Storytelling & Content

 

These days, it’s rarely enough to offer a great product – even if that product is coupled with thoughtful copy that clearly and succinctly demonstrates the benefits it offers. Stories and other content attract people to your brand by providing genuine value and leaving them hungry for more.

 
 
Scheherazade     could  tell a story to save her life.

Scheherazade could tell a story to save her life.

 

A story can be more persuasive than a "hard sell".

More than ever, it’s crucial for even your advertising to provide value to people’s lives. Many leading digital marketers argue that the best modern advertising barely warrants the name: it’s so inherently worth consuming that it doesn’t require salesy language at all.

Give the people what they want; do it often enough; and new customers will flock to you without you having to ask.

The best free content is often produced by businesses that already create content for a living. National Geographic, whose revenue source relies on people subscribing to their monthly magazine, is an obvious example.

An unimaginative company with the same business model would put out regular ads that wax lyrical about the wonders contained within the magazine: Subscribe now and all these wonders can be yours

 

Instead, a sizable chunk of Nat Geo’s marketing budget is spent on producing free content for everyone – not just subscribers – to consume. Even if just two appetites out of every hundred are whetted, and two out of every hundred readers buy a subscription, the strategy is a fantastic success.

The same strategy can also be employed by companies that don’t specialise in content creation. More and more brands are beginning to appreciate the power of a good story.

An outdoor apparel company, for instance, could tell the stories of athletes or mountaineers who are doing incredible things with their lives. The average person reading these stories will feel inspired, and will yearn to have similar adventures themselves. Once they've reached this point, they won't require much more persuasion to actually buy the product – because an association has already been formed in their mind between the aspiration and the brand.

 
An example of the free content created by Nat Geo.

An example of the free content created by Nat Geo.

 
One of my all-time favourite stories in advertising. Do you want to be the man in the photo or the man on the plane?

One of my all-time favourite stories in advertising. Do you want to be the man in the photo or the man on the plane?

 

Storytelling takes your brand to the next level.

There are many different types of great content, from videos to blog posts, but they all have one thing in common. Their success depends on being fascinating, valuable, and immensely shareable.

Fascination without value isn’t enough, and neither is value without fascination. Nat Geo can’t simply announce the discovery of a shark believed to be at least 272 years old, and then neglect to provide any insightful information about it. Nor could they write an educational thesis on how scientists determine the age of sharks, without tying it to that fascinating discovery. By providing both fascination and value, they created a piece of content that everyone will want to read and share.

 

I write content that draws people in.

Storytelling is my favourite part of what I do. I love nothing more than weaving a fascinating and valuable narrative out of a few sparse or neglected elements. (That’s why I also write other kinds of narratives.)

To be truly successful as a business, you need to provide your customers with genuine value beyond your product or service. You don't have to be like National Geographic, but there really is no limit to what you can achieve with a good story.

If you’re interested in hearing more about what I can do for your business, just send me a few details about who you are and what you'd like to achieve.