Storytelling Strategies for Content Marketers

By Karl Anderson

08/29/16

When you think about it, engaging content tells a story. Whether that content is a profile of an athlete who overcame significant obstacles, an infographic that illustrates a revolutionary manufacturing process, or a social media post that highlights an exciting development in medical science, there’s a story being told. There’s a deliberate strategy to communicate in a way that provides value for audiences.

The best way to refocus content as storytelling is to start by respecting the audience members’ intelligence and trying to see its value from their perspective. It’s important to draw them in and then hold their attention with information that has substance and practical relevance. In this sense, it’s all about crafting a cohesive and compelling narrative, as oral storytellers have practiced since prehistoric times—but this approach is just as applicable in today’s world of print and digital communication.

A dedication to the story of an individual news article, graphic design project, or other creative deliverable is one thing that sets Touchpoint apart in the field of content development. We’re always thinking about our clients’ audiences, and what will provide true value for them, keep them interested, and encourage their continued engagement.

For our independent sports writing for hockey magazines, for instance, we take the time to make our articles and features address our readers’ specific interests. We seek to understand the types of real issues and questions our audiences face, whether they’re the parents of an 8-year-old girl in Minnesota with dreams of hockey glory or an elite player in Massachusetts looking into long-term development options. To accomplish this, we interview athletes and speak with coaches of different age groups and levels all across the country, as well as the ice arena staff members dedicated to providing opportunities for skaters and fans. Everyone has a story to tell, and we want our magazines and newsletters to help bring communities together.

Karl1While storytelling is at the heart of Touchpoint’s sports journalism, it’s also a crucial element of our content marketing work for the business sector, from enterprise-level corporations to smaller regional companies. We often start by conducting research about relevant topics and interviewing experts in specific industries who can lend their insights and unique voices to the stories. With the basic structure of the factual details, statistics, and quotes in place, we build and polish B2C and B2B newsletter articles, whitepapers, blogs, and other online features our clients’ audiences can relate to and genuinely appreciate.

Many times, these stories also highlight practical suggestions to resolve common problems or concerns, be proactive about preparing for potential issues in the future, or make wise business investment decisions. Technically it might be possible in some cases to list tips or calls to action in a business article without paying attention to the overall story of the piece, but if we can structure the writing in a way that engages readers, understands where they’re coming from, and anticipates their specific needs, we’re more likely increase their appreciation for our clients’ brand for the long term.

There will always be stories to tell, and we’re proud to help our clients share them with their audiences.