Just like in any other form of business, storytelling is crucial to your success in affiliate marketing. Storytelling has been helping brands and marketers from all over the globe connect with their target audience on a deeper level, provoke conversation, communicate the value of products, stimulate sales, and grow their overall visibility across all available channels.
Quality stories evoke strong neurological responses in people. As neuroeconomist Paul Zak‘s research indicates, when we are exposed to intriguing stories, our brain produces a neurochemical called oxytocin which enhances our sense of empathy and motivates us to engage in cooperative behavior.
For affiliate marketing, storytelling makes all the difference. In today’s modern world, spewing out ads about different products and services is not nearly enough to intrigue people and get them to pay attention. In order to break through the noise and get noticed by their target audience, affiliates need to do more than just write cheesy copy and retarget people on social networks. They need to help them recognize the unique value of specific offers they promote and how these products or services can make their lives better.
Apart from helping them effectively promote products, the narrative they build around their brand can also shape how people see them. This perception will determine if they’re going to consume the content, and pay close attention to what’s offered.
But what makes a good story? What kind of stories get people’s attention and make them listen? As a businessman, how do you apply the principles of this practice to your offerings and make them attractive to your audience?
In the following segments of this article, we at Traffic Mansion are going to share our formula for crafting great stories:
1. Define Your Audience and Craft a Message That Will Resonate with Them
There are so many ways to say a single thing, but the best way to be heard is by adjusting the tone, vocabulary, and style of your writing – to your target audience.
So, before putting a single word on paper, you should always first answer the following question:
Who is my audience and what is the message I want to share with them?
Every decision about your story should come from the answer to this particular question. If you want to stimulate a particular group of people to notice your offerings and act on them, you need to make sure that you communicate your values effectively.
Good affiliate marketers know what their potential customers want and how to speak to them. They know that every person has different triggers, both positive and negative, and that mapping out specific customer requirements helps them plan content that meets customer needs.
Affiliates who invest in content focus a great deal of effort on developing detailed customer personas. Apart from describing the essential demographics of the people they’re trying to reach, most of them tend to go deeper into details. And they are smart to do so.
They try to figure out their audience’s likes, dislikes, where they hang out online, where do they consume information, and how. The idea here is to get as many insights into your audience’s behavior and preferences so that you can craft stories with which they can actually relate.
This brings us to tip number two.
2. Create a Hero in Your Story with Which Your Audience Identifies
In order to get someone to connect with a specific story, you need to develop a message that’s actually relevant to them; a story that touches them personally and emotionally, that helps them recognize themselves in specific elements and see how certain moments of the story relates to their lives.
Every story needs a hero. Someone who takes the reader on a journey. Most successful affiliate marketers know this, so they use a popular narrative structure derived from Joseph Campbell’s study, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”.
“The Hero’s Journey” is a popular story pattern found in many mythologies and fairy-tales. It implies the process of initiation where the main character (i.e. the hero of the story) goes on an adventure, leaving his old world behind. He then meets allies and foes, many crossroads and obstacles, temptations and hard decisions, only to come back home as a changed man, with newly acquired wisdom and strength. The narrative implies a symbolic death of the character in order for it to embrace his new life as a better person.
So, how can you as an affiliate marketer – use this narrative? Well, your job would be to use your words and depict a world as it is, and a better, superior world that could be. The hero of your story should share the same problem as your target audience; you need to give them an opportunity to relate to its situation. Then, create a gap between the two worlds (the bigger, the better) and show your readers how this gap can be bridged with the product/service you’re promoting.
3. Prioritize Authenticity
In order to make you stories truly memorable and effective, you should always mine ideas from your own experiences. Even though people want to recognize themselves in your stories, they also want to experience something new that feels real and close to life. A lot of renowned storytellers write stories about what they’ve honestly been through, and how these events made them believe in certain ideas or shaped them into who they are today.
Apart from knowing about the products, services, and the values that they bring to their lives, people are also interested in learning more about the people with whom they do business. They want to know about how credible you are to talk about a specific topic and much more.
Having in mind that high quality is basically the norm in today’s market, the only thing that separates great brands from mediocre ones is how people feel about them.
If you, as an affiliate marketer, want to make the most out of your efforts in this business, you must be willing to open up to your audience and allow them to get to know you. The more they learn about you, the smaller the barrier between them and you will become.
Don’t shy away from using actual names of people from your personal and professional life. They want to meet the people who did business with you before and how you influenced their lives for the better. Your audience craves for a certain proof of concept in the form of a success story that will reassure them to bring out their wallets.
Go the extra mile and describe in greater detail the settings and the outcomes of past experiences where you failed or achieved something great. The more relatable and human your stories make you, the better the chances you’ll have connecting to people.
Over to You
Storytelling in affiliate marketing, especially in the online dating industry – can really go a long way. Your target audience secretly wants to be swept from their feet. They want to believe in modern romance stories where people click together despite the gloomy stories of the way technology has alienated us. What most of us are chasing is a piece of paradise. Great storytelling can help your target audience see that you don’t just sell them memberships, but an opportunity for finding true love (or some fun on the side, whatever they are searching for). And remember: the way you say things is equally important as what you are actually saying.