Storytelling is often sold as the latest marketing trend, but we know that storytelling is neither a trend nor a novelty. Nevertheless, many advertising agencies are still mainly design-oriented and only slowly becoming aware of the power of good stories. Thanks to digital marketing, this power can also be measured accurately and quickly, proving that communication without a story cannot compete with story communication in terms of conversion rates.
Advertising and marketing are reverting to storytelling , since it is confirmed that our brain is increasingly blending out blabla, simply because what does not help us content-wise and does not help us in life, gets no place in our brains.
That's why it's imperative for companies to tell stories, with authenticity being the magic word of the moment. Real people tell real stories, which increases credibility, identification and sympathy.
Brain research confirms storytelling success
Brain researchers realized that listening to stories means our whole brain is active, even those regions that only work when we experience events ourselves. In a good story, we are actually "in the middle of it all". People seek what they see, hear, experience, a common thread, a connection. That means, our brain diligently constructs its own stories and puts individual parts together. It seeks, so to speak, the meaningful whole.
The Israeli-American psychologist Daniel Kahneman has divided our brains into two systems. System 1 is responsible for quick impressions, spontaneous feelings, we intuitively assess situations. It helps us to survive. System 2 goes a step further since longer-term problem solutions take place there, but System 1 dominates simply because it is faster. That is, we judge a surprising situation with System 1 (fast, intuitive, on a gut level) and our system 2 then sometimes explains this judgment rationally.
A good story primarily addresses System 1. It loves the catchy, well-presented, but also sensibly ordered story: a good story touches us emotionally but is also rationally linked. Emotion and causality belong together.
Since stories not only stimulate our brain and make us work creatively, but also influence our behavior, storytelling is one of the most effective marketing tools.
Storymarketing: making information stick
We all know that people remember good stories for a lifetime – like the fairy tales of our childhood – but they even get more widespread and thousand-fold shared today,
But let’s be clear here, this doesn’t justify in any way to put fake news into the world to be heard and read. Telling the facts well is what matters most: to phrase them in appropriate words and to see the story framing these facts. Today’s marketing managers have no choice but to work out what good journalists have mastered long ago.
Storytelling is the natural way for us humans to process and retain information. There is also scientific evidence that storytelling has a major advantage over other communication tools: they are genetically programmed into our brains as a fundamental design. Cognitive psychologists assume that at least 70% of our inner dialogues take on the form of stories. So, stories are the attention-grabber number one, resulting in three key advantages of stories over other communication channels: (1) Stories arouse more interest than any other form of communication, (2) they are easier to remember, and (3) faster retold.
Stories simply captivate and attract our attention, therefore, it's time for brands to communicate the same way we instinctively do – with stories.
Storymarketing can be seen as the logical evolution and rise of content marketing. The basic idea of content marketing is to enhance goodwill through free content for potential customers. In the case of a purchase request, this benevolence should place the brand as far as possible on top of the list of candidates. However, simply "just" producing content is not enough, it must be embedded in a good story that generates emotional resonance with the audience through shared values.
Clearly, storymarketing goes far beyond the content marketing approach. Stories communicate our values and our worldview, so we can help to recharge brands with authentic values and actively implement them. Always keep in mind that customers do not buy the best product, but the product they understand best.
By Daniela La Marca