Storytelling is an ancient craft.  Good stories appeal directly to our emotions.  They move us.  As we have noted, one of the main goals of digital marketing is to move audiences towards desired perceptions.  Frequently the desired perception results in the sale of a product or service. Sales are often based on emotional decision making.  To bring you closer to where the rubber meets the road, let’s explore how you can craft narratives that use sentiment to motivate specific audiences.

Elements of Quality Storytelling

The classic process of storytelling encompasses a beginning, a middle and an end.  You engage viewers, readers and listeners with the beginning.  The beginning describes the desired perception.  The middle of the story illustrates the need.  The ending shows how achievement of the need results in happiness and success.  And, the entire story… which may be shared as an image, a post, a blog or a video…. can take 15 seconds or less to convey.

Elements of a Story


  • Engage audience
  • Create conflict
  • Describe the desired perception
  • Present a hero


  • Details about the story and conflict
  • Establish an archetype
  • Illustrate the need


  • Reach the resolution
  • The hero wins

The Creation and Refinement of Personas

Personas are a marketing tool that can help the creative team develop narratives that connect with a group of real users.  For story building, the purpose of personas is to mix demographic information with archetypal behaviors to create a story that captures the imagination of your target audiences.

Demographic information includes age, sex, occupation, geographic location, education, income.  Female, 25 to 30 years old, college education, lives in a city and earns between $50,000 to $100,000 annually.  A persona helps you create a story that will resonate with this imaginary individual, and all individuals with similar traits.  Most brands creates three to five personas.

But let’s not stop there.  That is old-school.  Today, we want to add digital traits to the persona.  What technical platforms do they use… tablets, smartphones, laptops? What social media sites do they frequent?  Do they use wifi or 4G?  When we layer these technographics on top of the demographics we create a much better view of the persona to hone our stories, and decide where to present online content.  We do this work for two reasons:

  1. If we do our job correctly we notice (and measure) that our digital share of the online voice will start to increase in specific channels.
  2. We want to move the needle on the sentiment… moving audiences towards desired perceptions and the actions that are related to them.

Bill Eager from the Amazon Best Seller Transformative Digital Marketing