Storytelling & Superman.

The Only Time I’ll Admit Superman is Right

As far back as I can remember, Superman and I have had a bit of a rivalry.  This guy shows up on the scene, supposedly from some other planet (Krypton?  More like Kansas City, the rube), and instantly decides he’s going to steal my spandex color scheme, my haircut, and more recently, my woman.  I understand that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but he’s just about run a marathon past that fine borderline into Jerk City.

While Superman/Clark Kent/GirlfriendStealerMan really gets my blood boiling (and I have to sip chug my appletini as I admit this), he is right about one thing: storytelling packs a powerful punch, especially in content marketing.  Pick up the Daily Planet and check out a few of Clark’s stories.  The guy’s not just regurgitating the latest stories, he’s including an emotional appeal.

He’s making his readers actually care about his stories.

Though we content marketing superheroes aren’t necessarily dishing out the scoop about the latest attack on Metropolis, we should have the same goals in mind.  Today’s internet marketing community is truly a global one.  No longer are brands facing a handful of local competitors in their industries--they’re literally facing the rest of the world.

So, if you and thousands of other companies are selling cupcakes, handbags, fishing poles, or whatever your forte may be, how do you guide customers to choose yours?  Simple.  You make them care through storytelling.

2000px-Freytags_pyramid.svg

2000px-Freytags_pyramid.svg

Research has demonstrated that even simple, basic stories provoke strong emotional responses in readers, as long as they are engaging, well-written, and follow Freytag’s storytelling arc.  Put your customers in the driver’s seat and make them the protagonists, using your product or service to overcome frustration, negativity or some common evil (like those baddies at Deceptor Marketing!).  Through narrative, highlight how important your readers’ success is to you, and they are sure to return the favor.

Don’t get me wrong, I still hope Superman gets his cape stuck in a revolving door; but I guess he’s not such a dummy after all.  Maybe we’ll team up someday.  Probably not.

Write on, Captain Content. Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @CaptContent

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