Storytelling: Less Benefits. More Blood.
We all have a good story to tell, but often don’t know where to begin, or forget basic storytelling tips. Too often marketers jump into why their gizmo is so amazing—but without the context of why it’s needed, who really cares if a product is up and running in minutes, utilizes machine learning or automates the lifecycle end-to-end?
Compelling narratives start with drama! There is a reason fairytales don’t begin with “and they all lived happily ever after.” We need to know the conflict. What pain is the audience suffering? Where are the fire breathing dragons? What is at risk?
Three simple storytelling techniques can demonstrate the problem and help audiences see why a new solution is needed.
- Use Data—Quantify in gruesome detail how many more hours are spent manually, how costly or flawed is the current approach? For example, how much valuable data is being lost? How risky is that medical procedure?
- Consider Syndication—If you’re using syndication tools to amplify your content, try headlines that contain cautionary extremes. Words like “worst” or “never” performed 30% better than titles without these words. And readers were far more likely to click on stories about what NOT to do than “How To.”
- Share Anecdotes—Bring the gore to life with personal tales of woe. Put a face on that person in desperate need of help—the data analyst up all night, the doctor who couldn’t help his patients, the IT admin bombarded with help desk calls. People love to complain, let them air out all their grievances, give them a therapy couch to lay back and tell their story. We’re listening.
Once your audience is immersed in the drama, feels the pain of the problem, and perhaps sees themselves in the same predicament, only then can the knight-in-shining armor, a new technology or a wise thought leader, rescue the village and save the day.
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- Storytelling: Less Benefits. More Blood. – January 8, 2014
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