The best content tells a story. It’s easy to relate to a story and that’s why everyone loves them. Creating stories is also a good way to cut through all the dull content on the web with something a bit more interesting.
The Elements of a Story
There are certain elements that any good story must have in place:
Setting – When and where the action takes place.
Character – This could be you, a customer, or someone with a problem that’s similar to those of your customers.
Conflict – Every good story has a conflict. This is the difficulty the characters are trying to overcome, the thing they must do, or their journey. When the conflict is introduced, this adds forward motion to the story. The reader wants to know what will happen and how it will be resolved.
Resolution – This is the happy ending where the conflict is resolved and everyone lives happily ever after. In storytelling content, the resolution says to the reader, “This can work for you too.”
Content presented as a story usually ends with a call to action. This might be one or a series of action steps that you recommend the reader take to handle the present problem. At the end of the story are takeaways that summarize it and show the reader what to do.
You can use storytelling in any kind of content, whether it’s a blog post, a video, or even a single image. But you also need to create a brand story for your content brand.
The brand story has the same elements:
Setting – When and where you started, the environment in which you started, how and why your brand came into existence.
Characters – Those behind the brand and the supporters who helped it grow.
Conflict – The problem or problems your brand set out to solve and the difficulties, challenges, or setbacks you faced along the way.
Resolution – How your brand overcame the problem to reach where it is now.
Guidelines for Creating Good Stories
When telling stories, use your natural voice. Let your personality come through in the story. People love reading stories in part because of their personal nature. A good story will help your readers resonate with you.
Another thing that will help your story resonate is to create likable characters. When a reader likes a character or feels an affinity with them, they root for them throughout the story and have a much more emotional experience reading it.
A great element for any story is failure. We love stories about someone who failed or gave up, only to persevere and succeed at the end. Don’t be afraid to admit your failures and show a bit of vulnerability.
Don’t stick only to text stories. Experiment with storytelling in as many media as possible.
1. Think of a difficulty you overcame that could help your customers and outline the story behind it.
2. Write your brand story using the elements above of setting, characters, conflict, and resolution.
3. Select the media you would like to use, to communicate your story, such as text, images, video, audio, or even an interactive webinar. It can also be any combination of different media.
4. Now, produce your story in the media you selected.
To Your Success.