Anyone can tell a story, but it is a rare few that know how to tell it well.
In a modern time where data is limitless, and attention spans are short as gnats, this is an art to be learned.
Stories and irrational impulses are what change behavior. Not facts or bullet points. -Seth Godin
Emotion can drive decisions more than logic or facts. If this weren’t true, the candy shelf at checkout wouldn’t be so appealing.
Basis Of Content Marketing Strategies:
Studies show that the human brain becomes measurably more active when it sees or hears a story, instead of boring lists of items that read like charred, black crust on a dry piece of toast. Imagination is triggered, and instead of just touching the ‘language’ section of the brain, you hit warp drive, and go into ‘experience’ mode, setting off all kinds of pings and whizzes inside their heads!
In his 1999 ‘Cake or Fruit’ study, Stanford professor Baba Shiv provided proof that triggering emotions-particularly either desire or fear, can shift one from rational choices-what’s good for you, to irrational-what feels good. Add to that current research that shows the power of visuals on behavior and choices, and you’ve got a recipe for a sale.
Studies show, visuals get processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.
“A customer ‘experiencing my brand’?! We’ve hit the mother load, the holy grail of marketing!”, you might say. The bad news is, few people (marketers, consultants, and public relations agencies) know how to tell stories well. They don’t bother to read a publication or journalist’s beat, offer to ‘follow up’ instead of including images, and churn out unhelpful, purely promotional messaging that reads as little more than thinly veiled advertisements.
According to Gianluca Fiorella from Moz.com, most brands and marketers tend to think along these lines, instead:
“I have A, and if I do B, and C, I will get D.”
Or, in other words:
“I have/my client has a really great product. I’ll send a press release, ask a blogger to write about it, or pitch my latest accolades and awards, because that’s great news. Then, customers will buy my services.”
The problem is, what gets you excited may not really be news, your story may not resonate with that journalist, and if you don’t provide value, or fill an apparent need, your brand or service is likely to get passed over. Relevancy and relatability are critical to growing your business, and a proper content strategy and story is the first step to getting them to choose you, instead of your competition.
Research has also proven that whenever we hear a story, our first response is to try it to relate it something we’ve previously experienced. This is, in part, why metaphors work. Uri Hasson, a researcher at Princeton says, “Storytelling is the only way to plant ideas into other people’s minds.”
A stellar example: 300 Spartans fought against a Persian army of thousands, not because of their fearless leader, or because they were the bravest, but because of hundreds of stories that assured they descended from the gods.
Our team has been telling compelling stories for years. We think like the media and consumers, pull rabbits out of proverbial hats, and can make incredible things happen for your business.
Want to become a better read, and get more people to notice your business? Start thinking like your customer, a journalist’s reader, or that influencer’s following.