Content Marketing: Engagement and The Three Acts of Storytelling

 In Digital Marketing

When it comes to marketing, it’s all about narrative.  But, what’s the best way to go about conveying your message so that it connects emotionally with your audience?  Well, it’s simple, really. You just have to follow the basic structure of storytelling.

The simplest and most effective way to tell a story is to follow the three-act structure.  Whether long or short, written or visually told, this three-act rule will always be your best tactic for story creation.  So, let’s break it down further, so that you can see just how this method affects your ability to engage an audience:

  • Act 1 – Act 1 is essentially your opener.  It is the hook that sets up your story and makes the audience want to keep going to find out more.  Whether you’re creating a story for social media, a website, blog or some other format, this is the most crucial element that will pull a person into your story so that they can ultimately hear your message.  You want your hook to be to the point, and communicate purpose. Don’t try to bury your central message or trick your audience, because if you do, readers or viewers will be disappointed, and they will turn away altogether.  Keep them invested by painting the picture that they clicked to see, read, listen to, etc.
  • Act 2 – This is where the meat of your content comes in.  It’s where you explain or elaborate upon your initial hook that was promised to the audience, and it’s where you present some element of conflict that you’re going to provide a resolution for.  For instance, if you’re conveying the importance of why a particular product should matter to your audience, you must first tell them about the product, then give them an example of when the product could have saved or improved a given situation, thus proving the importance for and their need for your product.  The narrative should continue to follow a persuasive rhythm so that your audience feels compelled to learn more and ultimately buy into your message.
  • Act 3 – Your final act is your conclusion or pitch, if that is your ultimate goal.  It provides a resolution for and ties together all of the information that you’ve provided so that your audience isn’t left asking questions.  There should be a clear end that doesn’t leave the audience scratching their heads. So, think about exactly what it is that you want people to do with the concluding message they’re left with.  This is where you’re going to build customer loyalty and trust, after all. A nice, clean wrap up or summary should leave them wanting just enough to click on your website, engage, and seek your product or services down the line.  And, you can do all of this with just a simple sentence at the end of an article or 10-second tag at the end of a video.

Storytelling is formulaic, and when you follow the basic formula, no matter how you choose to tell or disseminate your story, it works!  The key to conveying your message, telling your story, is to spark the audience’s interest, give them a reason to buy in, and finally, encourage them to engage, and seek further information.  

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