superhero

Content Marketing: Superheroes Teach the Art of Storytelling

  |  December 28, 2012   |  Comments

Effective content marketing is about mastering the art of storytelling. Facts tell, but stories sell.

Last week, I visited Comic Con Austin with my 7-year-old son. The people in costumes, the famous actors, and characters were not what caught my attention. What fascinated me is the engagement that people had with these characters, many of whom have been around for more than 50 years. That is the value of great content. I caught up with Shane Gibson, chief social officer for Wizard World and Comic Con to discuss the power of these iconic brands and to discuss social media marketing with these audiences.

Effective content marketing is about mastering the art of storytelling. Facts tell, but stories sell.

Great content marketing planning follows the structure of a powerful story; using an inciting incident that compels you into the narrative arc, strong characters including a hero (protagonist) and an enemy (antagonist), and a sense of conflict and resolution.

The main characters include your brand and your customers. This is the main reason to use content marketing personas, as they allow you to play the role of your customers empathetically as they engage in dialogue with your brand. After all, the origins of the word persona come from script writing and the ancient Greek theaters. Content and social media marketing should be focused all around the conversations you are having with your customers.

When you know and understand personas, you can begin to discover why your customers do what they do:

  • What's this persona's unspoken question regarding this product or service?
  • What does she expect from this product?
  • What's her experience with your company? Will it fall short of her expectations? Of your competitors?
  • What information will this persona need to be persuaded to take action?
  • Does she prefer to collect information slowly and methodically? Does she take a personal approach? Or does she want a bottom-line summary?
  • Why is she motivated to take this action?
  • What actions do you want this persona to take, and how will you persuade her to take them?

Now you can begin to plan persuasive content marketing scenarios that will entice people to participate in the conversions that are critical to your business success. Are you planning and delivering the next marketing blockbuster or are you winging it hoping not to be the next flop?

Superhero image on home page via Shutterstock.

This column was originally published on November 2, 2012.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bryan Eisenberg

Bryan Eisenberg is coauthor of the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times bestselling books "Call to Action," "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?," and "Always Be Testing." Bryan is a professional marketing speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as SES, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, SEM Konferansen Norway, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others. In 2010, Bryan was named a winner of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation's Rising Stars Awards, which recognizes the most talented professionals 40 years of age or younger in the field of direct/interactive marketing. He is also cofounder and chairman emeritus of the Web Analytics Association. Bryan serves as an advisory board member of SES Conference & Expo, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and several venture capital backed companies. He works with his coauthor and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg. You can find them at BryanEisenberg.com.

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