The Strategic Story has four main steps: Hook, Story, Benefits, and Action. Let’s begin at the end–Action. The action is the purpose of a Strategic Story; you want somebody to click on a button, vote in your favor, surrender information, call a number, or buy something.
Moving one step back, in order to get your audience attention to act, you need—Benefits! There should not be no more than three benefits listed. Listing too many benefits falls under the snake oil medicine show. In case you don’t understand the term “Snake Oil,” it was a bottle filled mostly with alcohol with a few herbs and spices added to it. It promised a list of cures (Benefits) from removing dandruff to curing cancer. If you have a list of benefits choose only the top three benefits your product or service offers.
The Story Step drives the benefits. I will spend more time discussing this tomorrow. Today, I want to discuss the most important element—The Hook! Here are two facts you might already know:
1. 98% of Website Traffic Doesn’t convert on the first visit.
2. Web customers may spend, on average, anywhere from under 10 seconds to 1 minute viewing a site for the first time.
Let’s do an experiment. I promise nothing bad will happen. Let’s pretend you are looking for a car to buy online. You have heard of Nissan and typed it into google. Up pops Nissan.com. If you click on this website, it will take you to Nissan Technology. A company not associated with Nissan at all. They sell computer internet services and unfortunately are now being sued by Nissan for name rights. Your interest, cars, was not at this site. You return to Google. This is a good example of the 10 Second Under Rule.
Droiple, on the other hand, is an online marketing company. I know the owner, Jess Walters, who is brilliant at what he does in getting customers through re-marketing. Look at his site. Droiple.com. He starts off with Fact #1 and adds, “you’re losing business without re-marketing.” He is creating curiosity. This is the key element to the hook.
Thomas Hobbs, a 16th Century philosopher said, “Curiosity is the lust of the mind,” and he wasn’t far off from the truth. In the diagram above items #1 & #2 are part of the brain’s reward system: Pleasure and satisfaction. Eating chocolate or having sex activates these parts of the brain. #3 deals with having positive feelings in requiring new knowledge.
Curiosity has been driving force in every new innovation discovery, and invention. So, how do you create curiosity?
I’ll tell you Friday!
That’s one way of doing it. Building up the suspense and then creating an action that both satisfies the customer’s benefits and their curiosity. Master curiosity and you hold the reigns for control of your market. In the end, it’s about getting people to move from curiosity to story, story to benefits, and benefits to action that’s what Strategic Story is all about.