The narrative has always been a powerful tool in human history. Tales of mythical beings, epic wars, and heroic journeys have long touched the spirit of people, inciting great feats of bravery or notorious crimes.
Stories can evoke deep emotional responses from their audience. While being fictional, stories are often based on values that many cultures around the world embrace as real or practical - courage against evil, freedom against oppression, and strength against weakness. It is no wonder that storytelling has also become an important marketing tactic because of these reasons.
The beginning of storytelling in advertising can be traced back to the late 19th century when copywriters began adding elements of fiction into their advertisements using branded characters and situations borrowed from popular novels or plays.
What storytelling does is that it adds emotional power to an advertisement's core proposition through creating connections with people on an emotional level. Everyone loves stories, whether they are real or imaginary, factual or fictitious. This common emotional ground has allowed storytellers to tap into our deepest desires for belonging, love, admiration, and achievement.
Features of a Good Storytelling
There are certain features of a good story that can make or break its effectiveness in getting the point across to the target market.
Open by sparking curiosity
"What if I told you that there is a group of skilled individuals who can help your business grow more rapidly?"
Engage the audience by telling an emotionally captivating story. Draw on what people already care about. Consumers don't want to listen to someone rambling about features and advantages; they are looking for something that will truly entertain or inspire them.
You need to write your story with the target market in mind, focusing on its needs, goals, fears, problems, and pain points. The type of language used should match the nature of the product or service being sold as well as its intended clientele's age bracket.
"But what if this group isn't actually real?"
Expose the resolution of a problem. This part defines a good story as a series of challenges that your target market goes through from beginning to end, all intending to achieve some kind of fulfillment or reward at the end.
Human beings have been hardwired to respond to certain conflicts - physical, social, moral, etc. These are just some possible stories you can incorporate into your marketing strategy.
Resolve the plot
"I'm glad you asked. This group exists, and their name is one you might know."
Resolving the plot of the story is its reward and what consumers hope to gain from it. The more difficult or unlikely that resolution seems, the more rewarding it feels when it happens.
Concluding with a call-to-action
"And since you're here right now watching this video or listening to our podcast, I believe that it's time for you to give us a try."
End your story with an actionable CTA (Call-To-Action). Just like in any other type of content, always make sure to include one last pitch promoting your product or service at the end. Make sure there's something for everyone too!
Remember That Your Story Should Let Readers Visualize Your Context
In storytelling, concentrate on things that pique the interest of your audience. Readers can readily imagine what you're trying to say if they see what you're talking about, so you may easily capture a greater proportion of their attention and interact with them at a higher level than previously - to the point that your narrative might genuinely influence their purchasing decision.
Stories are a powerful marketing tactic because they tap into our natural desire to be entertained and emotionally invested in what we consume.
So the next time you sit down trying to write content for your website or social media accounts, make sure to include storytelling as part of the equation! It's safe to say that engaging stories will go a long way in getting people interested in what you're SELLING.