Do you want to inspire others by your stories?
Developing content is one of the most important disciplines for digital marketers. Whether you are an experienced storyteller or a newbie, you always need to remember that not only there are three key elements of a story but also that there are five questions that you should always be asking if you want to develop stories that inspire your audience. Hope that by sharing what I have learned will help others in their path towards growing an audience to engage with.
Core Elements of a Story
In particular, if you are new developing stories, remember that there are three elements to include.
1. Character. Consider who will be at the centre of your story and the features that will make him or her appealing to readers or listeners that you target. In this case, you can draw from the personas that you may have developed for your product or services.
2. Plot. There are different styles of writing a plot, but the most traditional one is linear, describing:
- how every day - your character was experiencing the challenge,
- but one day - a choice appeared,
- because of that - your character considered changing his or her path,
- until finally - your character found the success he or she wanted.
3. Message. Concentrate on one or more core points and justify that solution with the Pyramid Principle (rule of three reasons and each followed by three reasons). The more focused your message is, the easier will be for your audience to remember this. As part of the message, as a marketer, you will also want to consider what you want the audience to do. Therefore a Call to Action (CTA) is always a must.
Key Questions to Ask
- What does your character want to restore balance in his or her life? For example, is your character want to restore work-life balance to feel fulfilled.
- What is keeping your character from achieving his or her desire? For example, is the daily commuting to work stressing your character and making him or her with a different lifestyle from what they want to experience.
- How would the character decide to respond to meet his or her desire in the face of obstacles? For example, would the character have choices to not change work, change to another job closer to home, learn skills to start a business.
- If you were the character in the same circumstances, what would you do? Would you follow similar choices and what would be your main reason to select your choice?
- What is at stake if the character doesn't take action? For example, would your character experience any regrets from not following his or her desires.
There are so many considerations and books to read if you want to build your copywriting skills as a content marketer. My summary of what never to forget though has always been my go-to checklist when developing new content and hope this will be useful to others starting the art of inspiring through storytelling.