Storytelling Technique and Content Marketing are really good friends in the writing-for-business sphere. But like any friendship they may find themselves at odds sometimes, developing tension and yielding no results. The reason being none of them really knowing why it is serving the other.
If you are producing content for the sake of populating your media channels, you might as well stop doing anything and save yourself some time and, possibly, some money. No matter how good a story is if it doesn’t have a marketing purpose behind it, it just won’t sell.
Hey, I’m all for writing. Write as much as you can, every day and anywhere. I’ve even written a mini e-book about routine writing. But, since you are putting in the effort, wouldn’t it be better if your stories actually got read by the people you were trying to reach?
The only way you can keep the friendship between Storytelling Technique and Content Marketing intact is by letting them know why they are feeding each other. Think about it, surely if someone at the office asks you to do something, you are likely to ask them why. You don’t just do things for the sake of doing them, do you? You think about it strategically: the goal, the benefits, the risks.
By asking why you are addressing three crucial components to story and content: Message, Audience, and Goal. Because there is no story if there is no point (message); there’s no point if there’s no reason (goal); there is no reason if there is no one who cares (audience).
So, before you start hammering those lovely laptop keys, take a moment to consider the ‘whys’.
The first question in Content Marketing you have to ask is: why are you telling the story? In other words: what is it that you want to reach and what’s your target?
Once you’ve got that clear, you can move on to ask the relevant questions regarding Storytelling:
- Why is this story relevant?
- Why should your audience care?
- Why is this the best way (angle) to tell this story?
You may be wondering why is it that I’m focused on the ‘why’ instead of the ‘what’.
Simon Sinek explains the importance of asking ‘why’ quite well in an old Tedx about inspirational leadership. The ‘what’ is about selling a product or service, but the ‘why’ is all about inspiring your clients to acquire your specific product or service.
The ‘why’ provides an experience: it’s a revelation of certain values attained by you and your brand that go beyond materialism. It’s about connecting with like-minded people who want to be part of your dream.
Steve Jobs understood this quite well and it was this principle that led him to launch the Think Different campaign upon his return to Apple.
With ‘what’ you will make sales; but with ‘why’ you will conquer loyal followers who share your vision. And you know what those followers can become, right? You got it, brand advocates.
So, let go of the ‘what’ and embrace the ‘why’. After all, you’re here for the long run and your clients deserve better and more.