The hero’s journey, as described by Joseph Campbell, is a story arc found in the hero myths of many cultures. It is even the basic plot of the original Star Wars movie. Unfortunately, when most writers learn how to write website content for businesses, this classic story line seems to be left behind. Professional blog content writers ought to be be familiar with it, though, because the best copywriters are writers first and advertisers second.
The Best Copywriters Make the Audience the Hero
When it comes to content marketing, everyone knows to put the audience first, but what does that mean? The best copywriters structure an advertising campaign that resembles the hero’s quest. In this story, however, they cast the target audience of the brand in the role of the hero.
The Twelve Steps of the Audience’s Quest
- Exposition – Describe the world in which the audience lives. The audience is used to living with a problem, which the brand (not mentioned in this step) can solve.
- Catalyst – Something Happens That Sets the Audience on a Quest. Describe an event in which the audience becomes convinced that there is a solution to the problem, and that the audience must find it.
- The Solution Isn’t Easy – Identify something that makes the solution hard to achieve. Often, you are playing Devil’s advocate about a potential reason for the audience not to use the brand (which still hasn’t been directly mentioned).
- Wise Advice – Have a wise character give the audience character a piece of advice. This piece of advice is a counterargument to the obstacle identified in the third step.
- Approaching Wisdom – Prompt the audience character to accept, or to at least consider, the wise advice.
- Have the Real-World Audience Test the Advice – In your content, present links to authoritative, preferably non-commercial sources that support your message. In other words, let them test the wise advice for themselves.
- Bring in a Friendly Advice-Giver – Link to content that your audience already consumes. In other words, your hero needs the advice not only of a sage, but also of a trusted friend.
- Give Examples of Successful Quests – Show how your brand has solved the problem identified in step one for other people. This step can take the form of testimonials.
- The Rite of Passage – Now that the audience has been convinced of your brand, let them celebrate that. Often, this step takes the form of an opportunity to “like” or “share.”
- Capitalize on Your Audience’s new Heroic Status – Offer additional opportunities to engage with your brand, such as apps related to your brand.
- Cast the Audience in the Role of Advice-Giver – Provide content that encourages audiences to introduce new people to the brand.
- Look Ahead to the Next Journey – Subtly indicate other products that could solve other relevant problems for your audience.
Of course, not everyone can frame every brand as a hero’s quest. Your best choice is to hire the best copywriters available for a successful content marketing campaign. You can start with us at Compelling Content Solutions. We’ll make sure you’re the hero of your own content saga!