Storytelling is a well known and effective tool in marketing, business, and public speaking. Today, our attention span is decreasing while the amount of content available is increasing, so knowing how to tell an engaging story is more important than ever to stand out.
Why do we read books, watch movies, listen to songs, and tell each other about our life experiences?
Stories are often repeated because they contain wisdom. A story has the power to provide contextual simulation (knowledge of how to act) as well as inspiration (motivation to act).
Both of these elements are “action generation oriented”. Therefore, when you tell a story well, you can generate action that will support your business.
Stories build trust
Storytelling helps businesses and marketers create compelling content, which ultimately builds trust and customer loyalty.
The discovery that storytelling can help businesses engage and endear customers to your content is not new either.
Storytelling has been used in traditional marketing and advertising since the dawn of capitalism.. Valentine’s Day is a classic example of stories, in this case universal love stories, bringing companies billions of dollars in profits.
Storytelling is at the heart of what makes us human. It’s an evolutionary process ingrained in our collective and individual psyches. The skill of storytelling has been passed down from generation to generation, from one storyteller to another.
From gathering around the campfire to watching the latest Netflix series, stories allow us to impart knowledge, share important experiences, and inspire others.
A great way to ensure the success of your brand is to leverage our evolutionary desire to share wisdom, knowledge and insight
If you can become an outstanding storyteller, customers won’t be able to get enough of your products and services. And this is where companies that tell well-written stories really shine.
What makes a story great?
Storytelling is a subjective art form. What makes a story excellent depends on the opinions of the audience, or target audience. The way your brand tells a story won’t always match the taste of all consumers, but there are a few ways a storyteller can ensure their content has the best chance of success:
A story with an entertaining narrative keeps the audience engaged and looking forward to what happens next. An entertaining story is often full of distinctive characters, clarity, culture, and wit. This makes your story compelling and hard to pull away from.
It’s crucial to tell stories that are personal and easy to relate to. They don’t necessarily have to be relatable to everyone who reads them, because it can be important/critical to cultivate a brand niche. Passionate readers and customers who share common interests are easier to engage and more likely to connect with your content.
An educational narrative keeps your audience’s attention through curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. A community that finds educational benefits in content is more likely to trust the brand, which will help strengthen customer loyalty.
A methodical, well-thought-out and easy-to-follow narrative not only makes your brand stories clear, but also speaks well of your company’s organizational skills.
To make your content memorable, tell stories that entertain and teach, as well as being accessible and well-written. Quality content will help keep your message in the minds of your audience and create a positive association with your brand.
Stories stimulate emotions and imagination
Why does storytelling work? People love stories because they appeal to the emotional and decision-making parts of our minds in a way that facts and figures cannot.
The appeal of stories is not magic, though – it’s driven by science:
Customers are primarily guided by emotions (feelings and experiences), rather than information (brand attributes and facts), when making purchase decisions.
The emotional response to an advertisement has a much greater impact on a consumer’s intention to purchase the product than the content itself. Statistically, the impact of emotional content compared to factual content is more effective to the consumer by a ratio of 3 to 1 for television advertising and 2 to 1 for print advertising.
Brand loyalty is mostly influenced by positive emotions towards a brand rather than rational evaluations based on brand attributes.
Our brains are constantly looking for stories, which is why we spend a third of our time daydreaming. It takes a good story to truly make us stop and pay attention.
Brands that focus on storytelling in their marketing strategy not only attract new customers, but also retain them. It’s clear that storytelling is a golden marketing strategy, which both small and large brands are incorporating into their overall content marketing plans.
People find it easier to remember stories than cold, hard facts. This is because the human brain doesn’t distinguish between hearing/reading a story and actually experiencing it. In both cases, similar neurological areas are activated.
Join us for the free online workshop “How To Use Storytelling To Grow Your Business: Three Super Effective Big Ideas”. At this workshop you will learn:
How to tell a story to build your brand.
What business stories are and why you should tell them.
How to (and how not to!) tell a good story.
There will also be plenty of opportunities for you to practice your own storytelling. Plus you’ll receive free-to-use templates, an ebook on the art of storytelling, and a script of our play; a dynamic, action packed thriller that is currently in the staging process.