'Create journeys fuelled by an undercurrent of emotional value.'
In Karin Krisher's storytelling session at the Inbound 2018 Conference, Karin discussed the secrets of framing your company stories with emotional context.
Emotion needs to be integrated into the six main narrative elements: plot, character, theme, conflict and setting.
Karin is the content lead at New Breed Marketing. Her speciality is developing content strategies at each stage in the buyer’s journey.
Karin’s session focuses on how narrative elements fuel great storytelling, but also strategic marketing and sales. Karin highlights that the buyer’s journey can be re-framed to cover character, setting, conflict, plot and theme.
Why Do Narrative Elements Really Matter?
We use narrative to make sense of the world. Without narrative elements, we wouldn't have any context. We wouldn't be able to interact with stories. We wouldn't understand their emotional resonance.
And in terms of marketing, you can leverage narratives for customer acquisition. But, narratives vary in type, so it's important to research what problems your prospects need to solve, and create the right narratives for them.
Your narrative might be a testimonial, a brand story or a narrative on your product value. You can be creative in the ways that you present your narratives to enable sales.
Either way, everyone will bring their own perspective and experiences to your narratives, which is why a story's meaning doesn't exist on it's own. A story has a slightly different meaning to every reader. This is why the more personal your stories, the better. Authenticity is key.
Reframing The Buyer's Journey As A Narrative
When you re-frame the buyer's journey as a narrative in your content marketing, you can make your prospects your story heroes and solve the conflict of the story with your product or service.
Here's how the buyer's journey can be re-framed as a narrative:
Awareness: Your hero has a problem.
Consideration: Your hero seeks ways to solve the problems.
Decision: Your hero moves towards his/her resolution.
Treat this structure like a chronological timeline in your stories, and detail each in order.
While writing, you'll need to keep the theme of your story in mind. Theme answers the big why.
Theme is like inner-conflict, whatever it is that's beneath the prospect's problem. This might not be immediately obvious. It can be slowly revealed throughout your business story.
Setting is trend-based depending on time period and subject matter, plot-involved and channel-focused. If your setting changes in your story, it's likely that new conflicts are arising. Explain how your products or services solve problems in different settings. It's particularly beneficial to focus on setting if your products are versatile.
Closing the deal at the end of your story is not the end. Remember to delight your customers by going the extra mile and leave an emotional resonance with your stories.
This way, your customers are more likely to come back for the sequel to the great customer experience that they encountered last time.
The buyer's journey isn't just a plot. The plot has an end. Your customer experience shouldn't end. That's why the buyer's journey is more than plot - it's a narrative.
Find out how Insynth can create narratives for every stage of your buyer's journey with winning content marketing strategies.
■ Live @ #INBOUND18: Elevate Your Business Using Compelling Storytelling ■ Live @ #INBOUND18: Is the Keyword Dead? ■ Live @ #INBOUND18: Principles of Viral Content
InsynthMarketing is a leading UK construction marketing consultancy based in Shifnal in the West Midlands. Insynthemploy the latest inbound marketing techniques such asconstruction inbound marketing, to help buildingproduct manufacturers grow their businesses by aggressively driving sales lead generation activity.