I won’t lie.
You could fill a blimp with all the boring content people are using to attempt to make sales.
But you probably think your stuff is different right?
Let me be the voice of truth for you.
If you aren’t using storytelling, you’re no different.
If you really want to rise above the drab, and compel people to your business, it’s time to start storytelling.
Here’s five epic reasons why.
1. Decisions Are Made Because Of Emotions
Meet the human brain:
Did you know:
It has a specific compartment designated for decision making?
It also has another part for making your decisions seem rational.
We make decisions with one part of our brain, and them rationalize them with another part.
Decisions are always emotional.
In fact, people who cannot use emotions when processing decisions are clinically considered psychopaths!
Seriously. That’s what that means.
Now, think how this relates to your audience?
Facts and data do not deliver an emotional experience, and don’t lead to decisions or sales.
But emotions do. And what spikes emotions?
Good stories are torpedo launchers of emotion, aimed at your face.
People buy based on emotions.
People pay for feelings.
Sell to the heart and the brain will follow.
– Paul Smith
2. Stories Add Value To Your Product
When I was a kid, I went to the library on a seemingly boring field trip.
The information we were looking for could only be found in an extremely old book, which was the only existing copy around.
We were told that this book could only be touched by a parental guardian. It was kept in a dark room to keep out dust and sunlight that might cause it to fade.
To preserve its condition, you had to use special white gloves to turn the pages.
And you were only allowed to view it for 15 minutes.
Do you think I viewed this book as valuable?
Because it had story.
When you attach a story (or history) to a person or product, the value increases tremendously.
3. Stories Help The Buyer Relax And Listen
People can only focus on one thing at a time. If your story is compelling enough, you will hold their attention much longer.
Perhaps long enough for their decision making brain portion to kick in!
If your story can create a change in emotion and tension – sad to happy for example, your customer will relax and become easier to influence.
People always resist being sold.
Nobody can resist a great story!
4. Stories Make Facts Easier To Remember
By inserting facts into the rhythm and pacing of story, they become tied to something more exciting than just boring old stats.
An article I read in the Guardian says: Most of our ways of understanding the world are narratives of one form or another, whether serious or scientific stories. – Ed Cooke
This means we understand through stories.
If you can include things in your story like a 300lb. squid, or a fire breathing caterpillar, you can hook your facts into the mind of your audience.
Even better, borrow from Hollywood movies!
Include them in your stories to make them more memorable.
Here is a fun memory jogger to generate ideas you can use as metaphors to anchor your most important points:
Guardians of the Galaxy
Pirates of the Caribbean
Next time you are creating an ad, try using something from a famous story or movie (that people already love and recognize) to make it more memorable.
(Just be careful of copyrights.)
5. Story Is Visceral.
This means, you really feel it in your gut!
When your story is really good, not only does it remain in your audience’s mind, but they can feel it in their body.
Your senses respond as if it is actually happening to you!
Storytelling stimulates parts of our mind that are only active when we viscerally experience something.
That’s why when you are at a movie like Bond, or Mad Max, or Avengers, you on the edge of your seat.
On some level, your mind and body believe it’s real.
Do you see how effective story can be?
Do you see how you are really missing out if you aren’t using this strategy?
Keep it UP.
Anthony is a growing expert in Business Storytelling and Creative Director at UpMedia Inc. He’s spent 12 years making compelling content in mediums such as 2D and 3D animation, graphic design and video, and on award winning television shows and movies. He is committed to building humanity in the business world with storytelling.