Content marketing is essential to the success of fintech companies. But content marketing is most effective when companies learn how to use storytelling – telling specific stories and using storytelling as a content strategy.
Storytelling goes beyond telling your passion, business, product, and consumer story. Smart marketers know how to use storytelling as an underlying strategy for every content they produce – attraction, authority, affinity, and action.
Having considered how storytelling as a content strategy works, let’s look at some companies that exemplify this approach – or, at least, some elements of it.
Introduction that connects emotionally
In Storytelling as a content strategy, the customer is the hero who experiences some obstacles and challenges on the way to achieving her goals.
Therefore, one of the first things to do in a content that uses this approach is to identify the customer’s (reader’s) goal(s) and the obstacles on the way. The place to do this is in the introduction. Put differently, you need to use the introduction to set up the plot.
In the article below, Chime aims to introduce a popular budgeting system – the 50:30:20 system – to the readers.
Look at how they introduce the article: “Have you found it super-duper challenging to set financial boundaries.” Though imperfect, they attempt to identify the reader’s goal – set financial boundaries – and the challenges she faces in achieving it.
They could have done better by putting their hands on the goals – what can setting financial boundaries do for the reader? Setting financial boundaries is a good aim, but why does a reader seek financial boundaries? By going deeper, they could have helped the reader connect more emotionally to the article.
Also, stating the challenges readers face when setting financial boundaries could have been helpful. Yes, the writer and reader know what the goals and challenges are. However, stating it at the beginning of the article helps draw the readers emotionally into the content. They can see themselves in the goals and the challenges, and they are better awakened to the solutions you will provide.
Avant does a good job in this regard. In this article, they are identifying six ways unemployed people can earn income.
They started by trying to create an emotional connection. Any unemployed reader knows it is not an easy place to be, especially when there are debts or loan repayments to worry about.
They identified the goal – navigating unemployment – and the challenges – debts and loan repayments. The reader immediately sees himself in the story.
Opp Loans is another good example. In this article, they want to help readers understand how they can use personal loans for auto-repair expenses.
See how they introduced the article by identifying the reader’s goal – getting a car as part of the American dream – and challenges – high repairs and maintenance costs. Every reader who sees owning a car as part of the American dream and has had issues with high repairs and maintenance costs can immediately connect emotionally with this introduction.
Use the introduction of your article to set up the plot. Identify the protagonist, his goal, and the challenges that are preventing him from achieving that goal. Remember, your aim is to create an emotional connection.
Leading with your brand
Storytelling as a content strategy is not just customer-centric – putting the readers’ goals and needs first – it is also brand-led.
Your brand is the one that will lead the reader to her destination by helping her overcome the challenges on the way. You are showing how your brand acts as the sidekick of the protagonist by providing solutions (products/services) that will lead her to the promised land.
In an article about using credit cards, Chime artfully introduces their credit builder as an important solution.
Every credit card user knows that making timely payments is key to avoiding delinquency fees. But many often miss their payments because they forget to do so (and not because they don’t have the money). What can readers do to solve this problem? Chime Credit Builder. Brand-led storytelling.
I think Morning Star is the master of brand-led storytelling. In an article about ESG Investing, see how Morning Star introduces their ESG Screener.
Many people are showing interest in ESG investing; they want to invest in line with their social and environmental passions. But the problem is knowing which ESG funds to buy – it is difficult to know the exact role ESG plays in many so-called ESG funds, and it’s also difficult to compare ESG funds. How then do investors evaluate and choose ESG funds? Morning Star’s ESG Screener is the answer.
Morning Star provides various factors that can help investors evaluate ESG funds and decide on the best investments.
Morning Star does this well again in an article comparing stocks and mutual funds. The article aims to help new investors understand the differences between stocks and mutual funds so they can wisely invest their money.
This particular article encourages readers to choose a mutual fund. See how they introduce their mutual funds’ research as a solution for readers who want to invest in mutual funds but don’t know the right one(s) to choose.
Storytelling as a content strategy is brand-led. Find creative and artful ways to introduce your brand to the plot as the sidekick that helps the hero achieve his goals.
A good closing
Every good story must have a good closing. Readers of stories always look forward to a satisfying denouement. The conclusion of every content should be the denouement. You should put all the pieces together and bring the story to a satisfying end – the hero overcomes the challenges and achieves his goals.
In a good conclusion, you want to restate the goal, the challenges, and the solutions that will help the reader overcome the challenges and achieve the goal(s). Next, you want to paint a picture (with words) of what the promised land looks like. What does victory look like for the reader? Help the reader drool over the future before her (if she uses the solutions and overcomes her challenges).
See how Acorns concluded an article about saving for retirement.
Concluding a blog is one area where many fail. While this conclusion from Acorns aptly summarizes the article, it was informative rather than emotive. It only summarized the solution; it didn’t restate the goal and challenges. And it doesn’t leave the reader excited about what the future holds if he implements the solutions the article proposes.
Wealthsimple does a better job. In an article explaining market crashes and examining historical crashes, they concluded with an appeal.
See how they restated the goal – long-term growth –the challenge – market crashes – and the solution – Wealthsimple’s diversified portfolios. While they don’t paint a picture of what a world with Wealthsimple’s diversified portfolios looks like, they identified some of the appeals of Wealthsimple – personalized advice, consideration of risk tolerance, no unnecessary steps.
They did the same thing in another article. This time, the article focuses on helping readers know how long their retirement savings will last.
The goal? Readers want to retire well. The challenges? They are anxious because they don’t know if their present saving and investment habits will give them the retirement they want. The solution? Wealthsimple’s personalized investment portfolio.
Use your conclusion as a denouement to the story. Restate the goal, objectives, and solution. Then go a step forward and show readers what it looks and feels like when they have used the solution to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals. Strike the emotional chord. If you do it well, they won’t leave without checking out your brand-led solution.
Storytelling as a content strategy works because stories work. By learning how to craft every content as a story, you can connect emotionally with your readers and move them to become consumers without the traditional hops (leads, funnels).
Go and create more stories!
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