Storytelling Dominates Content Marketing in 2017

  • Sumo

Storytelling Dominates Content Marketing in 2017

Tight-rolled jeans, body suits and telling a good ol’ yarn are back in style. I’m not wild about the 90s fashion trends making a comeback, but I adore a good story.

When I first started writing online in 2003 or so as a side gig to supplement my newspaper career income, web editors asked for first-person voice.

It was refreshing.

My first paid piece was an insightful feel-good story about donating my ponytail to Locks of Love. I lamented about my decision and educated readers about the organization and how they create wigs for people with medical conditions that restrict hair growth, or for those with temporary hair loss.

The piece was both informative and tugged at your emotions. Reading about people doing good things, overcoming triumphs or making smart decisions feels good. It’s inspirational, motivational and uplifting.

That’s why marketing strategists are reviving the art of storytelling. It’s incredibly engaging.

I’ve landed several new clients over the past few months (thanks to a career re-boot) and have noticed language in many of the writer’s guidelines that encourage writers to connect with their audience by telling a story, anecdote or personal reflection to make the content more relatable on a personal level.

Editors are looking for more:

  • first-person voice to make the author present in the article, and likable
  • second person usage of you, to speak directly to the reader
  • conversational tone, so you sound like you’re chatting with a friend, not broadcasting a marketing message
  • examples, scenarios, case studies and experiences to illustrate facts and theories

One of my new projects is writing for Indy Life. I share first-person challenges and insights gained while growing my freelance writing business. I dig into things that worked, and more often, those that didn’t and how I learned from my experiences.

In the end, each piece is a little education in making it as an entrepreneur, a population my client is looking to gain the attention of through content marketing.

Expect to read more blog posts, case studies, white papers and articles online with a storytelling approach in the coming year. Are you writing or assigning projects with this tone in mind? Let’s chat in the Facebook comments below.

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