When I originally began my journey into digital media, I struggled with my content marketing. I wanted to create content that would connect with my audience but no matter what I posted; I couldn’t get any engagement. I knew I was sending a good amount of traffic to my blog and social media channels, so I was stumped.
Finally, I decided to hire a content marketer, to help me examine and diagnose my problem. He reviewed my website, blog, and social media channels. He quickly pinpointed the problem. “Your content is too sterile. It sounds like you’re talking at your audience instead of having a conversation with them.”
He went on to explain that I could overcome this problem by weaving stories into my content so it felt more natural.
When it comes to personalizing your content with stories, it can be helpful to understand what makes a good story. These four elements can guide you through the storytelling process…
Every compelling story starts with a goal. Sometimes, the goal is simple like learning how to use new software. Sometimes, the goal is more complex like seeking a life partner or learning how to eat in healthy ways.
Before you tell a story, pause to reflect on the goal. For example, my goal was to boost my engagement rate and get more feedback from my community about what they wanted to see from me.
Motivation is the why behind your goal. It’s what keeps driving you forward even in the face of obstacles and setbacks. Motivation can differ from person to person. You may be motivated to learn new content marketing skills because you want to advertise your business.
But your friend may be motivated to learn content marketing because she wants to earn enough money to bring her husband home from his job. In my case, I wanted a deeper connection with my target audience.
Conflict is the obstacle between what you want and how you’ll achieve it. Conflict is sometimes internal making it difficult to be clear of the next move should be, doubting yourself, or getting stuck in a negative mindset.
Sometimes conflict is external. This happens when a force outside of yourself is preventing you from accomplishing your goal. For example, you lack the software you need to create a website, or you lack the time to build your business.
The final element in any good story is the moment when you overcome an obstacle and achieve the results you wanted. How you overcome depends on your conflict. For example, you may have been dealing with negative thinking and a conversation with a friend helped you let go of those thoughts.
With external conflict, overcoming is usually the result of taking action. If your goal was to build your own website and your conflict is that you’re not good with technology, then your moment of overcoming may be purchasing an online course to learn how to use WordPress.
The best way to learn how to use stories in your content is to study how other marketers weave stories into their topics. The more you do this the easier it will get to see how the four elements work together to create gripping stories.
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