Audiences remember stories because they’re sticky.
I borrowed the idea of “sticky blog posts” from Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the book Made To Stick.
They contend that “stickiness” is the magic ingredient that makes messages memorable.
Telling stories in your blog posts is one of the best strategies you can use to convey your messages and to make them memorable.
Audiences love sticky stories.
Think about it: Moviegoers stand in line and pay upwards of $12 a ticket to watch action, adventure, romance or horror stories unfold. We love to watch our heroes rise and overcome the conflict that keeps them from their goals. We identify with their struggles and feel vindicated when they win.
Using stories to pull readers in is a sneaky trick that Hollywood, authors, video game makers, and TV shows use to keep their audiences hooked. But, stories do more than entertain. They also teach us that we’re not that different, after all.
Here’s an easy way to remember: Facts bore, stories soar. This is why you should try to incorporate elements of story into your posts.
Here’s a secret, seven-step storytelling formula to help:
1. Stories Have A Hero – Your hero is the main character in your post. It’s the person or thing that striving to overcome hardship and reach a goal. It can be a you, a client, an animal, a situation, or an idea.
2. And A Nemesis – The nemesis can be anything that stands in the hero’s way. For sports, it’s an athlete’s injury or a bad call during the game; the big screen, it’s the baddie who is out to destroy the hero’s world; in novels it’s the antagonist. In blog posts, it’s usually a challenge or situation that the hero grapples with.
3. There’s Conflict – No conflict, no drama. Conflict is what makes stories interesting. Conflict is the roadblock, struggle, or belief that the hero must overcome to succeed.
4. A Wise Guide – This is the person (or thing) that enlightens the hero and reveals a plan to beat the bad guys.
5. Then There’s A Shift – This is the turning point for the hero. It marks the moment the hero learns/realizes/understands the guide in a new way. The Shift leads the hero to take a different action. This is often called the “death” moment when old beliefs and mind sets fall away, and the hero knows what she must do to overcome the Nemesis.
5. Then, A Resolution – This is what results from the Shift. The hero’s old mind-set unravels and leads her to do something bold, something new, something different. This is the moment when the situation changes and the audience cheers.
6. Finally, A Nugget Of Wisdom – This is the sticky take away message. How does the hero see the world differently? What’s the moral of the story? Good vs. Evil? Perseverance vs. Giving up? Love vs. Hate? The wisdom is what the audience walks away with and remembers.
Believe it or not, you already know this stuff. In fact, you’ve watched these steps unfold every time you sit in front of a screen to watch a movie or show.
If you want to ensure your posts are unforgettable, tell your readers stories they can relate to inside your content.