The Olympics have certainly captivated my attention over the last two weeks. Every night, I turn on the tube and I get hooked instantly. Not only do I get hooked by the excitement of the competition itself, but also by the athletes and their stories: how they’ve achieved their success and became Olympians. I find myself cheering them on, although I’ve never even heard of these people before.
NBC does a great job of building stories that allow viewers to connect with the athletes. We learn of their pasts, their dreams to become the greatest in their sport, their motivation to keep going when times get tough. We’re fascinated by how much time they spent training and constantly practicing to make it all perfect. When we see tears of joy from them and their family members, who we’ve also come to know, we see that it’s all worth it.
You all can probably relate to the emotional lure NBC uses to create stories to accompany each competition, even if it’s a sport you wouldn’t likely be compelled to watch. For me, that sport was fencing. It’s not something I’d usually watch, but I found myself drawn in by the stories about the participants after watching for just a few minutes.
In a previous post I wrote about the power of storytelling, and how people’s brains respond best to story formats. Stories grab people’s attention and are much more memorable than just a list of facts. They are the reason we can recall tidbits of information regarding the countless hours of training, lives put on hold and dedicated to this one sport, and past injuries they’ve overcome; all these things grab our attention and we remember. Take Melissa Franklin for instance — we learned that she started swimming lessons at a year old and now will be starting her senior year of high school in a few weeks; she’s just a regular teenager with the motivation to be an Olympic swimmer.
Developing compelling website content into a story-type format can work to captivate your audience, too.
Here’s what a typical story looks like and how you can weave it into your content marketing efforts:
- Set the stage: Develop a lead that gives the reader an idea of what’s to come. What’s happening within your industry your readers need to know and will find value in knowing? Providing them with insights that they can benefit from will help you become a leader in your industry and a resource they can depend on.
- Unveil a unique angle for overcoming an obstacle: What about your content brings something new to the table? What’s the challenge and what’s the unique solution you can suggest? Setting yourselves apart from the competition by being a little different will engage your audience. Do you have processes or services that are unique? Think of how you can creatively, and in a different way than your competition, solve the problems of your prospects.
- Celebrate your win: Just like Olympians who talk about their obstacles, their training and their ability to find success, we as storytellers can do the same. We’ve all had obstacles and struggled to find unique ways to conquer them. Now, we need to toot our own horns a bit and show off our success and how we got there. You can do this by sharing success stories and case studies about successful projects you’ve completed. Let your readers know about awards or other recognition you’ve gotten for being a leader in your industry.
What Olympic stories have captivated your attention and have they motivated you to build stories about your business? If you need some creative minds to help create stories for your website, blog or email marketing, contact us here at Brandpoint.