A Guide to Storytelling
Storytelling is an art form that sets brands apart with creative, engaging stories. Your story can create a narrative that pulls readers or new clients in. We will be discussing the best storytelling practices and how you can incorporate them in your marketing campaign.
Stories are a transformative experience, but the process of storytelling requires a bit more than just your innate creativity. These are four components to keep in mind with any story you write:
Even if the story you are telling doesn’t feel like a novel or live-action film, any sequence of events essentially creates a story. You can include the story of how your practice was created, what drove you to the medical field, or other accounts that will engage clients and create a personal connection with them.
A key component of storytelling is how your audience will engage with that story. Stories create a connection between audience members interested in the content of that story and the connection between the audience and storyteller. In your practice, you can bring this interaction to life by getting your readers to take part in the story. For example, if you are writing a blog about braces, use the word “you” to interact with the reader and bring them into the story of how braces will benefit them.
All stories require imagination, not just to create them but also to engage with them. If you are telling the story of how your practice started, readers might be able to imagine their own moments of achievement and relate to the components of your story. To create this sense of imagination, use lots of details in your characters, settings, and events.
A common phrase in storytelling is “show, don’t tell.” Rather than telling people that they will benefit from the service or product you are discussing, show them an imaginative sequence of events and detail those benefits in action.
The art of storytelling has been around for thousands of years as a way to pass down history and culture. In today’s business world, you might be telling stories for a few different reasons.
Your potential clients might not understand all the complex medical procedures available to treat their concerns or desired service. Stories can break down those complicated procedures in ways that any person outside of the medical field could understand.
Stories have the power to change behavior and influence readers. Data and science are vital in the medical field and stories can take that data and shape it in a way to show the numbers in action or show the effects of that data.
Storytelling creates a universal language with common tropes: the hero’s journey, the underdog, etc. On your website, readers can see a representation of their health condition or feel that they are not alone in their struggles with acne, positive body image, skincare, etc.
When you connect with people’s emotions, you motivate them toward a certain action. Creating an authentic, transparent brand and a narrative around this brand encourages people to visit your office and keep coming back.
Stories have several necessary “ingredients” that bring them together. Overall, your story must be entertaining, believable, educational, relatable, and memorable. Creating strong elements in each of these categories makes all of that happen. Let’s create a story example to walk you through each element: writing a blog about skin rejuvenation procedures.
Every story needs a main character or protagonist. The character in this story would be your potential client interested in rejuvenating their skin. You, as their medical provider, are another offstage character.
Conflict is what makes readers engage and connect with the story that they are reading. Without some conflict, you do not have a story. In this example, the conflict might be that your reader feels self-conscious about their skin or is suffering from an irritating skin condition like rosacea or acne.
Like conflict, the resolution is necessary for your story to be complete. The resolution is what gives context to the characters and the conflict they were involved in. This is also where your call to action will be, and this prompts readers to schedule a consultation or appointment.
The plot structure is what creates an easily readable story. If the flow of events does not make sense, it can ruin the quality of your story and the amazing characters you’ve created. There has to be a connection between each event or step in the customer’s journey to receiving a cosmetic treatment.
The setting helps with the “show, don’t tell” principle and it allows you to show the goals of your characters in action. In your blog, that setting might be your character achieving great skin and being able to enjoy the outdoors or feel more confident without makeup when they go to school or work.
Who are you telling your story to? Who will benefit from your story? Consider your target market and the type of people you want your story to attract then build a narrative that attracts that audience.
What is the goal of your story? You might be giving readers health advice, telling them about a certain procedure, promoting your practice, etc. You should be able to summarize your message in ten words or less. If you can’t, your story may be a bit too broad or unfocused.
Stories are told for all kinds of purposes. Creating human connection, education, generating action, and building a sense of community are just a few angles you can use to write your story.
What do you want readers to do after they read your narrative? Maybe you are encouraging them to schedule an appointment, sign up for your newsletter, or follow you on social media. End your narrative with a couple of sentences that encourage readers to take that desired action.
Stories can be told in writing, in pictures, or spoken words. You may consider doing something unique such as a video of you explaining a procedure or telling the company story. You could also create a podcast or design graphics as other forms of engaging, storytelling art. The format you decide on will also determine where your story is shared, whether it is on Instagram, your website, an email, YouTube, etc.
At Digital Limelight Media, we want to tell your story and create a unique brand that will bring in new clients and keep existing clients coming back. Give our office a call at 616-222-3735 to learn more about how our creative team of web designers and content writers can help bring your story to life.