ALEXANDER MAY 16, 2019
Whether you’re building broad b2b marketing strategies, creating your first marketing program for your startup or laser focused on Facebook ads, storytelling matters.
April 2019. “Avengers: Endgame” hits the theatres. Ending a story that has been built since 2008 and that consists of more than 20 films.
Mai 2019. The final episode of Game of Thrones airs in HBO. Bringing closure to a story that has spanned 10 years on TV and 23 years in a book form.
And in December 2019, Star Wars episode IX promises an end to the Skywalker story. Finishing something that, for better or worse, has been a huge part of the pop culture since 1977.
Why am I writing this? Mostly, because it is a good moment to appreciate the stories around us. Secondly, I find it fascinating how strong an impact stories like this have on our lives. A good story stays with you and syncs up with your brain. And builds connections in your mind. Would HBO be so well-known around the world without Game of Thrones?
And with that in mind, the most important question arises. What you can learn from those success stories as a marketing expert?
Be a storyteller.
As a writer and storyteller myself, my aim has always been to captivate audiences the same way. From writing characters for role playing games ten years ago to the enormous amount of articles I do now, I wish people to care about it.
Any good story gives us characters to relate to, a semi-logical narrative and an explanation on character motives. With their buildup and climax, stories make sense. I believe that this orderly life is something we yearn for and want to escape to. Would be lovely, if the world worked like that. Alas, quoting Rachel Bloom in her series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: “Life doesn’t make narrative sense. This great series had it´s final episode a few weeks ago as well.
A good story
A good story has a clear beginning, plot and, most importantly an end. An emotional payoff that makes is worth watching for. And you should treat all marketing activities this way. From Instagram ads to blog posts, you will get better engagement if people connect to them. If it moves them. If it has a satisfying ending. (See where I’m going with this?).
Using stories in marketing, is a way to get people to notice you. People have always loved a good story. And you want people to share the story your product is telling. Professors at the University of Wharton say “that 82% of consumers are “highly likely” to follow a recommendation made by a micro influencer.” 92 percent of people want brands to make ads feel like a story. This means writing and producing content that has more meaning than a 10-percent off coupon or “our product is the best” blog post.
That applies to influencer marketing as well: when using them, you need to make sure, they are telling your story. And not just name dropping you between their other clients.
How to write your own story?
In Entrepreneur, Ott Jõgi, who is now Head of Marketing in Comodule, writes about a “model to inspire action from renowned marketing consultant Simon Sinek. The model starts with a circle with the question “Why?” at the center and “What?” around the edges. Sinek explains how successful companies like Apple all started with this question, “Why?” and later came back to the “What.” The point of “Why?” is the story itself.”
When I start writing a story, I first set goals. I answer two questions. First, what I want to achieve with that specific content (“Why?”). Secondly, and more importantly, how will I measure that success.
I am working in a goal setting software called Weekdone. As such, I write a lot about the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) methodology. And let´s be honest, office processes are a boring subject to write about (especially if you do it for four years in a row).
To keep it interesting, I´ve created characters that I use. All my books on OKRs follow the story of Sam, a middle manager. Having a character with who´s problems a reader can relate to, makes the story both more interesting to read and to write.
Make every action count
The moral of this article is that we have a lot to learn from a good story. And we want our customers learn from the stories we write. For that, we need to have a structure in mind, work with purpose and, most importantly, be interesting.
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