Know, Like, And Trust: Why You Should Use Storytelling In Your Content Marketing And How

15 years ago, when we started XYZ, we just wanted to sell an insurance product that helps parents see their children through university education.

That small goal grew out of our hands. It helped Mark, Rhoda, and Taiwo become successful Nigerians who excelled in reputable schools in the UK. To Mark, Rhoda, and Taiwo, when asked whom they owe their success to, they said their parents.

“They gave their all despite being uneducated themselves.” They chorused.

“It’s XYZ.” Their parents said when asked what changed.

And our story changed for good…

Let’s change yours!

Storytelling is one of the most proven content marketing strategies to capture the attention of your audience. It works like magic as the effect it creates on humans is rather more emotional than physical.

Why storytelling?

The storytelling technique in content marketing has been used repeatedly by reputable brands to build a community; induce trust, and build strong market loyalty. With storytelling, you can infuse the emotional human element into your brand. Rather than making your relationship strictly transactional, storytelling can help you show them how much your brand is interested in solving their problems and providing them with unquantifiable value at no risk.

For example, the now-famous Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) came into the limelight through its story of origin and inception. Every brand has the “how it started” and “how it is going” story. When you integrate that into your brand, it makes your brand relatable and potential customers trust you enough to put their money in your hands.

There are many storytelling techniques for content marketing like testimonials. For instance, when it comes to money-related stuff, most people aren’t early adopters. Only a few are willing to be the first to try something new and pay heavily for it. However, the table is completely turned when you are able to share the user experience, testimonies, of these early adopters.

The following vividly explain why you need to leverage storytelling in your content marketing effort:

1.      Stories motivate, persuade, and capture the attention of your audience

From the story of the unusual inception of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), people are inspired and motivated to be a part of the vision. What motivates like a story that tells of how a brand struggled and almost gave in after many failed attempts, but got a windfall? Mind you, you don’t need to fabricate a lie to persuade your target audience. Rather, focus on connecting to them emotionally by understanding where they are coming from and where they are going. Your story must revolve around the things common to them.

2. Storytelling engages your audience and builds trust

Attention is scarce. But, that doesn’t mean your target audience can’t spare your brand any. When you leverage storytelling the right way in your content marketing strategies, you stand a greater chance of engaging them for longer periods than usual. And once your story is relatable, you win their trust with time.

3. Stories strikes the call to action (CTA) effect

When a good story is conveyed, it spurs the target audience to action.

As they like your brand from your story, they immediately attach themselves to all that your brand represents. However, your story must be communicated the right way in other to produce this needed effect.

Here are a few tips to observe while using storytelling in content marketing:

·         Use relatable characters

I want to assume that you’ve taken time to study your audience and observed their peculiar needs before now. Then, from your findings, create characters whose problems are similar to that of your audience. This way, your audience gets to see themselves in your story.

For instance, Nivea has this storyline of a young girl who is being wooed by a “fictional harmattan character” and other great-looking guys. They have used this story for some years now to retain their audience and although it is mixed with humour and brand influencing, the audience loves it.

·         Tell authentic stories

Lies may bring your audience but it will never retain them.

You may be tempted to fabricate a couple of lies to make your story juicier, but don’t. There are stories all around you. From how you solved a client’s problem and increased their income by a certain percent to having an impressive organizational culture where your employees become top-tiers among their colleagues in other companies. Your audience wants to connect with you emotionally. Cook no lies!

In content marketing writing, this is mostly applicable while telling stories of origin and testimonials. Your goal is to keep your audience and not to deceive them.

·         Always start with your best shot

I know you’ve often been advised to save the best for the last, but that may not work here. You must get your content marketing audience hooked and captivated at the outset if you want them to keep following your story.

For example, the title of the story must provoke suspense and interest in the audience. Instead of saying “How I found my purpose”, which is not a bad title, take it a bit higher by using “How my life shifted from zero to a hundred in a week” or “How I walked into purpose after many failed attempts and discouragement”.

Always come up with something captivating. You get the idea, right?

·         Keep it straight; use facts and figures

Now that you have the attention of your audience, you have to retain it.  Never beat around the bush. You are more likely to bore them if you do.

Stay vivid. Show, don’t tell. Use facts and figures. It makes the story more credible, interesting, and easy to grasp.

Storytelling can boost your content marketing strategy in 2022 if you do it the right way. Plus, you can use different storytelling approaches. Use interviews, podcasts, IG reels, YouTube shorts, jingles, paid adverts, etc. Whatever method you choose to adopt, ensure that your story is compelling enough to evoke your emotions if the tables were turned and you were to be in the shoes of your audience.

Cheers.

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