3 storytelling frameworks to use for SaaS content marketing
Storytelling is quite a new concept in the world of SaaS content marketing. Because of that, people have a lot of questions. How do we tell stories about our product without sounding weird? Aren't stories just a couple of cliches? I'm not an artist - I just can't tell a good story!
If such doubts have crossed your mind as well - I got you! In the beginning, storytelling might be confusing and very challenging to implement.
Luckily, there are systems that can help us create fascinating stories quickly, without much effort.
Here's a list of the 3 best frameworks to get you started on finding good stories for your SaaS!
The jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) is a framework used widely in product development.
It tries to answer the question about the real, underlying purpose our customers decide to buy our products. The purpose is what’s called the “job” in the framework. The customer “hires” our solution to solve their problems or pain points with it.
Though it’s a framework used mostly by product development teams, it can also be implemented in your content marketing strategy - especially in storytelling.
When creating a story using the JTBD framework, you have to pay special attention to the goal of your user. As I mentioned in my blog posts about storytelling for SaaS — storytelling is focused mainly on the emotional aspect of the customer’s journey through our website.
To create a successful product story with this framework, follow those 3 steps:
- Try to write down as many JTBD as you can (those will become the goal of your story)
- Take the framework diagram (you can see it above 👆) and note down as many emotional aspects of jobs to be done your customers have. (emotions will become the story’s tension)
- Now think about the personal and social impact these emotional aspects have on your customer. (that’s a challenge for your customer)
#2 The StoryBrand
This is a wildly popular framework, created by Donald Miller, that helps businesses communicate big ideas in a simple and clear way.
The whole concept of the framework has been described in great detail in the book – if you haven’t already, I definitely recommend reading it! The main point of StoryBrand is taking the universal tropes and patterns used in classical storytelling and adapting them to business needs.
Although the system is used mainly for copywriting, it can give your SaaS product some great content advantages!
All you need to do is to make sure you nail the first 3 steps of the whole system:
Remember that the story in your content is not about your product! This is even more important in content than in other areas – because we’re dealing with a customer that is not yet ready to buy. We have to make sure they feel safe on our website and can look around freely, without being pushed into the sales funnel.
“Has a problem”
As Donald Miller says in the book:
COMPANIES TEND TO SELL SOLUTIONS TO EXTERNAL PROBLEMS, BUT CUSTOMERS BUY SOLUTIONS TO INTERNAL PROBLEMS.
No truer words were ever said! By identifying an internal problem of your target audience – their own frustrations, fears and misperceptions – you can create a compelling piece of content that will captivate your audience and make them say: “Whoaa, that’s 100% about me” 🤯
“And meets a guide”
You’ve already addressed the problem. Now, let’s move to the solutions you have for your customers! Let your customers know that you’ve been there and you’ve managed to find something that works! Add a good portion of useful knowledge to that and you can be almost certain your audience will trust your words.
They will treat you as a source of good knowledge about topics your content addresses. And that gives you a huge advantage at the later stages of the buyer’s journey.
#3 The fairytale technique
For me, the word “framework” sounds modern and very fancy.
Turns out that frameworks have been around us for thousands of years. At least when it comes to storytelling!
The fairytale technique has been a base for almost every story we’ve heard as kids. Yes – it’s very simple. But at the same time – madly effective!
It goes like this (I also included a story example to give you a better understanding of the framework):
Once upon a time... x years ago…
5 years ago no one imagined that leading a business 100% paperless is possible.
Every day… (This is what life looked like - it’s the narrative of your story)
Each month millions of business owners tried not to drown in the paper documents, invoices and contracts.
And because of that… (the problem appears here)
It led to many mistakes and lost documents. It put the data safety of the company in danger.
But this is not how I/he/she wanted it, this was not good, or then… happened…
Everything was so overcomplicated and stressful. Being a founder turned out to be all about paperwork and not creating something valuable for the world.
But then… (The solution appears.)
But then – the Internet happened. And with the internet and the advancements of office printers and scanners – each document could be safely stored in the cloud!
No more countless hours spent sorting out paperwork in your company. Now every document is at your fingers’ reach – via mobile or desktop app.
Easy? You bet! But isn’t it engaging? When it comes to storytelling, sometimes the simplest solutions work the best!
Storytelling isn’t hard!
It all comes down to preparing a good ground for your story and using systems that will guide you through the whole process. The 3 storytelling frameworks I presented to you will do just that!
If you want to expand your storytelling skillset – I’ve included some useful links for you! Make sure to check them out below:
- How to find a perfect hero for your product?
- Storytelling checklist to level up your content marketing
- 3 Reasons why your SaaS should add stories to your content marketing
Take care 🤹♂️