With rapidly shrinking attention spans, it’s getting increasingly difficult for brands to truly engage their customers. But there’s still hope to increase your conversions with storytelling techniques.
Wonder why storytelling is such a buzzword among content marketers?
Because it’s extremely effective in not just driving your audience to read your content, but to take ACTION.
It has been around even before we’ve been writing and recording events in those cute history books. It’s a fundamental communication method.
The only change is how these stories have been told:
From oral delivery along with gestures and expressions to rock arts to plays/music/movies.
Now we have the ability to effortlessly tell our stories in the form of videos, blog articles and social media posts. All shared with the click of a button.
What many brands forget when pursuing storytelling marketing is…
The foundations of memorable stories.
Until you have an engaging plot, relatable/amusing characters, and a thrilling climax, you won’t catch your audience’s attention.
Want a preview of the results you can get by using storytelling in your marketing?
Look no further than Raven+Lily – an online women’s boutique store that wanted to create a sustainable global eCommerce business. So they initiated a site redesign to improve their customer experience.
As a part of the campaign, they incorporated stories from the women they work with by conducting interviews and taking pictures.
Image from: marketingsherpa.com
Want to know the result of this product storytelling?
Within 2 years, they increased their sales by 150%.
I am sure you would love to achieve such results for your brand. So I’ve put together 5 compelling storytelling techniques to make your content marketing more enchanting.
1. The Classic Hero-Conflict-Resolution Plot
I am sure you’ve seen many movies that are structured into the classic three-act structure.
It’s a screenwriting model that divides your narrative into 3 parts –
- Setup – Introducing and establishing chief characters, exploring their relationships and creating a setting. Compelling stories also have a strong hook and a powerful conflict.
- Confrontation – After creating a solid frame for the narrative, you move to the meaty part to keep the story moving forward. The characters develop and become aware of their unfulfilling skills that can’t resolve their problems.
- Action – After a couple of turning points, the final act is the snappy conclusion. All the loose ends in the story are tied up and the main story tensions rise to their peak.
Image from: wikipedia.org
Want a brand storytelling example that incorporates this technique?
Then watch the video produced by Dollar Shave Club (DSC) below. It has 22 million+ views and has been lauded repeatedly in marketing circles.
I bet you couldn’t skip the video. It’s short, quirky and entertaining.
The concept behind their product is simple – an affordable razor subscription service that cuts through their high-priced competitors.
The video production cost came at about $4500, it went viral in a couple of days, and DSC ran out of inventory in 6 hours. It also helped them acquire 200,000 active customers in 1.5 years.
The way Mike delivers content is commendable and can be reverse engineered to the 3-act structure:
- He introduces DSC in a sensational manner: “Our Blades Are F**King Great.”
- Then he addresses the major pain point of his target audience: expensive $20/month razors. He also introduces a subplot “making jobs” with a new character.
- Mike ends by saying the “party is on” and broadcasting that DSC has the solution to expensive branded razors.
2. If it doesn’t interest your audience, then there’s no story to tell
I forgot to tell you an important aspect of the first technique…
Your audience is THE star that needs to connect and get captivated by your story. That’s why knowing your customer is critical if you want to deliver on their expectations.
Generally, your prospects are the characters of your stories. Even if they aren’t, you can leverage customer personas to understand what your customers need in every situation.
HubSpot offers a free template that you can use to create a persona. It will contain demographics, goals, challenges, objections and other characteristics of your prospects.
Image from: http://blog.hubspot.com
A terrific example of a blogger that keeps audience interests in mind is Bryan Harris. For launching his course, he picked ideas from his blog posts that were most popular and converted the best.
Image Source: videofruit.com
Then he created a focus group of a select few members and asked them for their opinion on the course.
Image Source: videofruit.com
Based on the feedback, he launched a course and ended up making over $200k in 10 days.