When you stop to think about the water cooler conversation taking place in your office (or in your home, or with the other parents in your daughter’s dance class waiting room…), you might notice a vast majority of interactions revolve around a story — a story about something that happened over the weekend, a story from out of a book someone’s reading, or one related to a TV show or movie someone saw recently.
Why’s that? Well, the human brain best relates to information when it’s presented in a story-like format. This is particularly because stories appeal to emotions, are easy to engage with, and are highly memorable. They motivate and inspire audiences towards a common course. They are a fun way of bringing people together and igniting productive conversations that would otherwise be hard to get started, particularly newbie conversations. In a nutshell, stories have been right in the heart of all human communications since ancient times.
Why are we talking about storytelling in this time and age? Well, we live in the social media era, and as the “social” in the name suggests, this media is premised on people socializing and having fun. People share fun stories about their lives on Facebook, through Instagram photos, Snapchat, Twitter, among other social media channels.
From a business standpoint, these fun-loving and highly social audiences form the modern customer-base. Whatever platform they’re on, no business can thrive in the modern business climate without engaging with prospective customers on social media. What better way to engage with them than indulging their storytelling instincts?
How is your brand perceived by people online? Is it reputable enough to attract new customers at a high rate?
One way of building your brand online — and convincing people to trust it, for that matter — is sharing your story with them. You’ll make stronger connections with your target audience by breaking the monotony of constantly publishing new content and instead investing your time in explaining what your business is about in greater detail.
Tell people what you stand for, what you intend to fix in their lives, and how you will do it better than anyone else out there. Let your target audience understand and own your entrepreneurial journey by involving them at every step of the way through well-crafted stories.
All stories are engaging, yes, but they all do not have the same engagement levels (disclaimer: this excludes the aimless ramblings certain aged children often contribute to conversation… ya know, like the ones about how many breadsticks they ate at dinner the other night, including the exact coloring, consistency and flavor of each individual breadstick).
A well-crafted story is more likely to build your online brand faster than a fumbled, monotonous story. Traditionally, online marketers used to post detailed blog posts on different social platforms explaining themselves to their readers. The posts were bulky and not as effective as the marketers would have wanted, particularly because the human concentration span falls under 8 seconds. People don’t have the time or patience to read through a whole page unless they’re already familiar with or super interested in the subject. And thus, the realization that hatched imagery and video stories.
If you’ve been tuned in to the revolutions taking place on Facebook, Instagram, and Google, you’ve likely noticed they all have optimized video and imagery storytelling. They’ve introduced a fun, easy, and more engaging way of relaying information to the end consumer through short, fast-loading, easy-to-click-through stories.
The million dollar question now is: How can you craft and present a good, highly-engaging story?
If you wish to tell a good story online, here are a few tips for you:
Being the species we are, I don’t foresee the love of a good story dwindling any time soon. That said.. It’s time to take action!
Drawing from all of the information and tips introduced above, I encourage you to craft a plan to introduce the art of storytelling into your marketing plan this year. And track your results so you can witness for yourself the true power a good story can give to your brand, and to your company’s success.
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