What’s Your Story? Winnie the Widget Maker Talks about Integrating Storytelling into Her Content Strategy
Once upon a time, a small child fell in love with widgets. In fact, widgets were all little Winnie could think about. She ignored her favorite toys, stopped going to the park to see her friends, and even quit playing with her puppy Waldo to spend more time with her widget collection.
Winnie’s undeniable passion for widgets grew over the years. She learned everything there was to know about the nifty little gadgets, and even talked her family into moving across the country to Widgetown so she could further immerse herself in widget culture; she learned all the songs, attended widget festivals, and even began dressing in traditional widget fashions. Little Winnie even put herself through business school so that she could pursue widgetmaking as a career.
It didn’t take long for Winnie to become the world’s foremost authority on widgets. She pioneered several disruptive technologies within the widget marketing, including environmentally friendly and sustainable widget manufacturing technologies. Winnie also went on the talk show circuit to discuss her new biodegradable widget packaging material. Soon, Winnie’s face became synonymous with widgets.
While Winnie was fulfilling her lifelong dream of working in widgets, her company had a serious problem: Winnie’s Worldwide Widgets sales were woefully wonky. The distraught Winnie asked Marty, the mastermind of the marketing department, if he could find out why customers weren’t buying her widgets. Marty ran a survey on social media and found out that Winnie’s customers thought she was all about the money – they were woefully unaware of Winnie’s enthusiasm for the widget lifestyle.
“But how could our customers be so mistaken about our company? Don’t we have an ‘About’ page on our website and social media accounts?” Winnie asks. “And why is Wally’s Wimpy Widgets beating us in sales? Everyone knows his widgets are a cheap knockoff of our products – I hear horror stories of how his widgets wobble as they widge, which can be very dangerous.”
“I don’t understand it either,” Marty replies. “Our ‘About’ page lists the year you went into business and provides data how the company has grown to be an international powerhouse in the widget industry. We also post white papers and widget product information on our social media channels.”
Winnie Learns to Tell Her Story
Then Winnie saw a compelling video of a man sitting on a street corner, next to a sign that says “I’m blind, please help.” A few people give the man money, but most ignore him. A woman stops, picks up his sign, and writes a new message on the back that says, “It’s a beautiful day, but I can’t see it.” She sets the sign down and leaves; people begin giving money to the man. When the woman returns later, the man asks what she had done to the sign. She replies, “I wrote the same, but in different words.”
Winnie thought about this message as she gazed at the red ink splattered across her company ledger. “So, if I write the same message about my widgets but use compelling words, people might be more interested in buying my products.”
In that moment, Winnie figured out that stories forge a strong emotional connection between the storyteller and the audience. Simply by changing the words, for example, the woman in the video made passersby relate to the man in a completely different way.
The widget maker now understood that brand storytelling shapes how people see her company and her products. Specifically, storytelling gave Winnie the opportunity to tell her audience that she started the business because of her passion for widgets and her compassion for widget-lovers everywhere. She started researching the benefits of brand storytelling online. She found out that storytelling is a growing trend – the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) says that about 45 percent of brands use storytelling to relate to an audience and nurture sales.
Winnie called Marty the next day, and told him to integrate storytelling into their marketing. First, he changed the company’s ‘About’ page to include a nostalgic biography for Winnie, one that would resonate with other people who grew up loving widgets. Next, he ditched his current content and developed a content marketing strategy that celebrated the long and illustrious history of widgets and their influence on the fabric of American society through a series of entertaining blogs, videos and podcasts. Because the safety and wellbeing of widget lovers is important to Winnie’s Worldwide Widgets, Marty also created blogs and white papers that provided important and actionable information about the importance of quality widget construction and care.
While much of the new information was the same as the old – both the new content and the old text described the quality of Winnie’s widgets – Marty changed the words into a storytelling format that resonated with customers. Convinced that they had found a true ally in the widget world, true widget lovers began to ditch Wally’s cheap imitations for Winnie’s high quality widgets.
Surrounded by the widgets she loved and financially secure through the art of brand storytelling, Winnie lived happily ever after. Learn more about brand storytelling by contacting WriterAccess.
Lynn H has been a professional writer, providing exceptional content online and offline, for 20 years. In that time, she has penned thousands of articles for doctors, universities, researchers, small businesses, nursing organizations, sole proprietors and more.
Lynn writes everything from blogs to white papers; her specialty is putting complex scientific concepts in simple terms. She specializes in medical writing, creating informative and engaging content for professionals in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, medical manufacturing, chiropractics, optometry, emergency care, plastic surgery and others.