The content world we’ve created is a keyword-saturated mess of Google juice that is lacking a human connection – the thread that makes our stories honest and memorable. We talk about storytelling all the time – encouraging and helping our clients to be authentic and personal. But I know we also fall short.
One of the breakout sessions I attended at Inbound 2015 was Shawn Pfunder’s “Live to Tell the Tale: Leveraging Story to Define Your Brand and Craft Marketing Strategy.” His presentation is an excellent reminder that in a sea of terrible content, good storytelling is exceptionally engaging, informative, and compelling.
And he used Wonder Woman to help prove his point. Bonus.
Shawn reminded us that there are tried and true story plots that can also be used in advertising, blogs, articles, testimonials, bios, press releases, pitches, presentations, pitches … anything!
Within each of these, we can ask ourselves: Who is the hero? (Hint: The client!) What is the normal life? Why change? What will be different? What’s next? What’s the overall story?
So much of the information we consume is from a sales and marketing perspective, focused solely on what will drive traffic to the web site or likes and shares on social media. Case studies and testimonials focus on the company instead of the client. We’re guilty too.
As a result, we’re getting back to basics and committing to focusing on telling a story.
For more information, I searched for articles from the masters of storytelling and discovered these three TED Talks compiled by Convince & Convert.
Here are Shawn’s slides from his presentation.
I’ve already purchased the books he recommended:
20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias
The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall
The Elements of Eloquence: Secret of the Perfect Turn of Phrase by Mark Forsythe
Here are a few more resources:
Entrepreneur: Storytelling Could Bring Your Brand to Life and Strengthen Your Marketing Impact
Fast Company: Why Our Brains Crave Storytelling in Marketing
And who doesn’t love Kevin Spacey?
Ginger Reichl is the president and chief strategist for Pinstripe Marketing.