Stories work in marketing. They are found in commercials, in the way brands present themselves and just about any type of marketing material you can imagine. And they work really well for us online marketers.
The hardest part of telling a story is figuring out what to tell. It’s not easy to come up with a good storyline when you’re staring at a blank screen. The solution is to stick with one of the tried and true basic story lines and tweak from there. Here are three of the most popular ones.
Good Vs. Evil
Let’s start with the popular good vs. evil theme. Most fairy tales are based on this story line, as is a lot of current fiction (think Harry Potter) and your favorite TV Crime Drama. The basic storyline is that you are the good guy and you have to defeat the bad guy.
How could this work in your marketing? Let’s say you own a website that vets various contractors and handymen. You also have a review system in place. In other words, you’re the go-to guy when I need to hire someone to fix something around the house. The bad guy is the shady contractor who’s only after a quick buck and won’t fix things right. From there, you can tell your story and either focus on the good and positive coming out of your website and your recommendations. Or you can share how terribly things can go wrong if I hire the bad guy.
The Reluctant Hero Returns
This storyline should sound familiar too. Boy leaves home, builds his fortune while he’s away, or learns something important and then comes home to share the wealth and knowledge discovered. Along the way he might just save the day. Does that sound like a Western or Romantic comedy you’ve seen lately?
With this storyline, you can share your personal story of how you discovered the niche you are in. Maybe you’re the gluten-free expert because your child was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and you and your family had to find a way to live with it.
Rags To Riches
This storyline also shouldn’t come as a surprise. You’ve seen it in a million forms from Cinderella to Shark Tank. The idea is to share how you went from nothing to where you’re at today. It’s the quintessential American story.
This storyline works really well when you’re sharing how you’ve made your money online. If you’re marketing to marketers or business to business, this is the storyline you’ll use more than any other.
But it doesn’t have to be used only in the “making money’” market. You could tweak the same storyline and share how you found more time in your day, how you’re more organized with less stuff or how you found your faith, your courage, or your self-esteem. Any journey of growth can be told with a “rags to riches ”storyline.