3. Make It Personal: People Crave Authenticity
Your customers don’t want repetitive sales pitches about your products shoved in their faces. They follow your blog and social media profiles because they want to see your personality shine.
So don’t fear getting labeled a certain way. Stay authentic and genuine in your messages. For people to connect with you, they need to feel like you’re one of them.
Unless you let go of your inhibitions to let your audience see the REAL YOU…
They might get bored and stop trusting you.
How can you stay relatable and engage your audience?
Take your cues from internet market influencer Neil Patel. He has built a massive personal brand by ensuring that he responds to every audience member that pose a question to him. He also shares snippets of his personal life on Facebook that receive tremendous engagement.
Image from: facebook.com
Another great example is Tim Ferriss. When an audience member requested him to address challenging issues like depression and suicide, he didn’t shy away. Rather he opened up about how he overcame his personal struggle and did not commit the lethal act.
Image from: fourhourworkweek.com
4. Speak With Flair In The Language Of Your Audience
Storytelling isn’t actually about language. It’s about creating compelling experiences for your audience to FEEL something in a certain manner.
But if you come across as dishonest and uninteresting:
Then you’ll lose your appeal and your audience’s interest.
Hence you’ve to ensure that your audience can decipher and visualize your words.
The first aspect that you need to ditch in this context is reciting formal and sales-y prose. Keep it natural and conversational. Sound like a real person, not some corporate stooge.
Image from: usersthink.com
Next, perform keyword research to find the EXACT words used by your audience to describe their challenges and pain points. You can stalk niche forums, Quora and keyword research tools to do the same.
Lastly, don’t write in the usual manner. Instead, imagine your article as a conversation with a member of your audience (the persona you created in technique #2). You’ll write spoken language that’s appealing and more engaging.
Brian Dean regularly seems to write in such a conversational tone in his posts. He regularly poses questions to the reader, highlights important pointers inside the article with bold and capitalized words, and overall keeps his tone relaxed.
Image from: backlinko.com
5. Facts Can Only Do So Much…It’s All About Emotions
Do you know that when you hear a story you act as if you’re living the story?
Evolution has wired our brains to storytelling. Now stories are incredibly powerful in activating all the areas of the brain that you would use when experiencing the events in the story.
In contrast, facts, statistics, and data only activate the language processing part of the brain. That’s the reason storytelling is the ultimate weapon to connect with your audience, persuade them to share your content and buy from you.
I am not saying that you shouldn’t share data to support your arguments in your content. But for highest engagement and triggering decision-making you need to trigger emotions of your customers.
GrooveHQ A/B tested a no-nonsense version of their post against one with a story.
Image from: blog.bufferapp.com
Unsurprisingly, the post with the narrative got much higher engagement.
But how big an impact can it have had?
300% people scrolled till the bottom of the post and the average on-page time was over 5 times the original.
Image from: blog.bufferapp.com
And for your reference, here are the most popular emotions across 10,000 most shared articles across the web. You must aim to evoke positive emotions like awe, laughter, and amusement for getting most shares on social media.
Image from: okdork.com
Storytelling Techniques Conclusion
If you want success as a content marketer, then your content needs to connect with your audience at an emotional level. Once your audience has built a relationship with you, they will engage with your brand and remember you.
Storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool to help you in this cause. If you can paint a compelling brand story in your audience’s mind, they will start to like you and soon become RAVING FANS. And it only takes a thousand of such true fans to fund you for life.
The 5 storytelling techniques I shared in the article are proven to increase brand engagement and lift conversions. I would encourage you to start with implementing your favorite one in your content marketing. Don’t forget to come back to this article and share your results.
Are there any other storytelling techniques that you’ve used to positively impact your business bottom line?