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?

Using Storytelling to Strengthen Your Brand Online

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.

The Art of Telling a Good Story

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?

How to Engage Your Audience With Powerful Stories

If you wish to tell a good story online, here are a few tips for you:

  • Connect with Google users on mobile devices both intellectually and emotionally through AMP stories.
    As you’ll see explained on the AMP website, an AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) story is “a full-screen visual storytelling experience that conveys information with images, videos, graphics, audio, and more. It’s perfect for users who want bite-sized, visually-rich content.”This new format of content creation is allowing you to sell your vision to highly-knowledgeable Google users, most of whom are using their mobile devices to surf the web. The good thing is you don’t have to struggle with the story creation process, as there are many reputable companies such as VisualStories who can offer you legitimate tools to use in creating your AMP stories. These tools will generate highly-engaging stories for your website, which will help you climb up Google’s SEO rankings (not only does Google shove AMP stories to the top of mobile search results, Google AMP simplifies your page to boost load time, all of which earn you more impressions and clicks, thus making you more credible in Google’s eyes).
  • Humanize your Instagram stories.
    As much as you would want to present your business as a strong, no-nonsense online brand, you can’t escape the fact that your prospective customers are human. And so are you. And so is your staff, unless you’re operating a company or organization entirely run by Artificial Intelligence of some kind… Regardless, make your stories as human as possible, but don’t be too casual to the point of diluting your credibility.You can, for example, show your enthusiasm, hope, passion, and dedication to your success — this lets your audience see that just like they strive to succeed in life, you too strive to grow your business. That’s how they will buy into your vision and help you achieve it.
  • Utilize visuals across all platforms.
    As we’ve already seen, many online users are running away from static, plain-text stories and instead settling for the visual-rich content. Use AMP stories on Google, video stories on Facebook and Instagram, and imagery when it fits. Don’t forget to make the visuals short, engaging, and precise.

Start telling your story.

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.

More about the Author

Rilind Elezaj

Digital Marketing Specialist

Rilind Elezaj is an experienced digital marketing specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Rilind possesses a strong entrepreneurial mindset and has devoted his career to enhancing the sphere of digital marketing. In his methodological approach, Rilind integrates web development and other digital marketing solutions to create hybrid strategies that bring the best results.

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