The very first thing a book or story introduces is a hero, the protagonist. The character that the story revolves around and progresses because of. Why? The hero, in most instances, is the one who will come up with a solution and resolve the conflict. There are three acts in any book you read or movie you watch:
- Act one: introduce the hero and build up the atmosphere. Introduce the conflict.
- Act two: set up the stakes of the plot and give the hero more problems to overcome. Why does the hero care about the conflict? How does it affect them?
- Act three: the hero comes up with a plan and executes it to resolve the conflict. What are the effects of resolving the conflict?
Along with the three acts, there are three components that tie a story together:
- The characters
- The conflict
- And the resolution
Without the conflict, there is no hero, and without the solution, there is no story. You need all three things when writing a story. If there is any one component missing, the story is incomplete.
The progression of the hero’s adventure and story through the three acts is called the Hero’s Journey (also referred to as monomyth). This is a very common template, if not universal, used by several writers. And the best part about it is that you can use it across channels and platforms. Meaning that this does not solely apply to novel writing or screenwriting, you can also use it for brand storytelling and blog writing, among other things.
Why use Hero’s Journey in Content Writing?
Writing content in the format of a story is a great way to engage your audiences and set them up for an emotional connection without having to do much. Brand storytelling is a proven method to increase loyalty and engagement across platforms. Many brands have created meaningful connections with their customers and boosted their brand loyalty simply by focusing more on their brands’ storytelling strategies than their products. Brands such as Nike, Spotify, Airbnb, Huggies, and Zillow have an amazing brand storytelling strategy that is incredibly unique to them. The reason brand marketing works so well is that people are more likely to identify with other people as opposed to organizations.
Storytelling has been a part of the human experience since the dawn of time. It is used to educate people about the world, inspire them with the themes and ideology of the story, and evoke strong emotions. Storytelling provides a human factor to the brand that allows them to connect with their audience in a more authentic way. You can use storytelling in your content to help build a community centered on your ethos. If done efficiently, brand storytelling can be one of the key deciders for customers to follow you.
Why Use the Hero’s Journey in Blogs?
In any form of content writing or copywriting, it is important to have structure and tone. And that is exactly what the Hero’s Journey is. It is a format of sorts that you can use to center a story around. Here, you make your brand the hero and your brand’s history is the journey. Every brand has a history, a story that is centered on them, and the conflict that they are trying to solve.
Remember that content writing is a means to build trust and provide valuable information to your audience. And that is why the hero’s journey perfectly fits into the narrative of a brand to foster brand loyalty and fellowship.
How to Use The Hero’s Journey in Articles?
You can easily translate the three acts into your article. There are a few elements that you can use to structure your article. Remember that structure is your friend and will help you make the most of your writing. There are several formats or formulae that you can use for your blog. Formats like AIDA (attention-interest-desire-action), PAS (problem-agitate-solution) and 4 Ps (picture-promise-prove-push).
1. The hook:
This is going to be the intro to the blog or the story. Grabbing your reader’s attention is going to be the hardest part. Having a catchy title and an introduction will help catch the reader’s interest. Make sure that the first few lines capture interest. Within the first few lines, introduce the character and bring up their motivations. What makes them tick, what do they like, and what are their flaws?.
Describing the character will help your audience relate to them. You don’t want to throw off your audience in the middle of the story by giving them new information that would contradict their perspective of the story. Give your audience all relevant information about the characters from the get-go.
2. The main character:
This is the “who” of the story. In most cases, brands put themselves up as the protagonist, and it works well sometimes. If you are trying to create a story around how the founders started up the company, how they scaled up against challenges, or how your company is battling a conflict like a climate crisis, then setting up the brand as the hero works well.
However, if you are directly trying to connect with your audience, then there are two ways you can achieve this:
- You can create a character that has the traits and characteristics of your target demographic
- Or you can use an existing customer and tell their story
Remember that the closer your character is to your target demographic, the better your chances are of fostering trust.
3. The conflict:
Describe the conflict. What is the problem that the hero is trying to solve? It is the climate crisis; it is representation, is it affordable products or access? The problem that the hero is trying to solve will give the audience insight into what drives the hero and what they want. And how does the conflict affect the hero? If the goal is an environmental crisis, then maybe the hero is trying to make the world a better place to live. If the problem is accessibility, then maybe the hero has a disability and is trying to improve the standard of living for people like them.
4. The stakes:
This is the why. Why does the character care about the conflict? What does the character get out of solving the problem and how does the conflict affect them? Let your audience know what happens if the conflict is not resolved. Sustainability not only reduces landfills but also cuts down on underpaid labor and hazardous working conditions.
5. The resolution:
This is the how. How is the hero going to solve the problem? What are they planning to do and how are they doing to do it? If your brand is based on sustainability, then you can create a story around affordable and durable products. Like Patagonia and Raw Nature. If your focus is accessibility, maybe you have products that make life a little easier, like Tommy Adaptive and Friendly Shoes.