Content Marketing Storytelling: A Practical Short Story

logo-icon-black
CopyRock Marketing

Effective content marketing is about mastering the art of storytelling. Join Mike on his journey to uncover its secrets…

Content Marketing Storytelling: A Practical Short Story

Once upon a time, lived a young marketer and Mike was his name. Mike was ambitious and a maverick at that – always on the lookout for an opportunity to make his mark. One day, as Mike was going through his routine of browsing materials to hone his craft, he came across a statement that was bold. The statement was on content marketing storytelling – something he had never stumbled upon before. It read “No story, no sales” and underneath it was a poster with the quote:

 

“Effective content marketing is about mastering the art of storytelling. Facts tell, but stories sell.”

— Brian Eisenberg

 

This sparked a fire inside his dear heart. After all, storytelling was a thing in literature, not in marketing. Or so he thought…

So, began Mike’s journey into storytelling – a journey for him to learn. Learn just how important storytelling is in business and all its facts. Tag along Mike on his journey to uncover the secrets of storytelling in content marketing:

Content Marketing Storytelling in Numbers

Mike’s first task was to check the facts, so he started digging. But storytelling was not as tangible as Mike had hoped it being. And the stats he needed to back these claims were hard to come by. Query after query, Mike was searching, crawling through the web until a valid source appeared.

Storytelling for Consumers

It was a treasure trove of information, but most importantly, it held statistics that could prove the starting statement, the statement that was bold.  In the study, Mike discovered that once bearing a trusty story by his side, he could boost conversions by a striking third. And that was not even content marketing-related but rather in response to the questions that his customers might pose.

Source: Delhi School of Internet Marketing

Content Marketing Storytelling in B2B

“That must be for the consumer only!” – wrongly did the protagonist of ours thought. So, he kept on reading. And in his reading his error quickly Mikey saw – that it too applied to B2B, something that would put his mind in awe. After all, it was but 62% of marketers in B2B that would support such claim – that storytelling was effective, be it as it may.

Source: Delhi School of Internet Marketing

Product Storytelling

Witnessing these numbers put the mind of Mike at ease, for he knew the power of the knowledge he was holding in his hands. But his thirst for more grew and grew, so Mikey kept on browsing through and through. That was when another study did arise – one created from experiment, gifted by the writers of Significant Objects. And its findings showed a whopping rise, bearing the number 27X.  

Source: Significant Objects 

The Alphabet of Content Marketing Storytelling

Having just the facts was not enough for Mikey’s active mind – he had to know more about these stories and how they are to be told. And in his journey, was an alphabet of terms for our protagonist to find. There were the Ps and Is – to some a bunch of letters left unorganised but all a part of insight, Mike the Maverick had put his mind towards.

The 4 Ps of Storytelling

“Let’s start with the basics,” Mikey thought, as he reached towards the Ps of storytelling, choosing them to be the first. Much like the Ps of marketing that Mike knew by heart, the storytelling Ps represented pillars. Pillars that Mikey’s strategy for telling stories would be built upon.

First of Ps was People, as no story can be personal, nor be complete without a group of people that the reader can relate. Then came the Place, for it defined the set, where the events take place. Third was Plot, a sign of conflict that arose – to mark the journey and our hero’s start. And last in line was Purpose, not in meaning but to wrap it all in reason. The reason for Mikey’s readers continued read.

Source: Stillmotion 

The 4 Is of Storytelling

Mikey mastered all the Ps and the time for Is was close at hand. So, hesitating little Mike kept on digging in his search. And in these Is he would find pillars of another set. But while the pillars of the letter “P” defined the strategy for Mike to write, those marked with Is were on scaling what he wrote, instead.

Pillar one brought Immersion into Mikey’s mix. It begged the question of the story’s depth and how comprehensive can its world ultimately get. The Interaction pillar followed suit, breaking the wall of number 4, for it brought the reader forward so that Mike could establish their role. Would they be active in the story and participate, or a passive witness of the events that escalate?

Source: The Future of Storytelling

Up next was Integration and how Mike would spread his story around the web. Is Mikey’s story fitting best one medium, or also all the rest? But while the platform was important, so was whether it could interface. Is it making sense to integrate it with the real world outside of Mikey’s story taking place? And to put the final dot in the “I” was Impact – the key to put the audience on edge and inspire the action, set for them to take.

Putting Content Marketing Storytelling to Work

The storytelling alphabet was behind Mikey’s back and the time to learn its application had finally arrived. It was the pinnacle of the entire search, for it held the secrets of the formats that would define his story’s march. So, were three examples given rise – the experience, the hero, and the journey, right before his eyes.

Customer Experience Stories

The first example was an instant click for Mike. He was well acquainted with just how many people trust a recommendation from a peer, after all. And considering this share reached more than two-thirds of the audience in a Nielsen survey, Mike knew this is not something to be taken lightly

Source: Nielsen

“A recipe for the perfect storm,” Mike said to himself, as he thought about the implications. Having storytelling run through the prism of the customer’s perspective could create an incredible opportunity to tick some of the most critical boxes in marketing. In doing so, he would create a memorable experience from something as simple as a recommendation. All it takes is but a hint of social proof and personalisation.

Ideal Customer Stories

Every story has its hero, and in his mind, Mike was such in his but there was another, brought forward by the next example. What if the protagonist in Mikey’s story was no other than the ideal customer that would take advantage of his business? After all, this would be an instant-read for the audience of his and the keen eye it had for personalised authentic content.

Mike had learned before, the key to marketing success hid not in the highlight of his company but rather in putting his clients in the spotlight. And while the switch in mindset was quite precarious in itself, the rewards it would bring forth were well worth fighting for. So, Mike put this in his list, knowing that the time to paint the customer’s journey towards successful resolution was close at hand.

Journey Stories

Now there was just one example that remained, before Mikey’s storytelling journey was to end. But little did his lesson know that Mike had practiced it before, for its essence was the definition of his story and the journey it brought forth. A trip through the experience of learning with the solution being no other than its final stop.

Source: Salesforce

With such story, Mike would effectively create a bridge – a vital crossing between the client and the intended destination they so seek to reach. But more a story for the ideal customer that would be, so why not make it more about the “me?”

And in this train of thought, Mike saw an opportunity. What more genuine could there be, than the experience that made Mikey the maverick that he came to be? So, Mikey started writing, noting down the reasons that led him to his craft.

But that was not enough. Mikey had to talk about the process too, for all authentic knowledge laid dormant there, waiting for the time it’s due. He listed down the challenges he faced and the monumental efforts that he took to beat them at the very end.

Epilogue

As he read his list Mike felt a sense of purpose – a real sense of meaning that was by him inspired. A sense for readers to encounter, every time his offers were to tick another counter.

Thus concluded Mikey’s journey into storytelling with all his lessons learned. He had grasped both the numbers and the alphabet alike, eagerly preparing new content for his audience to like.

And in the final hours, before another journey was at hand, he felt ready for the challenges that were spread across the land…

Originally published on CopyRock Insights.

Also available on Medium.

Also available on Pulse.