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5 elements of a good story

The setting, the characters, the plot, the conflict and a resolution - Storytelling has been one of the most compelling marketing tools for ages. Translate your business offerings and your journey into a story fit for online success. Here are 5 elements that make for a great yarn, one that will drive sales and build brand awareness while you're at it!

1. Authenticity

Keeping it real is crucial to all your professional storytelling adventures. Whatever you want to say through your content marketing approach, make sure it’s honest. Be authentic and human in your tone. Don’t brush aside the hardships, turn them into a positive story and demonstrate how you got from A to B, or how your product can enhance peoples’ lives. Be the solution to a problem and share this in creative ways through your storytelling methods.

2. It’s topical (and new)

You’ll want to do some research about the other stories that are being told - what's been in the news lately, debated topics and what isn’t being covered in the public domain. Make sure you've carefully considered the timing of your story before you set out on your content production journey. For example, if you're a budgeting business and want to share a video on how to save money, but it’s right on Christmas, consider releasing it in the New Year instead. Or create a completely new concept for your content.

3. It resonates

Make sure that your content is original and relevant to your target audience, in other words, that it resonates with them. Take a look at your goals before you set out producing the content, then work out the best way to engage your potential customers through a story relevant to them. Be empathetic in all your content production, drawing on your own experiences to create stuff that other people relate to.

4. It inspires

Stories that motivate and inspire change are some of the most memorable ones. Think about the time you saw a short video on your Facebook feed about how someone gave up a great career to start their own business. Didn't that inspire you or compel you to action change in your own life? That's the ultimate goal of storytelling - to make an impact on the lives of those that digest the content.

5. A call to action

While this might scream ‘direct sales pitch’, a call to action included in your storytelling efforts can be as subtle as introducing your brand logo at the end. Turning your customer into the ‘hero’ through a case study, or documenting their business journey in a short video introduces the human aspect and adds credibility to your business. It gently prompts viewers to consider how you could also assist them. If you can tell your story right, you'll reap the rewards of a loyal following, have an increase in customers and you may even attract sponsors wanting to be more connected with your brand.