The hero's journey, first introduced by Joseph Campbell, is a timeless storytelling framework that has been used in various forms of writing, from fiction to business writing. Its structure, which takes the reader on a journey with the protagonist and allows them to relate to the story, makes it an effective tool in content marketing.
For the purpose of content marketing, the hero's journey can be distilled into three core stages:
Departure: The protagonist embarks on a journey, leaving behind their familiar world.
Adventure: They navigate an unfamiliar world and gain new experiences and insights.
Return: The protagonist returns to their familiar world with newfound wisdom.
By using the hero's journey in content marketing, companies can create an emotional connection with their audience and build a strong brand story.
Here are three business scenarios where you can use the hero's journey in your marketing strategy:
1. Company Website Narrative
It can be challenging to decide what to say on your company website's homepage, especially for large companies or conglomerates. The hero's journey can serve as a useful guide for every type of company. You can create a story that showcases your brand as the hero and illustrates how your products or services solve a problem or meet a need for your customers.
Departure: Introduce the problem that your customers face and highlight the challenges they face. Explain why you were motivated to help, maybe because you faced the same problem.
Adventure: Describe the journey your brand has taken to solve this problem. Show how your products or services have evolved to better meet your customers' needs and how you have overcome obstacles along the way.
Return: Show how your products or services have helped your customers achieve their goals and made a difference in their lives.
2. Case Studies
Case studies are a great way to showcase the value of your products or services by telling real-life customer success stories. However, they are often dry and full of statistics, making them hard to read for those who are not familiar with the company's business.
The hero's journey can make case studies more engaging. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Explain the business problem in simple language: Your reader may not be familiar with the business context of the client you are talking about. Make sure to explain the problem and why there was a need for a solution.
Show how your brand joined the customer's journey: The case study should be about your customer, not you. Explain how they started their journey, how they discovered your brand, and how you went on a joint adventure.
Highlight a recognizable business outcome: Instead of focusing on technical outcomes, talk about the results that are recognizable to the world. For example, how the company's revenue increased or how you saved trees or prevented layoffs.
3. Business Proposals
The hero's journey can also be used in your business proposals. Use the departure stage to introduce the problem that your target client is facing. In the adventure stage, present your solution and how it will help them overcome the problem. In the return stage, highlight the results that your client can expect to achieve with your solution.
Keep in mind that a proposal is not a complete story, as it does not address many obstacles along the way. Think of it more as a synopsis or trailer, with the difference that you spell out the end and the cost of admission.
These are just three of many ways in which you can use the hero's journey in your marketing efforts. If you can think of any more, share them in the comments.
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