one of them that highlighted storytelling was a book by Donald Miller called “Building A Story Brand.”
In the book, he describes and shows how every piece of content we consume follows a story. And, nearly every story you watch or hear goes something like this:
A CHARACTER who wants something faces a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the height of unhappiness, a GUIDE enters their lives, presents a PLAN and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action will help them avoid FAILURE and reach SUCCESS.
Think about every movie you’ve watched or song you’ve heard. They all seem to follow this same framework, right? Now think of all the advertisements you see on television. The stories may be different, but the framework is the same.
As long as your story has a character, conflict and resolution, you’re bound to tell a story that your audience will want to listen to. But that’s only the beginning.
The next thing you need to do is focus on those elements, research and answer the following questions:
1) Who are the characters in my story?
2) What problems would my character have?
3) What plan would help them solve their problems?
4) How would your characters feel once they’ve avoided failure and achieved success?
If you understand your value proposition well, you should be able to answer the above questions fairly easily, but one important thing to remember is that people are constantly changing. That’s why the constant practice of social listening is a vital marketing tool to understanding what our customers want, what problems they face and how they feel when those problems are solved.
When delivering your story on any medium, whether it be social media, a blog, email or ad, it is essential to follow the framework set out by Auntie AIDA, which Rik Courtneyexplains below:
Storytelling is an art worth perfecting for both your business and your customers. Stories bring people together and inspire action. Remember, customers, don’t buy what you’re selling but rather why you’re selling it. Because let’s face it, there are probably several people doing what you are doing.
Storytelling helps you deliver your “why” in an educating, entertaining and inspiring way.
Download our FREE Five Fundamentals Workbook to get a head start on your brand’s story today!