By Uju Obuekwe
Our world is saturated with marketing messages, making it hard for businesses to stand out from the crowd. But there is one tool that can cut through the noise, and that is storytelling.
A story can help you connect with your customers in ways that no other method can—and there’s proof that it works. In fact, one study found a well-told story can drive the retention rate of your audience up by as much as 70 percent.
When done well, stories can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level, increase conversions, build trust, evoke emotion, and persuade people to take action.
To begin, let’s define a story. A story is a sequence of events involving characters and context with a beginning, middle and end. The use of storytelling is an effective way for marketers and businesses to communicate their message through engaging narratives that resonate with potential customers.
There are certain components that go into crafting a good story.
First; start with a strong hook. A hook is a brief opening to a story that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want more. You have to make sure your hook is interesting, surprising and captures the attention of your audience.
Second; make your characters relatable. Readers should be able to see themselves in your characters. This will make them more invested in the story and more likely to remember it afterwards. If you can do this, you will be able to engage your audience and make them care about the plot of your story.
Third; give your story a clear goal. Every good story has a reason for being told. What is the point of your story? What do you want your reader to take away from it? Be sure to keep this purpose in mind as you write your story. Every scene and character would contribute to that goal. One of your goals could be to engage customers on an emotional level so they feel compelled to act – such as by purchasing your product.
Fourth, write compelling dialogue. If you want your message to be heard, it has to be told well. Use the elements of good storytelling in your content: characters, plot, conflict and resolution to engage your audience and communicate your content.
In a study done by a charity organization, they found that stories of personal victims resulted in a more generous response from donors than those with statistics. By appealing to the heart rather than the head, people are often more likely to be persuaded, while information alone rarely influences people.
Stories also work great in any marketing medium and in any format — from print to online. That’s why more and more marketers are using storytelling in their campaigns.
There are many different types of stories and the way you use this tool is dependent on your audience. But whatever kind of story you tell—it will help you connect with people on an emotional level and create brand loyalty that extends beyond purchasing decisions.