If you give someone a list of product features, they may easily forget them. But put them into a compelling story and it can stick with a person forever.
Storytelling isn’t only used in books and movies. It can be an engaging way to explain your IT business solutions and how they can directly relate to a potential customer.
By learning how to sprinkle a few stories into your blog posts and landing pages, you can improve conversions and make your business more memorable.
Why Use Storytelling in Your MSP Marketing Content?
There is a reason that Facebook and Instagram both have a “Stories” feature at the top of their sites. People love a good story and tend to become much more engaged when a concept is explained in the framework of storytelling.
Studies show that messages delivered as stories are 22 times more memorable than facts only.
Why is information told via story so much more memorable? Here are a few reasons:
- Stories provide a narrative for information
- Stories will typically have a character
- Stories offer a reason to keep reading (you want to know if/how a problem is resolved)
- Stories transport us to a different place, which leads to higher engagement
- Stories often engage emotions, which aids retention
Here’s a quick example of the difference between just writing information and turning that information into a story:
“Our web filtering service can keep your family safe from dangerous websites and links shared over social media by blocking them, even after they’re clicked.”
“Fourteen-year-old Jennifer was in her room looking through her social media feed, just like any other Saturday morning. A new “friend” direct messaged a link to a video of her favorite band. Without thinking, she excitedly clicked the link, but instead of seeing the band, a warning page came up that said the site contained malware.
She immediately went to ask her Mom about it. Her mother was relieved they had signed up for a web filtering service two months earlier that did just what it promised, protected her family from online threats.”
You can see how a story transports the reader to a moment and can actually put them in the place of the characters. In this case it makes the case for signing up for a web filtering service much more compelling and gives an example of its benefits in a tangible way.
So how do you infuse storytelling into your IT business blogs?
Tips for Telling a Story With Your Content Marketing
You don’t have to be George Lucas or Steven Spielberg to add some storytelling magic to your site, just follow a few tips that ease you into the process.
You also don’t have to tell stories all the time, just use them when it makes sense and can help make your information more memorable to the reader.
Here are several ways you can begin using the magic of storytelling to make both your content and your IT business brand more memorable.
Use the 4 Elements of Storytelling
There are four key elements that go into telling a story and that give a framework to the narrative.
These elements are:
It helps to think about the stories you enjoy. They typically put the character in some type of problem that they need to overcome. Then once the character takes a specific action they arrive at the solution.
These elements will typically come naturally when telling a story, but it’s a good idea to keep them in mind when infusing storytelling into your blogs and other MSP marketing content.
Make the Situation Relatable
The goal with storytelling in content marketing is to make it more non-fiction than fiction. You want the situation you’re describing to be relatable to your readers so they can imagine themselves in that particular situation.
For example, if you tell a story about a virus infecting the king’s computer and his foot soldiers not being able to remove it, that might be entertaining, but not very relatable.
Instead, bring that story to a more tangible place, such as a small business owner walking in and being hit with a ransomware attack and his employees not being sure what to do.
Get Inspiration from Real Life
Some of the best sitcom writers use experiences from their own life as a basis for the stories they tell on the screen.
As an IT provider, you already know multiple stories of clients running into IT problems and then having them resolved. You may also have them shared with you via MSP testimonials and reviews.
Without giving away any client’s confidence, use your real-life experience as inspiration for stories that can illustrate a specific solution that matches the topic you’re writing about.
Make Sure the Story Matches Your Message
If you’re writing a blog about cybersecurity for enterprise corporations, a story about a home computer being compromised most likely isn’t going to be a compelling narrative for that subject.
When sprinkling storytelling into your content, you want to make sure that the story example matches the message topic. It should be making a point for your content topic and be relatable to the audience the message is directed to.
Pick a Good Image for Your Story
When you put an image next to your story, you increase the engagement and how memorable your content is even more so than just using a story alone.
Posts that contain images get 94% more views than those without images.
Take your time and choose an image that will help illustrate the point being made in your blog. You can find tips in our article on finding compelling images for your MSP website.
A few of my “go to” places for finding free use images are:
Make the Human the Star of the Story
If you’re telling a story about a computer repair or a ransomware incident to try to promote a solution that you provide, make the human being the star, not your product or service.
The thing that makes stories so compelling is that people can imagine them or someone they know going through the same events as your character. You want to focus on the person going through the chain of events in the story, then you can bring your offerings in as the solution to their struggles.
Don’t Leave Out the Details
Details about where a story happens are what brings it to life for someone. So, if your story takes place during a rainstorm, mention that. If someone discovered a computer problem just as they were planning to leave for the night and binge some Netflix, add that detail. The details add richness to the story.
Think back to the opening of the web filter example:
- Here is the line as I wrote it earlier: “Fourteen-year-old Jennifer was in her room looking through her social media feed, just like any other Saturday morning.”
- Compare that to: “Jennifer was looking through her social media feed.”
See how the first rendition with the details puts you in the scene much more than the second? Those details can make the difference between a boring story and an immersive story.
Include the Emotion
Was Fred upset when he found ransomware on his corporate network, was he shocked, or both?
Adding the emotional element into your story helps the reader relate to the conflict that’s being laid out, which may then make them more likely to want to know more about the solution that “saved the day.”
Make sure to add the emotion that a certain situation evokes, whether it’s fear because of the problem or relief from the solution.
Make Your Point After You Tell the Story
You can’t just expect someone to put two and two together when you tell a story. Immediately after you’ve told it, make the point (i.e. tell them the moral of the story).
Going back to the web filtering story example. Once you told the story of the young teen being saved from malware by web filtering, add something like,
“Families that use our XYZ Web Filtering Plan can sleep easier at night, knowing everyone is protected from malware and other online threats… even if they accidently click a malicious link.”
You might even decide to put a CTA in with your moral of the story by adding a link to your solution.
Don’t Overuse Stories
If your entire blog post goes from one story to another, then your main topic point may be lost. Storytelling is great for engaging the reader, but you can have too much of a good thing.
Use stories at the sprinkles on top of great blog content, remembering that a little goes a long way.
Make Your Content More Memorable with Storytelling
Adding a story here and there in your marketing content can make a big difference in your conversions and how memorable your IT business is to potential customers.
What’s your favorite IT business story? Share with us in the comments!