5 Best Types of Content Marketing for Great Storytelling
By Kate O'Reilly | March 29, 2019
Ask yourself: Does your content tell a story? Here’s how to best tell engaging stories with photos, blogs and more.
Your aunt who tells the best stories is always everybody’s favorite person to sit by at the family gathering, and the same is true with content. Content that tells a good story, no matter the type, is always the most engaging for your audiences. They will sit with your content and make themselves comfortable.
If you do it right and evoke a reaction with your content storytelling, your audience will pay attention. It’s not about how long a video is or how many photos you post, it’s not really about whether someone has time for your content or not. It’s about one thing and one thing only:
We produce dozens of types of content daily at MSPC. The following are some of the most common content formats online, and they happen to be some of our favorites for capturing the attention of audiences with storytelling.
Here are four elements of good photo storytelling:
- Theme: Find the theme for your photos. A theme helps viewers start to draw their own conclusions about where the story is going, and capture their attention even further.
- Tone: Lighting affects mood more than anything. You can easily tell a sadder story with a grainy or darker image and a happier one with clear and light photos. Color choice also plays into the mood.
- Emotion: Show facial expressions and people interacting in order to portray emotion.
- Sequence: To make photo narration work well, be thoughtful of how the order of a photo series will best tell the story.
With all types of digital content, stories should have a start (introduction), a middle (or arch) and finish (payoff) that evoke emotion, and video is no different.
The key to video storytelling is to tell one story for one reason. You should also identify 1) who the audience is and 2) the distribution platform where the video will live to optimize it for that platform. All of these elements together make for a video that tells a great story!
As long as humans could make fire, and even before, we’ve been telling stories. We may have evolved from slate to screen for delivery mechanism, but the need for stories is deeply rooted in our cores. We write to capture an emotion and share it with others. The popularity of blogs is the modern-day living, breathing example of that.
There are many different types of online writing that can tell good stories in blog form, from magazine-style editorial content and hard-hitting op-eds to favorite things round-ups and long-form thinkpieces and beyond. Blogs are every storyteller’s dream landscape. You’d be wise to use them as a staple in your content strategy.
Storytelling hasn’t changed much since the dawn of time but the mediums through which we tell the stories have changed in spades. A multitude of social media channels and types of social media content, paired with ever-evolving consumer attention, makes it so not only do you have to tell a story in as little as 6 seconds, but you also have to do it well. Our fully on-demand world requires it.
It’s no wonder a top Google query is “what does a social media posting calendar look like?” It’s our job as marketers to seek the stories to tell—and plan—well. Pay attention to these elements in droves, on a micro- and macro-level, and you will have success with social media storytelling.
Case studies are an incredibly natural medium for storytelling. Original research paired with eye-catching visualizations? Yes, please. Case studies are the Academy Awards of storytelling content types.
First, think of your customer as a Best Picture and your brand as a Best Supporting Actor. Second, set up a classic Hollywood before-and-after scenario: humble beginnings, the guts of how they went from rags-to-riches, the big reveal and all. This is a classically relatable scenario and a universal emotion evoker. Third, make it nice. Make it really, really nice. Both beautifully designed overall and jam-packed with details and results that have that wow factor.
Producing a variety of content that both tells good stories and is optimized for where it will live is the best practice. Where can you fit great storytelling into your content strategy? What other content marketing content types have you found to be effective in storytelling? Contact MSPC to continue the conversation for your brand.