Using Story and Storylines to Create Context for Your Content
**Guest post written by Randy Young from the Ottawa based rock band Cherry Suede.
"You may be a great musician or band (or represent one), but not everyone is familiar with your backstory. Using storylines to create context for your content boosts its relevance to your audience. The result? More fans, sales, and profits!
Here’s a scenario. A prospective fan finds her way to your website after hearing your track on Pandora. After spending minutes browsing through your site and finding some boring text about album releases and tour dates, she moves on.
There is a way to keep her on your site: brand storytelling. Storytelling can engage readers because it gives your information and music context. Context allows people to understand the meaning and significance behind events, statements, and ideas.
Musicians tend to assume that their audience is already familiar with their background. This might not always be the case. Even long-term fans may want to know a little about your band. Contextual content marketing provides that.
Know your audience
Consider that as a musician or music business professional, you may be talking to several different types of audience members, including:
- Other music professionals
- Long-term fans
- New fans and prospective fans
- Media outlets
- Concert venues
Had you taken the time to create context by telling your band’s story through a series of posts, you may have grabbed the visitor’s interest and kept her on your site. You might have motivated her to sign up for your newsletter, follow your Twitter feed, or like your Facebook page. You may have even guided her through the sales funnel.
What stories will pique your audience’s interest?
Compelling stories offering information about your band and band members appeal to the largest audience. Every new piece of content allows fans to learn more – it is an opportunity for readers to share your stuff within their own social networks.
It’s important that you not tell your entire story at once. If you give it all away immediately, you will lose your audience fast. Instead, entice visitors with the idea that they will learn more the next time they check in – continuous marketing.
Work hard to be honest, while effectively promoting the characters in your band. Can you boil each member’s personality and interests down to just a few zippy sentences? Great! Character development is a great way to tell stories that move people.
How do you create narrative conflict?
Years after New Kids on the Block split, fans hoped for a reunion. In 2008, a website appeared. Day after day, committed fans checked the site for updates. Finally, an appearance on Good Morning America was announced. When the episode aired, the band announced a new album. Millions tuned in.
Good storylines have clear beginnings, middles, and ends. While classic journalistic format is helpful for brainstorming, following a story arc engages and makes your content meaningful. Have rising action that culminates in a conflict and is ultimately resolved. Begin with the end in mind to avoid rambling.
Stories help you to create context
When you give your content background, it keeps visitors engaged. While NKOTB already had a solid fan base, new bands can benefit tremendously from creating buzz around releases and tour dates. Good storytelling is an effective model for creating context. Context drives sales and profits. Music to your ears.
Is your content marketing continuous? Do you use storylines to create context in your content? Tell us in the comments."
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