If you want your blog posts and website content to go viral and create the kind of buzz needed to put you and your business seriously on the online map, you need to learn how to tell a good story.
Stories have been around since the beginning of time. They are in every aspect of our lives and we love them because they force us to engage and they allow us to use our imaginations. They make us feel understood and we can identify with the events, the characters and the action that occurs.
This identification is what generates the kind of connection that marketers need to make a sale and this is why online advertisers, interested in using online content as a way of driving traffic, should work on improving their storytelling skills if they want to see real viral success.
Psychological studies have proven that a story is far more memorable than something that is merely stated, particularly when dealing with facts. This means that the story is an incredibly useful tool for the online marketer that is being ignored by far too many people in the online advertising industry.
How to create a really good story is a craft in itself and this is why the following seven story tips below are like fairy dust. If you follow the tips highlighted for creating a really good story, you will be able to use the ideas in your online content to help ensure that your content goes viral.
Integrate each idea into every blog post that you run and watch as your content gradually becomes the online sustenance for more and more people from your target consumer community.
Every good online marketing story needs to have a purpose
If you have a story to tell, related to your business, consider what the purpose of that story is. Make sure that you really understand why it is that you are telling the story and how it will encourage people to want to share your online content.
For example, let’s imagine that you have an online drug company and you want to increase sales of one particular line of medication. Instead of simply creating blog copy that is designed to sell your product, try putting it into a story with the purpose of highlighting the drug’s advantages in mind.
“Bill used to find reaching up to the top shelf really difficult because of the pain that it caused him in his lower back. One day he tried (the drug that you are selling) and he found that the pain went away and he could enjoy life to the full again once more.”
Naturally, the above idea is by no means the best story in the world, but the purpose of the story is clear and when using stories in your online content, you need to make sure that the purpose is highly evident if you want to have a chance of it going viral.
Get creative with settings and characters.
As your online content stories are likely to be allegorical, have fun with your stories and be as creative as possible. If you can be clever with your online content, your audience is more likely to share your content and the possibilities for going viral will increase.
For example, imagine you own a florist and you want to make your online content go viral to help drive more people to your site. Why not create a story about…
“Rita the Rose and her friend Bill the Bluebell and how their adventure trip to The Land of Love on Valentine’s Day made sure that all those people who were going to be alone on Valentine’s Day ended up meeting the prince/princess of their dreams.”
Again, it is likely that with a little thought you can develop much more interesting stories via your online content, but this will give you an idea of how you can play and have fun with setting and characters in particular to match the focus of your content.
Every good story has a complication to overcome.
If you have a service or a product to sell and you want to drive traffic to your site by making your content go viral, the stories that you create on your website need to generate complications that can be overcome thanks to the product or service that your company provides.
For example, let’s imagine that you own a luxury chair company. The first thing that you need to set up is the problem. There needs to be some issue to resolve… perhaps a chronic back problem from a bad office chair, or lack of comfort from an old, worn-out sofa at home.
“Jill was sleeping badly at night and her doctor told her to invest in a new chair for her home office. Now she sleeps like a baby every single night!”
All the best stories have fantastic villains.
Villains can either make or break a story. The Joker is one of the best loved villains of all time because he creates the conflict and interest that the Batman story needs to keep the audience gripped until the very end.
On the Internet, the villain of your story could be an external force, such as click fraud – a particularly great villain if you are trying to sell online advertising management services. In your story, as you show your online marketing company overcoming the difficulties posed by the villainous click fraud character, your audience will be excited about the hero and the triumphs of your company.
Don’t forget about the turning point.
All online content in the form of a story that has a chance of going viral features a clear turning point. The most important thing in any story is the turning point, the moment when the audience regains hope and believes that things are going to find their way towards a clear and satisfactory resolution.
In terms of the online market, the turning point in your story will be the moment when your target audience realizes that it needs to buy your product, invest in your service or share your site’s content with someone else, helping your content to go viral and your brand to gain strength.
Rhetorical questions work… It’s not a myth!
Rhetoric works for politicians, it works for dramatists and it certainly works for those people hoping to make their online content go viral. Therefore, ask questions in your story, make real use of rhetoric and ensure that the content you produce is effective at getting people to share what you post with their friends and within other related online circles.
“Do you know what Matthew did when he couldn’t get his mobile phone application to download correctly?… What do you think happened when the paint that Robin used turned out not to be waterproof?… How often do you think Marie tried calling her beautician before she gave up completely?”
Rhetoric creates direct interaction and you need your audience to be involved in your company if you want your online content to go viral.
Does your story reach an adequate resolution?
If you create stories in your online content with adequate solutions, you will not actually have to say “Now buy my product” or “Invest in my service” because the consumer will want to do so naturally, having seen how what your company does provides solutions to the problems your characters faced in the story you told.
The art of selling your company via online content that has gone viral lies in the non-selling aspect of your online content and this is why stories are so effective. If the story you tell is entertaining enough, interesting enough and if your company provides a resolution in the story for one or some of the characters, that might be enough to get your conversions increasing and your brand out there in the faces of many.