How to use storytelling as an effective PR strategy
Marketing involves more than advertisements and pitching sales. In fact, modern customers expect to enjoy valuable content that educates and entertains as they shop online. In other words, tactics from the past no longer work. Storytelling has become an effective way to capture the attention of website visitors and social media followers because it provides a way to connect with prospects and customers on an intimate level without coming across as "salesy".Additionally, your stories give your audience a desire for more, so they will always have a reason to return to your website or social media profiles. Moreover, by telling stories, you have a fantastic opportunity to portray the values, culture and utility of your brand in a realistic setting. To begin or improve your storytelling, use the following tips.
To maximize your results, plan your storytelling strategy. The time you spend researching your market and choosing your message will give you a chance to consistently produce content that resonates with your audience. An effective story will cater to audience expectations. For this reason, you should have a thorough understanding of the demographics, needs, desires and buying habits of the people whom you intend to serve. Next, you need to collect important facts about your brand and its history so that you can weave them into your stories. Also, you will have to decide what tone and voice to use in your content. When you have created the basic framework, you may now brainstorm ideas to use for your storylines. Additionally, enlist the help of others to get additional ideas as well and ensure that you can deliver content at regular intervals.
FOCUS ON PEOPLE
Make sure that you use your storytelling to focus on people rather than on promoting your brand or pitching sales. As a matter of fact, you should make your customers play a vital role in your stories so people can personally and emotionally identify with your message. Consider using customer success stories to convey to new prospects the reasons why so many people trust your brand. At the same time, you should focus on human relationships and how your brand can improve the life of your audience members. By focusing on people, you can make even seemingly boring products come to life. The Duluth Trading Company for example demonstrates this by injecting amusing words into stories that tell the tales of ordinary people such as plumbers and farmers.
DEVELOP THEME & STRUCTURE
Your stories should contain three primary sections. First, you need to grab the attention of your audience and make them want to find out how your story unfolds. Next, introduce the problem or issue that affects your customers and then present the perfect solution. In the end, call them to act. If you’ve done a good job, they will naturally view your brand as the answer and complete a purchase without you ever asking them.As you compose your story, you should choose an effective model such as the journey of a hero to guide your flow. Other patterns such as meeting a wise leader or overcoming a challenge can also guide your storytelling. Get your audience to root for your main character.After developing the theme and structure of your story, pay attention to the words you use to create an appropriate setting. Also, use sensory words to actively engage your customers in ways that relate to them.
USE THE RIGHT STYLE
As already noted, you should carefully choose your words. Make sure that you avoid overly academic-speak, jargon and words that many people don’t know. Instead, choose a down-to-earth style that presents your main character as a likable real person. Adjust your language to your audience to make them feel comfortable. For example, if you’re composing for young people, don’t be afraid to use some slang. Also, inject humor whenever you can to keep your story interesting. For the most part, your stories should be long enough to convey interesting and compelling themes, yet concise enough to keep people interested until the end. Also, remember to adapt your stories to take advantage of the formats that you use. Heinz ketchup provides a good example of adapting their story to make use of visual elements such as photos. For instance, you can utilize non-verbal elements such as gesticulations to emphasize certain parts of your story. Whatever you do, make sure you place keywords that pertain to your brand throughout.
PROMOTE YOUR STORY
After publishing a story, use your email list and social media profiles to let everyone know about it. Of course, use your creativity to build suspense and compel your audience to visit your website to get the full experience. Use teasers in the form of video, graphics and text to support your story on every one of your marketing channels. In addition, make sure that everything you and your team do supports your story. Doing so will help you create a consistent look, feel and message for your brand.
In conclusion, try using storytelling as an effective, strategic way to sell without coming across as aggressive. Instead, by planning and using your imagination, you can engage and entertain your audience while communicating to them the value of your brand. As a result of storytelling, your audience will feel strongly connected with your brand and reward you with their business. Put the above tips to use right now, so you can enjoy all the benefits this trendy and exciting marketing tactic has to offer.
About the author
Jen McKenzie is a freelance writer from New York, NY. She is fascinated by all things having to do with words, business, education and cutting-edge. When Jennifer is not busy writing, she enjoys taking long walks and spending time with her two pets Brando & Marlon. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie