May 10th, 2018

Content Marketing for a Happily Ever After: Tips for Industry Storytelling

by Katelynn Watkins

Not all stories begin with the quintessential opening line: “once upon a time.” In fact, some won’t even conclude with “the end” because they don’t technically have an ending.

When you’re creating content marketing material for your business’s marketing plan, a story can take so many different forms that it’s impossible to subscribe to a single outline for each article or post. So how can you be sure you’re on the right track? Whether you’re writing a blog post, publishing a quick line on social media, or even cultivating a series of videos, there are a few guidelines you can use to keep your story out of the woods.

Think before you create.

Everyone has his or her own method to accomplishing this step, but before you write, snap a photo, or come up with a new hashtag, you need to have some kind of a plan for the content you are creating. Why does it need to exist? Who is going to appreciate it? What do you hope to accomplish by putting it out there for the digital world to see? The answers to these questions will help create a basic framework for you to follow before you publish your content to the probing eyes of the internet.

Stick to the rules.

Even writers of the most outrageous fantasy have rules that they have to follow to ensure their stories make sense. When it comes to content marketing and brand storytelling, you’ll want to establish your own guidelines to keep your story on track and sensible to your audiences’ perception. During your initial planning stages, while you’re answering those questions mentioned earlier, must-haves and don’ts will crop up in addition to the general plotline your story will need to follow. Jot these down along with your basic outline, and your content is more likely to stay organized and cohesive.

Play on emotion.

Everyone likes knowing who the hero of the story is and why he or she should be admired from start to finish. To this end, you’ll want to infuse your content marketing strategy with the appropriate amount of emotion to enhance your stories and make them more appealing to your target audience. A travel agency might gear its stories toward the sentimental value of possible vacation destinations, reminding potential visitors of the tranquility of the mountains or fond childhood experiences they had at a beach. Not only will those emotions forge a connection between your business and your audience members, but they set you apart from the stark facts of your industry to craft the image of a relatable human, the lovable hero of your story.

Embellish, but don’t detract.

While it may be tempting to pad your content marketing stories to make them more entertaining, needless “fluff” doesn’t really have a place in most of your materials. Social media posts are meant to be short and punchy without losing impact, and even blog posts should have an easily discernible point that you don’t bury in detail. Remember the questions we posed to help you build a framework for your story; if by the end of the article or post you can’t feasibly answer them, you somehow got lost along the way. That means it’s time to backtrack, take out the extraneous material, and recapture the heart of the matter. Use emotions and relatable anecdotes to make your points, but don’t craft the story around them.

Work with the endgame in mind.

Any good storyteller knows how to guide his or her audience toward the end or main idea behind a tale, and it’s because one of the golden rules is to weave it while always keeping the end result at the forefront. It’s the same concept as having a goal in mind while you run a track, or knowing what you want to gain by following through on a New Year’s resolution. With your endgame always in mind, you can mold your storyline to seamlessly reach that conclusion, which in turn creates a much more fluid experience for your intended audience.

Your story may not include knights in shining armor or daring escapes from mythical monsters, but you can create them to be just as engaging in the eyes of your particular readers. For more tips and professional assistance, contact Sage Island and craft the introduction to your content marketing strategy.

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