Once upon a time, an entrepreneur faced 3 challenges. …
February 26 was “Tell a Fairy Tale Day” so I wanted to share some ideas about how – and WHY – to turn your content marketing into fairy tales or other classic stories.
We are all familiar with “Once upon a time.” Those words immediately let us know that a story is about to begin.
That’s a very positive feeling, associated with all those times that our parents, grandparents, older siblings, babysitters, and teachers read stories to us.
Even as adults, when a story begins, we relax and prepare to be entertained.
Our brains love to feel familiar with whatever information we encounter!
Whenever we’re learning new concepts, complex or abstract ideas, or information that is challenging or threatening to us in some way, it is especially important to create a feeling of familiarity, safety, and comfort.
This is one good reason to use a classic story structure in your content to help your audience be more receptive to your message by framing it as a story.
If the information you’re offering your audience implies any kind of change they need to make in order to solve their problem, then they will likely have some resistance to your message.
Stories help to reduce resistance.
We stop worrying about whether the speaker or presenter is going to try and sell us something and instead we just allow ourselves to get absorbed in listening to, watching, or reading the story.
As audience members, when we enter a kind of “story listening trance” where we also become less critical of the speaker, presenter or author. We are less quick to disagree with something they tell us and more willing to consider that there might be some validity to the new ideas they are sharing with us.
Think about the experience of watching a movie in a theater or on television. If you really get wrapped up in the story, aren’t you more likely to overlook any discrepancies in the plot or in the setting, scenery, or costumes? We sometimes refer to this as “suspension of disbelief” and it happens because of the story listening trance.
Stories are also the best way to learn almost anything.
This should be no surprise since, for thousands of years, oral storytelling was the main method of passing information from one generation to the next. Stories help our brains to process information and to retain it – much more than factual information!
Scientists speculate that this storytelling advantage may be part of the reason that human beings were able to survive and thrive. We are the only animals capable of telling stories, which helps us to learn important lessons from others without needing to experience that learning for ourselves.
Think about the huge benefits in learning from someone else’s story — without needing to experience first hand the dangers they encountered or the difficult challenges they faced.
Fairy Tales for Content Marketing
While we sometimes think of fairy tales as being children’s stories, many fairy tales were originally dark and even violent stories told around the hearth or in taverns — before Disney sanitized them for PG viewers.
Because of that dark under-current (which we’re all aware of, even if it’s only at a subconscious level), fairy tales can provide a useful structure for content marketing stories that address a major problem your clients and prospects want to solve.
Some of the common script or content formulas call for agitating that problem first – helping your audience really get in touch with the pain or fear or other dark emotions associated with that problem – before beginning to talk about the solution you have to offer.
The quest or challenge is a common element in so many fairy tales. This can also be used in content marketing stories, either to acknowledge the struggle your prospects have already been facing or to help them see the challenges they may have ahead of them as they implement your solution to their problem.
Story content can be much more engaging and attractive to your clients and prospects. This can help your content to stand out in the flood of free but boring, dry, factual content on the internet.
So how can you actually turn your informative blog post, article, or e-book into a story? I’ll be sharing more ideas about this over the next several weeks – here on my blog, as well as in video, slideshow, infographics, and social media posts.
Plus I will introduce one approach in my training hangout on Creative Marketing TV on March 5th when I kick-off my celebration of “March Multipurposing Madness.” Learn more on the Google+ Event page.
To learn more about turning your content marketing into stories, click here to sign up for my free email course. Each lesson of this course, “Taming the Content Marketing Dragon,” will teach you a concept (written in the email and sometimes including a link to a video or other content). There will also be an exercise or assignment for you to complete. You’ll receive 3 emails per week for 4 weeks that will guide you, step by step, toward creating your own storytelling for your content marketing.
Maybe you made a commitment or wrote down a goal to create some new visual content to promote your business or professional practice in 2016. How’s that going for you?
I’d like to tell you about several new methods I’ve been using to create visual content — and they’re so easy that anybody can do them!
Even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body … Even though you’re not good at the tech side of marketing … Even if you’re concerned about your marketing being too sleazy or sales-y
I think you’ll still find one of these ideas that you like. You might even want to implement all 3 ideas!
1. Use “other people’s videos” in an unexpected way:
You don’t have to create all the video yourself and you don’t have to upload it all to YouTube or Facebook! One important way that many online marketers (including me) are now using video is for the background of squeeze pages or opt-in pages. Click here for an example of one of mine.
These 2-step optin pages or squeeze pages have been tested and found to convert at a much higher rate than traditional optin forms or even optin pages. There are a number of reasons for that higher conversion. One of those reasons is that people love the subtle but eye-catching movement in the background.
2. Add a 7-Second Looping Video to your Facebook Profile:
Facebook began rolling out this new feature in the fall and I don’t know whether everyone has access yet. (You can log into the Facebook app on your mobile device to find out if you have this.)
You can now upload a 7-second video in place of your static profile picture. Just think about how that will catch people’s eyes! Once you set this up, you’ll need to start thinking up reasons to get your Facebook friends to go to your personal profile page to see your video!
3. Create and share animated text videos:
These are another super-short video format created with mobile apps. And there are a bunch of apps available to create these!
My favorite (at least for now) is Legend. It’s great for typing in a short quote, choosing a built-in animation and a color background, then sending your finished project via email, saving as a GIF, or posting to Facebook, among other options.
Research shows that Facebook’s autoplay feature for videos uploaded directly to the news feed creates much higher engagement that static posts. How can you use autoplay videos to stop news feed scrolling and get more engagement?
Which of these 3 easy video methods are you ready to try? Would you like to learn more about these and other easy video tips?
I’m presenting a 1-hour free webinar on February 6th as part of my Creative Marketing TV series. See more details and sign up here. I’ll send you a free PDF resource sheet for this topic the week of the webinar!