It’s rare that we go through our day and expect content from companies to actually move us emotionally or teach us something new and important in a memorable way. There’s a crucial void of communication between sellers and customers that most businesses simply can’t feel, touch, or explain, while crying out: “If only they knew about our product/service!” Often that void can be filled through storytelling – specifically storytelling in marketing.
If you want to truly teach or inspire your customers, it’s not just about hard work. In our experience at Newsletter Pro, it often takes telling a story.
Why Is Storytelling in Marketing So Powerful?
Let’s say you’re a customer reading a newsletter. Imagine reading an article from a personal injury lawyer about why calling a PI firm quickly after an accident is important. The attorney lists the important facts, cites their sources, the whole nine yards.
However, imagine the same lawyer telling you a story first: A new client of theirs was a 18-year-old girl that was driving home from basketball practice. Suddenly, a truck slams into the back of her car. She was left with a traumatic neck, spinal, and brain injury. Previously, everyone knew she was on track to be a professional athlete – now, she isn’t. When the lawyer asked when her accident occured, she told them it happened almost two years ago.
“Almost?” the lawyer asked hopefully.
As it turned out, if she’d called them any later, the client never would’ve been able to file her claim, or receive justice on her expensive, lifelong injury. By making the call, she bought herself more time with her family, more time for her recovery, and far less worry about her healthcare bills in the future.
The question is this: Would you still be interested in the statistics and facts if you didn’t hear a relevant story first? Would the knowledge still have the same impact?
Bob Dickman, co-author of “The Elements of Persuasion” and executive coach, says, “If you don’t feel it, you don’t remember it.” So, how do you tell a story so people “feel” it?
A Story Is Best Served With Conflict
If you told a brief story about opening a jar on the first try, there’s no thrill. Flat stories without conflict strike most people as boring. However, if you told a story about failing to open a jar, then trying to open it with every conceivable object in your home, including a crowbar, suddenly, we have a story that’s going somewhere. (Maybe a “Looney Tunes” episode …)
We feel stories in our gut — and our gut remembers pain, and it fears pain in the future. Your business already helps people resolve pain and makes their lives so much better and/or easier. Why not harness those stories? Why not use storytelling in marketing?
Our business owners have many ways that they like to tell stories about and for their business. Of course, stories can be “about” your business. That often means interviewing the business owner for industry-related topics, but, sometimes, it means interviewing our clients’ customers or experts within the business.
However, stories can also be “for” your business. A business owner might feel inclined to share a new family tradition that’s meaningful for them or the lessons that participating in a marathon taught them. We hear incredible, touching stories all the time, whether they’re about grief, personal victories, or hilarious mistakes. Telling stories for your business, even if it doesn’t seem directly related at first, can heighten the value of your business to your customers. People are more likely to trust people who are good storytellers. As Harvard University psychologist Howard Gardner says, “Every great leader is a great storyteller.” Stories make your brand more human, which is crucial in 2022 — even if the stories aren’t “by” humans, like the adorable articles we write from the point of view of pets in the case of some of our veterinary clients!
Margaret Atwood once said, “You’re never going to kill storytelling because it’s built into the human plan. We come with it.” Many marketers agree, so if you’re ready to commit to using great storytelling in marketing, don’t hesitate to give your expert team at Newsletter Pro a call.