Stories and content marketing

It was the year 2007, and two roommates in San Francisco couldn’t afford to pay their rent (no surprise, since we’re talking about San Francisco). They knew that a graphic design conference was coming into town, so they decided that the quickest solution to their problem was to rent out the living room of their apartment for those looking for lodging. They set up 3 air beds and included breakfast with a night’s stay.

Fast forward to now: the roommates started a company known as Airbnb. Imagine reading about that before booking a stay with them. Would you be a more loyal customer? When you have a story like Airbnb, you’ll have the opportunity to create a bunch of content marketing ideas.

Remarkable stories like that aren’t shared very often, but when they do they inspire the audience to take some sort of action. The most captivating stories will allows the audience to relate with, understand, and find a solution to a problem.


They can relate

As humans we are more receptive to things within our interests. We want to be able to relate to something so that we can feel like we are a part of a community.

“Oh, I’m allergic to peanuts too!”

Instant rapport, instant trust. We look for similarities because it gives us the feeling of belonging and comfort. Your target audience is likely landing on your page and quickly scanning for anything they agree or disagree with. The audience can qualify you based on numerous aspects, such as the services you provide or your company’s mission statement. Your content has to be able to resonate with them. They want to see if you went through the same experiences too.

Where did you start, and where are you at now? What kind of problems did you face, and how did you solve them? Your audience is looking for your story. A story that ties in with your brand and personality is what will establish that rapport. Give your target audience a story that is 100% authentic. Tell it how it is and don’t bend the truth worrying about attracting a certain audience. After all, you wouldn’t lie about a peanut allergy.


They want to understand

The audience is reading your content to understand. They are looking for something that will ultimately persuade. The best way to do this is by following a framework. Your stories are likely going to start with an intro, a problem, a climax to the plot, and a solution. Content should have a basic framework that will allow the target audience to follow easily.

You’re likely trying to explain a complicated situation in a simple way, so stick to a framework to prevent yourself from getting lost as well. Although you’re writing and getting excited about telling your story, you have to keep one thing in mind: the main idea.

It’s important to get your audience to understand clearly and say “Oh, maybe I really do need to do that!”


They want a solution

When your audience is looking through your pages and reading your content, they are assessing your entire story. They are determining what drives you, and why it’s so important for you to provide a solution to their problems.

Your customer is looking to see whether or not you can help with their needs, so it’s your job to curate enough content that shows your ability to do so.

This is why stories of weight loss can be so captivating. Health and fitness professionals are likely to show their clients the results of those who are similar to them. They are crafting a story that connects with their audience. This is a classic example of turning your audience into a hero.


Is it important?

A story will make your audience feel at ease and come to an understanding about what you offer. There is a balance. You don’t want to get lost in telling stories.

You have to have a purpose behind it all. Your purpose needs to be catered towards the target audience. What will your story solve? Will it engage your audience to the point of action? Do you have to tell a story?

What do you think about using stories?