10 Storytelling Essentials For Marketers
You’re not relying on plain ol’ boring facts for your marketing, are you? That doesn’t work anymore. It probably never did.
Today, marketing is all about connecting with people, and building relationships. You do that thru storytelling.
What makes a good story? There are 10 essential elements.
Every good story needs a hero/heroine. Who’s the hero? You are. Why? Because your product or service is going to rescue the client, and save the day.
Every good story also requires a villain. In marketing, the villain is the nasty little problem that is causing your client grief. You, the Hero, will dispatch the villain, and save the day.
Please note: the villain is not your competition. Heroes do not disparage others. That would make them seem small and petty.
3. Love Interest
That’s easy: the love interest is your potential client. You’re not reaching out to some amorphous group. You’re telling your story to an individual– a real person.
It’s up to you– the Hero– to woo the prospective client. You must be passionate and sincere. Passion alone is not enough– you must mean every word you say.
Any unresolved problem creates at least mild suspense. By describing the kind of problem you can solve, you introduce suspense into your story.
Stating the problem creates an awareness-based tension, which is positive. You have brought the problem into the open.
Using scare tactics is a mistake. Such tactics cause fear and resentment, which create negative tension. True heroes stay positive– it’s an important part of their image.
Humor creates a receptive mood. People who are relaxed and happy are more open to your message.
Humor also boosts your likeability. People like to do business with people they like– and they like people who make them smile.
An anecdote is defined as a short account of an interesting or amusing event. In marketing, that equates to brief case studies with happy endings: how you solved a problem for a previous client.
Good marketing creates conflict: do I ignore the problem, or do I take action? Without conflict, prospects will not feel compelled to act.
The happy ending is a happy client. He’s happy because you solved his problem.
Marketing isn’t just about selling. It’s about building a relationship and winning a customer’s loyalty. You do that by solving a problem for a fellow human being.
To sum up: facts don’t persuade, emotion does. That’s why successful marketing campaigns tell good stories.
The power of emotion also explains why good visuals are so essential to marketing. Visuals get attention. They stir emotion and arouse curiosity. Hopefully, my illustration (above) helped motivate you to read this post.
Mark Armstrong has been a commercial illustrator for over 20 years. He’s a Photoshop expert specializing in humor, marketing, communication, editorial, and social media. He believes there’s a visual component to every communications problem. His goal for every assignment: illustration that gets attention, makes a point, and sends the right message.
Mark lives in New Hampshire, USA. You can follow him on Twitter @mrstrongarm, and connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Mark Armstrong Illustration. You can view his portfolio in slideshow format.
Have I missed any? Are there other essential elements a good story needs to have?
Have you ever heard a story that prompted you to buy something, or donate to a cause?
Do you think the above illustration will help you remember the ideas in this post?
Hope you’ll leave a comment.
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