If you have had your ear to the ground in the world of startups, you have probably heard the phrase "content is king." Indeed, many industry pros are pointing to content entering a golden age and companies are taking notice. Yahoo is bolstering its editorial strategy (including bringing Katie Couric on board), Vox Media continues to expand the companies under its umbrella and BuzzFeed may be taking over the world (well, not really). But with this explosion of content, there is a lot of room for sub-par "meh."
For many, to rise above the crowd, there needs to be a focus on storytelling (another huge buzzword). Not only does it creates an urge within the reader to read more about what is written, but it can also boost your brand and presence. Plus, customers are more apt to feel a connection with your company.
For those needing a little help getting comfortable with storytelling, here is a quick explainer.
What Is Storytelling? Storytelling is one of the best means for sharing and interpreting experiences and provides effective call to action learning.
Why use stories in blogging? Stories create curiosity and interest, both of which are strong tools in attracting your readers to read, share and comment.
How stories help in marketing? Every brand has a story. It is not a brand that actually goes viral. It is the story that revolves around it and these stories are carefully placed in slogans.
How to tell a story? Storytelling, is all about finding your voice, expression and something to share. In blogging, storytelling is about sharing experiences, your mistakes, your journey, your accomplishments or anyone else's for that matter.
So where to begin? Create a setting. It is actually the base of entire story. It means that you set the stage, the mood and the context with which you will begin and continue.
Tips for creating a setting:
- Begin with an interesting sentence such as "A few days back," "Guess what" or "Did you know."
- Share an experience that made an impact in your life.
- Narrate something from the past that becomes your memory.
- Communicate with your audience as if they are right in front of you.
- Make your audience feel like a part of your writing.
Introduce characters. In blogging, "you" are always one of the character of the story. You may be just a narrator, protagonist or even antagonist if you dare to be. Introduce yourself in limited but influential words.
Create suspense and curiosity. This is where the magic happens. Half way through your blog is where the blog is most important. Before it, you were just creating an introduction and after it you will be leading towards a conclusion. This part must have a strong suspense and curiosity element to keep your readers tucked in.
Dissolve suspense and curiosity. After you have created your element of surprise -anything from a discovery, an experiment, research or an opinion -- you must dissolve your findings gradually with facts, data, figures, charts and reference links that prove your point.
Create an ending. I always emphasize a call to action ending. An ending must be so powerful and have such an impact that it opens a door to discussion, suggestion, questions, recommendation or a simple appreciation from your readers. You want your readers to think it worth sharing, liking and socializing the content.
When you have these five elements in your writing, your content will turn into a more enjoyable read. Using stories in long blogs, marketing guide or guest posts is a very good tool, because it lightens the atmosphere that builds around a heavy, lengthy and hard topic. (For the full version of this post, feel free to read it here.)