Telling a Story to Boost SEO? Trend for 2016 Promotes Storytelling in Web Content

One of the new marketing trends, according to people who should know like IBM’s Sandy Carter (watch her in the video, below), is story-telling in your web content. Writing a blog post? Tell a story. Have something to report on Facebook or in Google Plus? Don’t just give facts; tell a story that explains your data.

Storytelling in Your Web Content

Why? Not only is a story more approachable for most folk, storytelling has been shown scientifically to be a better way of conveying a message. The human brain likes it. For details on all that science stuff, read the article over at SEOPressor. (They’ve even got a video with brain scans that uses terminology like “neurochemistry.”)

Who is Your Intended Reader? That’s Your First Question 

Of course, one of the keys here is understanding your INTENDED READER.

Envision that person, or that group: to whom are you telling this story? If you don’t know who that is, then get busy.

It’s important not only for things like writing at the proper reading level and with an accurate understanding of their wants and needs, it’s also respectful of who your readers are and why they should spend any of their valuable time on you.

Respect your reader enough to know who they are — if you’re writing to engage someone. Unless you’re writing an online diary, this is critical. (Sorry if I’m sounding a little frustrated here: it’s because I am. Disrespecting the reader really, really bugs me and it happens way too often, IMHO.) 

Example of Good Storytelling in a Marketing Effort: Angie’s List Story on Indiana Explosion Aftermath 

What the heck is this storytelling approach, anyway? Got an example for you.

Read “Finding Normal After the Disaster: Richmond Hill Family Refuses to Let Blast Drive Them Away,” by Lisa Renze-Rhodes, published on October 1, 2013 on Angieslist.com.

You know Angie’s List, right? It’s a membership site which vets service companies for its members. 

This article reports on a huge tragedy that happened in the Richmond Hill community of Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s a compassionate and informative article that manages to include links to vetted contractors on Angie’s List.

Reading it, I don’t get the feel that I’m being manipulated at all here to become a member of Angie’s List. As I read, I’m getting detailed information on how these people rallied after this huge explosion and fire hit their neighborhood, killing several people and injuring dozens more.

It’s good story-telling.

And it’s good marketing, because even now, when I think about house fires or explosions, or read about a new arson case, I think back to this story from Angie’s List. And I recall that it originated at the Angie’s List website.

Which means that one day, maybe I will become an active member of that site. So, good job, Angie’s List.

Tips and Tricks for Storytelling in Your Web Content 

For more on storytelling and other search engine optimization (SEO) marketing trends for 2016, watch this video of IBM’s General Manager and “Social Business Evangelist,” Sandy Carter. There’s also a list of good tips to follow at SEORoadMap.