The art of storytelling has existed as long as humankind has, going beyond the boundaries of culture, geography, and time to cement itself as a permanent part of our society.
But while the oldest stories were represented in hieroglyphics and cave paintings, today’s storytellers use a decidedly different medium: media. In media writing and marketing, storytelling is the foundation of everything from effective branding to sales-driving advertising. Whether you’re working on a social media campaign or producing a new television commercial, understanding the components of a good story is key.
Think of storytelling as the basis for a broad range of careers in media writing and marketing: even though the jobs themselves may look very different in their day-to-day tasks, required skills, and even final products, being able to tell an interesting story is a must for all of them.
We’re going to take a closer look at why storytelling is so important for media writing and marketing, as well as a few basic principles of a truly excellent story.
The Importance of Storytelling in Marketing and Media Writing
Anytime you stop what you’re doing to listen to an advertisement, watch a commercial, or read a business’s blog article, a storyteller somewhere has been successful. Your attention has been effectively captured because of an engaging story, and you are now primed to hear whatever message the writer or marketer wants to deliver.
In our fast-paced world, outstanding content has become more important than ever before. We have countless things fighting for our interest every second of the day, so making a specific message stand out requires intentional effort (and plenty of skill). Many of the world’s most successful brands have mastered storytelling, helping them connect with the right consumers at the right time.
So, what exactly is it that makes a good story so valuable? There are three reasons that modern-day marketing and media writing has made storytelling a must:
Storytelling establishes a connection between a brand and the audience.
It doesn’t matter if you’re creating an online video ad, a radio broadcast commercial, a native ad, or any other type of marketing content. Ultimately, your first goal is to connect with the target audience. Through the fundamental human experience of storytelling, marketers and consumers can find common ground.
Think about any advertisement that has recently evoked an emotion for you. Whether you felt sadness, joy, or humor as you engaged with the content, it was the story that spoke to you. When an advertiser can successfully create a story that generates interest and a genuine response in the audience, the brand becomes more meaningful and relatable for consumers.
Storytelling can be an excellent way for people to learn.
For many businesses, beginning a relationship with a new customer first requires a bit of education. For example, for a consumer to be interested in purchasing a specific type of refrigerator, they need to understand why that model is superior to others, how it will improve their life, and what specific features it can offer that align with their needs. In order words, how does this item fulfill a need for the consumer?
Enter storytelling, a powerful learning tool. In the example above, a marketer can use a story to communicate important information to the audience, specifically in a way that doesn’t feel overly pushy or boring. Perhaps a commercial that centers on a family preparing for dinner, cooking a meal together as they grab items from their ever-convenient and flawlessly-functional fridge. That story is one that tells the audience exactly how and why this product can change their lives for the better.
A good story can be the key to standing out from the crowd.
The modern media landscape is constantly demanding consumers’ attention, so brands have to work even harder to distinguish themselves in a vast sea of competitors. Consumers are smarter – and more discerning – than ever before, and they’re on the hunt for new experiences and creative delivery from marketers.
Essentially, a marketer has to figure out how to prove that their content is worthy of a consumer’s time. And on top of that, they often have a minimal amount of time to do that. But with a fascinating story, the marketer can quickly draw the consumer in, then seal the deal with high-quality content delivered skillfully.
A story can help a brand show its human side, which is what consumers are now expecting. Not only that, but a consumer is far more likely to remember a brand (and even retain some key information) after being engaged via storytelling. From the first moment of connection, storytelling can make a world of difference for a brand’s success.
What are the Synthesized Principles of Storytelling?
Condensing the art of storytelling into a handful of key principles is a challenge, but it can be done. Every story – every good story, that is – must be based on four principles. Leave even one behind, and your story is bound to fall flat, but incorporate them effectively, and you could have an outstanding story on your hands.
- Character. Every story revolves around its characters, the individuals at the center of the action, and provides a way for the audience to relate and empathize.
- Context. Otherwise known as the setting, the context of a story is the “where” and “when” everything occurs.
- Conflict. Without conflict, nothing is fueling any action within the story. Conflicts take on all forms, but ultimately, they serve to move the story and characters forward.
- 9Creation. Like the glue that holds everything together, creation unites character, context, and conflict in a compelling way.
How to Turn Your Passion for Storytelling into a Rewarding Career
Whether you’ve always been a born storyteller or you’re interested in developing it as a new skill, understanding how to engage an audience can be your first step towards an exciting job in media writing or marketing.
Whether you’re drawn to film and TV production, podcasting, audio production, or any one of the many other career paths available, making it your job to tell stories can be a wonderful source of professional fulfillment. With so many different jobs in media playing a part in telling the larger story, there are many unique opportunities available.
You don’t necessarily have to be a naturally-talented storyteller to succeed; in fact, an excellent education, plenty of practice, and a willingness to learn and work hard are what you’ll need to get started in the industry. Without proper training and a degree in media, even a highly-capable individual can be at a disadvantage in a highly competitive and fast-paced industry.
As a graduate of the Media Schools of Miami, Colorado, Illinois, and Ohio, you’ll be equipped with the skills you need to get started in media writing or marketing. Our campuses offer a diverse range of program options, giving you the ability to choose the future that feels right for you. Additionally, with an extensive selection of internship opportunities in media writing, marketing, and more, you can build the practical experience that will help you jump-start your career.
Are you interested in making a creative and exciting career out of your love for storytelling? Get started now by requesting more information about how to enroll at the Media Schools today.