There are whole books and training courses dedicated to storytelling technique, so to try and cover everything here in a few paragraphs wouldn’t ever do the topic justice. Let’s just touch on a few ideas…
Storytelling technique isn’t about turning every piece of copy you write into an epic novel. It’s about inserting certain elements to capture the audience’s attention and bring them deeper into your world.
Engage on an emotional level
One of the most important things storytelling technique does is to engage the audience on a deeper level. Typical marketing pushes the traditional features and benefits pitch. Content marketing that uses storytelling hooks people on an emotional level, speaking to those internal triggers that compel us to take action.
If I was writing a traditional marketing piece, I might talk about how a particular service ensures your regulatory compliance to stop you receiving a horrible fine. But using storytelling technique, I would pick a different angle – yes, the service ensures compliance, but that means when the sh*t hits the fan, you become the hero of the organisation, gaining kudos from your peers and demonstrating why you’re an incredible [job title].
It’s a subtle but powerful difference.
Communicate in pictures
Storytelling technique also speaks to how our brains are programmed to process information. Our brains experience the world in pictures, so by communicating in stories people can imagine how your service would benefit them.
I could tell you about all the benefits a particular service offers customers, or I could share a client case study, which puts the service into context. I could say that the customer would work in partnership with you, or I could paint a picture of what that looks like – ‘John will be onsite first thing Monday morning – if you promise to get the kettle on, he’ll bring some freshly baked doughnuts! Then at the end of the week he’ll run the week’s data, compile it into a comprehensive report that you can pass onto the Board.’
Another wonderful thing that storytelling technique does, and that speaks to the way our brains process information, is to create and close story gaps.
By stating a problem upfront, the audience is left wondering if it’ll ever be solved and how…
“You need 3x pipeline coverage to grow. But your past marketing tactics aren’t working, your prospects aren’t listening and it’s getting harder to farm existing clients.”
Now they’re in the moment with you – yes they understand the problem, and they know it’s painful because it’s their problem…
Thankfully you have the perfect solution to their problem, and therefore the ability to close the story gap.