How to Use Narrative Structure to Create Memorable Content

Memorable marketing content. How do you create it so it isn’t forced and it resonates with prospects?

The answer lies in one beautiful word: storytelling.

Storytelling is an essential content marketing tool used to attract readers and keep them engaged.

The concept is simple: use a narrative structure to create memorable marketing content.

Implementing narrative structure into content creation isn’t as difficult as it sounds. And you don’t have to be a professional writer to get it right.

If you can understand the storyline of The Three Little Pigs, you can master the art of using a narrative storyline in your content. We promise it’s that easy.

To make it super simple for you to implement story into your content, below are five components of the narrative structure that are key to telling your brand’s story.

It’s our hope that these tips help you increase audience engagement and send your customers going wee wee wee all the way to purchasing your product/service.

#1. Establish a Base Reality

The first step in any form of storytelling is to establish the base reality.

In The Three Little Pigs, the base reality is founded on three pigs that are building houses together in a community. They are working individually to build homes that are strong enough to keep them safe from the big bad wolf.

In marketing terms, establishing the base reality means defining your audience and where they come from.

The base reality is one of the easiest components to identify.

It’s also the most important. Before you begin writing, map out your base reality. If you want an effective marketing message, you need to know exactly whom you are speaking to…before you write a word.

Taking a bit of time to get that clear will take you a long way.

 #2. Introduce the First Unusual Thing

The first unusual thing introduces a problem in your storyline.

For the pigs, the first unusual thing introduced is a wolf that can blow down houses. While this is indeed very “unusual” and something you’d only encounter in a fairytale, in the story, it’s a very real threat to the pigs.

As a marketer, your first unusual thing is the problem your audience is struggling to overcome or is trying to avoid.

Figure out the problem that’s driving your prospect to need your product/service.

Knowing this gives you the power to effectively speak to and sell to your prospect.

Creating content that highlights a problem at the beginning of your story sets you up perfectly for offering a solution at the end.

 #3. Establish the Game

Establishing the game is one of the most important parts of a successful narrative structure.

It reiterates why your audience can’t live without your product/service.

In our example of The Three Little Pigs, the game is that the wolf can continuously blow down the pigs’ houses because the materials aren’t strong enough. The wolf blows down the structures over and over again, making the need for stronger building materials obvious.

Establishing the game in your content is important because it gives you the opportunity to show your audience that their problem is going to keep happening until they purchase your product or service.

Note here the power in that statement.

Clearly presenting the game allows prospects to come to their own conclusion that they need what you sell. There’s no need to hound prospects or scream at them in CAPS.

#4. Heighten the Game

Heightening the game means taking the problem in your story to its worst-case scenario.

Thankfully for the pigs, the author decided not to heighten the storyline.

If the author had, one of those pigs would have been turned into a plate of delicious crispy bacon for the big bad wolf to chow on.

While heightening the game would not have worked out well for the pigs, it’s a powerful strategy that captures your audience’s attention and keeps them engaged.

Heightening the game is a powerful strategy. If your audience decides that something unpleasant could happen if they don’t use your product/service, they are going to want to stick around to the end for tips on how to avoid it.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you manufacture cleaning products.

The game might be that most standard cleaners on the market can’t remove mold spores properly.

In order to “heighten the game,” you’d bring attention to the idea that mold can cause severe illness and possibly lead to death if not cleaned properly.

Selling from fear in marketing content is a fine line, and we don’t condone selling out of fear just to make a buck.

We use the example above to illustrate our point.

However, it wouldn’t be too over-the-top to suggest if mold is untreated, death is a possibility.

#5. Offer a Resolution

The final stage in the narrative structure is offering a resolution that ties your brand’s story together.

For the three little pigs, the resolution occurred when they discovered a house made of bricks.  A house that would keep them safe from the wolf.

In your marketing content, your resolution needs to explain the reasons your product/service is the answer to the consumer’s needs.

You must tap into their WHY.

This sounds like a very elementary idea; however, many businesses simply tell customers to buy a product instead of giving valuable information as to why a product/service is going to fix their problem.

End your story with inarguable reasons why your product/service is the answer, and customers will remember the story of why they should choose your product the next time they go to the store or are surfing online.

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