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Getting your message across with effective storytelling

by on ‎05-18-2011 12:24 PM (2,205 Views)

Knowing you’ve got a whole bunch of features and cool things to talk about related to your product is a good thing for a marketer. But when you also have a lot of things that are not necessarily feature-oriented and not just benefit-oriented but add to the story with even more to tell, what’s a compelling way to get that information across?


The key is the word story. Though in practice for some time now, there seems to be a bit of a resurgence of storytelling as a marketing tactic. And it’s one with which I really agree. We all can identify with a story or another – whether it stems from our childhood memories of the bedtime story or repeating the good times and legends passed around families or laughing your head off with a best friend as you recount your many antics, we all have powerful feelings attached to stories.


So if you could take that attachment factor and apply it to marketing, why wouldn’t you at least give it a try? That’s what we’re thinking …


Just remember that with stories come a few obligations and rules of good story-telling.


1.     Keep it short and sweet. No one likes a run-on story with absolutely no point to it.

2.     Keep it real. Embellishment is okay for some family stories, but not so much with business. Tell it like it is and it’ll ring true to those who read it.

3.     Follow traditional formats: there’s a beginning that introduces what your subject matter is and who your characters are; a middle that talks about what happened and typically includes a problem, conflict, or hurdle of some sort building up to the climactic drama to be resolved; and an ending where it should all be wrapped up in summary with a resolution.

4.     Weave and mold the pieces that make up those categories along the way to seek to make an emotional connection with the reader/listener; and the conclusion that’s reached should help the reader/listener feel they are invested in the outcome, and satisfied that resolution has been achieved.


You walk away from the best stories feeling emotionally attached, and often compelled to repeat the story to someone else. And in business storytelling, it may not be the degree of emotional attachment that other, more personal stories create, but it’s still what you want: the person identifies with the elements of the story and looks to have the same type of resolution presented in the end.