Storytelling has long been recognized as an important tool to capture attention, share knowledge, and connect with audiences.
Ultimately, the power of storytelling lies in its ability to evoke emotion and drive home your message. By understanding how to include personal stories in your content, you can create content that truly resonates and stands out from the competition.
Personal stories are a great way to connect with your audience, build trust, and differentiate your content from competitors.
No matter your industry, leveraging personal narratives can be an effective way to engage your audience and communicate your message.
The art of storytelling is an invaluable tool in the world of content marketing. To successfully integrate storytelling into your content marketing strategy, you must first identify what your target audience struggles with. Once you’ve nailed down their pain points, spend time brainstorming story ideas they might relate to.
As you’re brainstorming, it’s essential to consider how storytelling fits into your overall content marketing strategy. Incorporating personal stories might not be suitable for every single piece of content. But when used tastefully, personal stories can help you create engaging content that reaches your target audience members exactly where they are, relates to them on a human level, and encourages them to continue interacting with your brand. And as they keep coming back to learn more from you and begin to trust you to share real, honest, helpful content, you can nurture them toward taking the relationship to the next level and becoming a customer.
Coming up with ideas for personal stories can be a daunting task. If you’re like me, you’ve spent countless hours over the years staring at a blank page and a blinking cursor, just racking your brain and hoping something relevant and relatable will come to mind. Sound familiar? Keep reading for some tips for brainstorming ideas for personal stories to include in your content.
(And before you pop over to ChatGPT looking for ideas, remember that AI cannot create unique personal stories. It's pulling from existing data, so while using AI can be helpful for coming up with general topic ideas, you should not try to replace human creativity and insight with AI.)
When you’re crafting compelling stories tailored specifically to your audience, focus on what they’re currently struggling with or looking for solutions to. Are there certain objections the sales team has been hearing a lot lately in conversations? Have your social media followers been asking for advice or giving feedback? Showing empathy by sharing how you overcame challenges related to your audience’s struggles makes readers more likely to listen and engage with your message.
If you’ve brainstormed and are having trouble coming up with a relevant firsthand personal story, talk to family members, friends, or colleagues about their experiences as they relate to the subjects you write about. Documentaries, biographies, and other forms of literature or movies can also provide inspiration. These sources might jolt your memory and reveal personal stories from your own life that you could share, or you might be able to use third-party stories (with permission, if necessary) if they would be highly relevant and impactful to your audience.
And remember: Personal stories in content don’t always have to be earth-shattering. Sometimes the simplest stories can provide a relatable angle that resonates with readers and drives home your point.
For example, former client Chris Cardinal, founding principal of Synapse Studios, recently wrote an article for Quartz titled “What a granola bar taught me about empowering employees.” When you think of someone going on an errand to buy granola bars, is your world shaken? Probably not. But Chris’ personal story about a simple experience really does the trick in driving home his message about empowering employees. (Don’t believe me? Give the article a read and see for yourself!)
By understanding how to use personal tales that relate to your audience’s interests and needs, you can produce content that stands out from competitors, engages your audience, communicates your message, and helps you achieve your content marketing goals.
I'm a content-obsessed word person with a passion for finding the coziest coffee shop in town. By day, I'm the content marketing manager at Intero Digital's Content & PR Division. In my downtime, you can find me hanging out with my husband and son, reading a book, sipping a latte, drawing, hand lettering, or watching "The Office" for the zillionth time.