I remember reading somewhere that stories work because our brains are hardwired to remember them. Storytelling is as old as the ages. Storytelling has long been used to hand down history and folk lore. Storytelling is a powerful marketing tool for communicating your story and image to the masses.
The Five Elements
Many of us wouldn’t know a good story if it hit us in the forehead with the business end of a Louisville Slugger. So that brings up the age-old question – “What is a good story made of?” There are five elements to creating a truly effective story.
These are the:
- Human Element – Put a human face on your stories. Give them people they can identify with.
- Time Element – Align the time frame of the story with the time of the year or season that people will be in when they experience your story.
- Conflict Element – overcoming odds and conflicts make stories interesting. They draw the audience into suspense and anticipation as the finish line approaches.
- Relevance Element – Good stories are like magnets. You hit the power and it draws the audience in until a common bond is found. Keep your stories relevant to the audience.
- Joker Element – Throw a wrench into things. Predictability kills audience engagement. Try looking the story from a different perspective or angle.
So, What Now???
Great! So now you have your overview in place, it’s time to lay down the foundation work for a great story. Here is our five-step program for creating content stories:
- Laying the Foundation – We all learned as kids that stories have a beginning, middle and an end. Who are your characters? Where does the story take place? What happens in the story? When is the story taking place? Why is it taking place?
- The Middle or Transition – This is the meat and potatoes of your story. This is where your conflicts take place, your action happens, you slay your dragons (*), and your story lives.
- Bringing it Home. Hopefully, you have the audience eating out of your hand by now, and you unveil your big finale – delivering your audience to brand bliss.
(*) All necessary apologies to Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons
Start thinking about the stories your brand can tell to connect with your audience. Create and idea book and every time you come up with an idea you want to work on, write it down immediately. If you are like me, whenever I sit down to think about working on one of those great ideas, they no longer stuck in my memory…..thus, the notebook.
Tip: It doesn’t work unless you write the ideas in the notebook WHEN you have them.