This blog post I’m going to talk to you about what to include in your stories so that when you set out to market with stories you can be effective. Every story has to include the same elements for it to work.
First, stories start with your understanding and knowing who your target audience is. If you don’t know that, you need to stop reading right now and do some research on who your audience is. You need to understand who you’re directing your story too. If you have an email list or a good following on social media, why not poll your audience to find out more about them before you attempt marketing with stories.
In general, every marketing story needs to let your audience know that you understand them, that they matter, that they’re not alone, that there is hope, and that their problems can be solved. If you can craft a story that covers those elements in a personal way, you’ll create a successful marketing campaign centered on that marketing story. A story like that will be shared, commented on, and get results.
Let’s spell this out: All stories need:
1. A Subject — This should be your audience. Find out who your target audience is, know what their dreams, hopes, and problems are and weave a story around them. You might even be able to find a customer who has a compelling story already about how they overcame something using your products or services or similar products or services.
2. A Goal — You must understand where your subject wants to end up. What are they seeking? Do they want to make more money, work from home, learn to do something, what exact outcome do they seek?
3. A Problem — If you know the goal, then you need to identify the reason your subject is having problems reaching their goal. Is it due to lack of action on their part? Is it due to lack of knowledge? What reason are they having issues reaching their goal? What roadblocks are in their way. This is typically the most emotional part of your story.
4. A Solution — Of course, you need to be able to show the solution exists to help your subject reach their goal and overcome their problem. The solution is either a product, a service, a mindset, a lesson, coaching, or whatever it is that is your specialty. You are the solution, and you must show that in the story.
5. A Moral — No story is ever complete without a moral. Essentially, it’s repeating the entire story in a more direct fashion pointing out the solution to the problems, and how simple it is to have if only they make that next step, which you also spell out very explicitly. This is where your call to action goes when marketing with stories.
All of this has to be told and written in a truthful manner to be effective. Your audience, if you’ve studied them, aren’t stupid. They know when someone is trying to fool them. Best to be honest and upfront from the start by telling realistic stories with reasonable results. Next post I’ll discuss the actual steps to writing a credible story that people will share, and that will get actual results.
Picture Credit via Unsplash: unsplash-logoHannah Olinger