Everyone wants to be the hero. More to the point, everyone is the hero of their own story, the tale we tell ourselves of our life and how it’s going. Storytelling is a huge part of our culture, and can form the backbone of a great marketing campaign; after all, at least a part of your content should be the story of your company, your product and your customers. If you want to tell incredible, captivating stories around your brand, then the Hero’s Journey is an excellent tool to do just that, setting out the framework for stories that will engage and inspire your customers.
1) What is the Hero’s Journey?
The Hero’s Journey is a framework that is common to a lot of great stories, from myths and legends, to religion, to the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Essentially, the Heroes Journey tells the story of a person who starts from humble beginnings, is called to adventure, experiences hardship, gathers strength, overcomes a great evil, gains reward and returns to a life that is better than it was before. This simple framework underpins a wide range of stories, and what works for a tale of high fantasy can also work for a story of your customer’s journeys.
2) How does it apply to marketing?
The first thing to remember is that great content marketing isn’t about the story of your company. Great content marketing is about the story of your customers, and the ways your company can help with their problems. When you bear that in mind, the benefits you can get from the Hero’s Journey become clear – you can use the format to help you tell a story of your customer, their challenges and the steps that they take to overcome them. Your customer is the hero, while your company, your services or your product become the aid they receive along the way.
3) How does the Hero’s Journey shape my content?
The Hero’s Journey is a simple format that can be applied to a customer’s journey in a number of ways, but here is one example. The hero – your customer – is introduced. They feel that something is lacking from their life, but are unsure of how to fill this need. At first, they are afraid to face the challenges in front of them, knowing they have an issue they don’t know how to surpass. Enter your company, whose advice and tools show the hero that they can overcome their challenges. The hero begins their journey, meets new friends, and faces the challenge they once doubted they could overcome. Through the help you have given them and the confidence it has let them develop, the hero overcomes their challenge, reaches their goal, and returns to their life a stronger person than they were before. This is a journey that every customer will be able to identify with, one that should encompass their hopes and fears and show them that, with your help, they are strong enough to reach their goals.
4) How flexible is the Hero’s Journey?
There are almost infinite ways to tell a story that encompass the Hero’s Journey. Probably one of the best pieces of content marketing in recent years is the story of Deng Adut, whose journey from child soldier to lawyer went viral in 2015. The story is of Deng’s strength and struggle, but the role that the University of Western Sydney played in his story makes the story an incredibly engaging piece of content marketing for the university.
John Rowbottom Design and Marketing can help you find the stories that matter to your company. To find out what we can do for you, visit us at jrdm.com.au today.