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Storymapping Template


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This is a storymapping template that I've created for helping to brainstorm out content marketing strategy such as a blog, a video series - or some kind of story that will happen over a period of time. It's a work in progress to be sure.

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Storymapping Template

  1. 1. STORY MAPPING - TEMPLATE--------------------------------------------------------------------- Prepared by: Robert Rose Strategist in Residence | CMI | p. 323-230-0243
  2. 2. STORY MAPThe Concept: In this space, you write your big idea. Try and stay away from the channel (e.g. blog or whitepaper) but instead describe it simply as a platform of content. Whatever your content idea is – express it here simply – and in one sentence. You should use this format. A YOUR IDEA HERE – that helps/teaches/allows/entertains/empowers our customers and ultimately moves them to WHAT IT IS THAT THIS ENCOURAGES CUSTOMERS to do. Examples: One piece of content that helps customers understand the top five reasons our product will solve their issue and make them want to talk to a sales person. or…. A complete community empowers our customers to share ideas and encourages them to share information about all the features of our product that they might not know otherwise…. Now your idea: __________________________________________________________________________StoryMap Basics: Now with your concept in mind – let’ quickly identify the who, what and why this might be a good concept. Who is the hero of this story:__________________________________ (This might be the product, or a concept, or new, weird out of the box idea, or some person) Example: This is a success story, so it’s our customer. Or, our hero is this cool idea. What is the external goal:________________________________________ (This is our stated goal – what we are trying to convey to the audience) Example: I want you to understand that these top 5 things are really productive for your business. What is the internal goal:__________________________________________ (What do we want them to do. This is our call to action. This may be the same as the end of your concept – but also may not be. For example, with the community example above – we want them to share ideas about the feature of the product – but our internal goal might be to upsell customers on new features.Content Marketing Strategy Storymap Template 2
  3. 3. Our Target Persona:______________________________________________ Of all the personas we have in our business – who is the one (or multiple people) that we want to target with this piece of content.Once you have developed the concept and your storymap basics – then run through the 5 Why Exercisesfor this. Take your concept – with the concept and hero in mind and ask yourself this question…Concept Refinement (The 5 Why’s):WHY DO… or WHY WILL CUSTOMERS BENEFIT FROM…… and then restate your concept (the firsttime). Each subsequent time you will restate the last answer. So for example… Concept: A complete community empowers our customers to share ideas and encourage them to share information about all the features of our product that they might not know otherwise…. Why will a customer benefit from sharing information about all the features of our product? A) because they will be better informed about how to use our product. Why will a customer benefit from being better informed about the use of our product. A) because better use of our product will help them be better at their job? Why will a customer benefit from being better at their job? A) because if they are better – their company will be more competitive…. Why will a customer benefit from their company being more competitive A) because the company will do better and be able to succeed and grow. AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. Sometimes it takes three why’s, sometimes it might take 5 Why’s – but after 3 to 5 “why’s” you will typically have a much larger concept. So – rewrite your concept (if necessary) to address your new idea: A complete community that educates and empowers our customers to be more competitive in their business; to share ideas and encourage them to share information about best practices, innovative uses of our product, features of our product that they might not otherwise – in order to succeed and grow.Now – Your REVISED CONCEPT:Content Marketing Strategy Storymap Template 3
  4. 4. STORY ENGINEACT I – Establishing Our Story – and Introducing Our Hero & The Big Challenge!!The beginning of the story. What are the ideas that we need to get across in the first piece of this. If it’s abig idea like a community or a blog platform, or a Web site – it might be timing of content. And, yourtiming will vary depending on a lot of things – but this first act should ideally be short. If this is a singlepiece – like a white paper or a blog post – this is ostensibly the first 25% of your piece. For example – ifit’s a blog post and the total will be 1,000 words… What do you need to establish in the first 250 words? • What’s the big idea? • Why should I care about the hero? • What’s the problem that MUST be resolved?ACTII – Validation, Tests, Challenges – And The Way To The Heart Of Our ChallengeThis is the middle – and will comprise 50% of the piece. This is where we address the tests andchallenges to this idea – we validate it with research, we fascinate with characters, and interestinganecdotes that bolster or challenge our ideas. Detail is important. Compelling us to move forward to theproblem that MUST be resolved. • What are the tests and challenges to this idea? • Why is this so compelling – and who/what validates this big, interesting or entertaining idea. How does the hero overcome these tests. • How does this move us forward to the problem that MUST be resolved.ACT III – ResolutionThis is the end – and will comprise 25% or less of the end. What is the FINAL test that absolutely makesour point – or how can we look back on the case we’ve made and show (not tell) how our hero haspassed the tests and challenges so that they can claim victory. • What is the final test – the final validation that proves our point – or brings us to satisfying conclusion of this story. • Where does our hero go from here? • Where does the audience go from here (bringing in our external and internal goals?Content Marketing Strategy Storymap Template 4
  5. 5. Don’t limit yourself linearly here. Brainstorm these ideas without regard to where they fall – and thenplace them into the structure of the story as you have them. Or, if you prefer – start with the First Act –and brainstorm your way through the story. Or, go through it quickly and then go through it again morethoughtfully and brainstorm ideas.It’s great to use sticky notes so that you can move things around and populate. There are no “rules” – butgenerally use your Persona, the 5 Why Questions, and the general structure of your Acts to guide yourcontent placement.Ultimately – you will have a fully developed concept – and your target personas, with the goal you aretrying to achieve (so you know where it falls in the funnel) and your goal will start to help you developwhat measurement strategies you need to apply to it – and against what time frame.If we then graph this out on a whiteboard – the time frame vs. the structure of the story and our goals… Itcan often look a little like this:Content Marketing Strategy Storymap Template 5