What Screenwriting Can Teach You About Marketing

Screenwriters have more in common with marketers than you might think. After all, what is a screenwriter’s primary job when writing a script? To tell you a good story, of course. 

The same is true with marketing. Just like a screenwriter, your job as a marketer is to connect with your audience on an emotional, and maybe even intellectual, level so that they’ll be willing to buy your product or service. Once you do that, you can lure them in hook, line, and sinker.
So how can you adapt the art of screenwriting to your own marketing strategy? By following this five-step plan:

Step #1: Define Your Hero

As we all know, every story is about a hero of some kind. In a movie, it is important that your hero be well-defined and exist as someone the audience can root for. Fail at that and people might leave the theater disappointed. In marketing, the hero is your brand. Just like a movie’s hero, it is important that your brand is well-defined so that your intended audience knows exactly what to expect and can understand why they need the types of products or services that you offer. Do this right and you’ve created a great foundation for success.

Step #2: Provide a Clear Goal

For a movie to be successful, it must have a clear goal in mind. Whether it’s about an asteroid heading toward Earth, a superhero story where a villain is threatening to destroy a city, or even a simple rom-com with a man and woman falling in love, audiences can identify with clear goals. When it comes to marketing your business, you should make your potential customers aware of what your goal is as a company. Knowing this goal will help them connect to you more easily, inciting them to give you a try.

Step #3: Illustrate the Solution to a Problem

In movie-speak, problems are often referred to as “obstacles.” As a hero moves forward in a story, he or she must be presented with obstacles to overcome. That’s why you root for the hero in the first place. In terms of marketing, you must present your product or service as a solution to whatever problem a potential customer is having at the time. Make it clear that what you’re offering will make their lives easier in some way.

Step #4: Utilize a Reflection Character

Screenwriters are well aware of the importance of including a reflection character in the majority of their stories. This is the character who acts like a confidante or sounding board for the hero, often providing reflection into the hero’s own persona that helps him or her grow as a person. In the business world, this can be done by utilizing customer testimonials on your website. Providing testimonials will allow customers to understand what your company is all about by reading comments of people they can relate to. 

Step #5: Deliver a Moral to the Story

The best movies are, arguably, the ones that have a certain sense of morality to them. Perhaps a rough-around-the-edges cop realizes that softening his exterior can help him achieve his goals. Or maybe in the end, love wins out over all the strife and heartbreak that a family went through. For the intents of marketing, this roughly translates to providing statements to your potential customers outlining the benefits to be had by choosing to use your product or service. Like a moral to a story, understanding the benefits of what a business offers can make it seem more well-rounded and appealing.

Just as a good screenwriter knows that an entertaining story can pull in a big audience, a good marketer knows that developing a marketing strategy that connects with your intended audience can give you much more exposure. 

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