Learning the Art of Storytelling

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Webster’s Dictionary defines a story as “an account of incidents or events”. Despite this simple definition, composing a good story is actually an art. Think about how you feel at the end of a great movie, or after you’ve completed reading a novel that left you captivated. After encountering a great story, you no doubt feel as if your life has been changed somehow, even if that change only resulted in your own entertainment.

Today’s content marketers also need to be great storytellers because it helps connect people with the brand. Without this connection, brands won’t achieve the success they desire. But, what does “storytelling” really mean in this context?

Give your content life by learning how to become a storyteller. Here is how you can put the skill to use for your own content marketing strategy.

Great Stories Have More Than Just a Beginning, Middle, and End

Learning the Art of Storytelling

All good storytellers know that telling a tale is about more than just composing a beginning, middle, and end. A story contains what scriptwriters call “plot points”, which are events that propel the content forward.

Take the standard romance film as an example. Usually, prior to the conclusion of the film, the couple-to-be experiences some sort of event that leaves the audience wondering if they really will end up together. The scenes that ensue all have one purpose – to solve the problem that will determine the couple’s fate. That “problem” is known a “plot point”.

Storytelling in reference to content marketing is about more than just assembling a helpful article with a beginning, middle, and end. It is about creating the compelling “plot points” that will engage people with your brand.

Norman Rockwell’s paintings are a visual representation of effective storytelling in marketing. In his painting, Barefoot Boy, a young boy is depicted under a tree eating a sandwich and drinking a Coca Cola with a look of joy on his face. The implication here is that this beverage is the perfect refreshment after an active day of playing. This is a story, which endears us to the brand.

It All Starts By Fully Understanding Your Audience

Content writers can also adopt this strategy by finding a way to connect people with the brand in a very real way. To do this as effectively as possible, it is essential to have a clear understanding of who your audience really is. Once you know who your audience is, you also need to understand what problems they may be experiencing and how your brand can solve these problems.

When this vision is clear in your mind, writing that connects with your audience is the core of what storytelling in content marketing is all about. In the Norman Rockwell painting mentioned above, the boy’s defined problem is that he became hungry, thirsty, and possibly even tired while playing. The opportunity to drink that beverage not only quenched his thirst, but also gave him the chance to rest and eat his sandwich. As a content marketer, you have the ability to achieve the same overall result with your words.



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