Stories are how we make sense of the world around us, but also how we build and grow our personal and business relationships. Stories inspire, shape us and make us who we are. They are all around us.
Our need for stories is a reflection of the basic human need to understand, connect and express, but not only from the aspect of intellect but also from personal, emotional experience.
In this blog post, we bring you storytelling techniques that will enchant your business audience and help you write stories like a pro.
What is storytelling method?
We remember the stories we connected with and the ones that influenced us.
Storytelling is a skill that originated in the 19th century. Because the people liked the stories, it soon became part of political, social, and managerial communication.
Steve Jobs delivered one of the most successful storytelling speeches of this century. To his students at Stanford University, he spoke about business projects through his life experience.
Weaving a story is the way we connect with the audience.
When you remember any stories you heard, think about how many of them you recognized in advertisements on television, in the promo press, on different websites, and on social networks. I’m sure they reminded you of the stories you listened to, read, or watched before.
Storytelling is no more no less than “relating a tale to one or more listeners through voice, gesture and written content.”
This seemingly unsophisticated activity is the oldest teaching and learning method humanity counts on.
What makes a good story?
A good story that will etch in our memory, must contain the right combination of certain elements. It has to be interesting, has to catch the reader’s attention, and creates a connection between the reader and the narrator.
Very often, we forget that language is spoken, and writing is just a representation of it.
Writing is a pretty new invention: about 5 thousand years since its first manifestations, and a couple of centuries since it gradually started becoming accessible to most people.
Storytelling is a natural communication resource that we have as human beings. We respond to the story emotionally. Our minds and hearts open to what we are hearing.
Marketing understood that if companies managed to convey the story of the brands or products, they could create customer loyalty and nail their pitches better than any other way.
It is this emotional response to the story that makes it so powerful.
Pro tip: The words and message you want to send absorb into the reader’s brain. The best way to improve your writing and the way you tell a story is to read everything, from mystery, science fiction, business, biographies to philosophy.
How is storytelling used in marketing?
In the past few years, storytelling became one of the best marketing tools. A good story is a prerequisite for a good business strategy.
Successful salespeople are generally very effective storytellers, both in and out of business.
Even when companies don’t have a fabulous story behind them, a good salesperson knows that you need to create a relationship before closing a deal.
Stories are crucial for our development. Storytelling is such an “obvious” part of our daily lives that we stopped paying attention to it, a bit like breathing.
If you communicate your project to your audience through a story, event, or feeling, there is a likely possibility that you will provoke emotion in even the coldest people.
By arousing emotions, you will gain their affection and loyalty to do something for you or your brand, such as buying your product.
New generations of consumers respond better to new ways of interactive advertising.
Combined with well-chosen words, emotional stories, music, and effective images, storytelling in a much less intrusive way becomes a much more powerful form of product advertising.
Storytelling has become a part of digital advertising. To be able to sell a product or a service, you have to stand out well in the sea of competition.
Remember the TV commercials. Most of them are similar and boring, but only a few catch your attention with the excellent story.
What are some storytelling techniques?
Storytelling touches on all areas of your brand’s marketing.
There are various storytelling mediums: video, social channels, blogs, TV, radio commercials, the web, e-books, infographics, etc.
Modern marketing “stories” leave no consumer indifferent and usually have the pattern of a classic story. So, if you want to make a good advertisement, you need to follow these techniques:
1. Story with a hero
There is no good story without the main character, the hero, or a “good guy”. The hero encourages the viewer or listener to get emotionally involved in the story to identify with it.
The hero’s structure has its roots since ancient times – from folklore, historical myths to religious stories.
The main character, the hero of the story, leaves his home and goes on a journey. During the trip, the hero mostly had to overcome various obstacles and return home enriched with new knowledge, insights, wisdom, and experience.
This is the best structure you can use if you want to take the audience on a journey or show the benefits of taking risks.
2. Target your enemy
Except for the hero, the story also needs an enemy or a “bad guy”. The enemy can be anything, “the system”, a “bad guy” or the fears, failures, and obstacles the protagonist faces.
In this way, you gain your clients’ and consumers’ loyalty because they want to feel like your protectors in the fight against evil or to help you solve the problem.
The center of the story is how the hero fights and wins the enemy.
When writing a story, think about these questions: What’s the core enemy of my customers or clients? Is it a danger? Wasted money? Unfulfilled dreams? Fear of failure?
Make the client a hero of your story!
3. Establish the beginning, middle and the end of the story
There is no good story without a good start, plot, and unfolding. Our protagonist initially enjoys life until his opponent or problem arises.
This is where the story reaches its highest point. And then, suddenly, the protagonist does something productive, unexpected and the problem is solved. He brings his life back into balance.
The central part of a client’s story should be transformation. This is how the client learns, solves a problem, gains a new perspective, and turns failure into a success story.
Success stories of your clients or customers will provide a smart way to increase your credibility and better sell your services.
4. Add surprise to spice up your story
If you have no surprise, the result will be a boring story. Essential to every good story is at least one surprise. Great examples are TV series that add twists to stories and thus make the series more exciting.
This technique creates tension and keeps the audience engaged, waiting for what will happen next.
5. Cut out any irrelevant detail
Cut out any detail that doesn’t move the story forward or develop the main hero’s plot. This will keep the reader’s attention.
If the reader doesn’t need to know about some specific detail to understand the central of your story, don’t tell them about it.
For example, if they don’t have to know what kind of vehicle you used for a journey, don’t tell them about it. Ask yourself if the details help your audience take a certain action.
6. Make it personal
Remember that a reader comes to your blog with a specific purpose – to learn something new about the industry, to review different opinions on a particular topic, or to solve a problem they are currently facing.
Storytelling makes it easier for them to immerse in the subject, keep the focus, and connect with your experience on a human level.
People appreciate vulnerable stories that are not afraid to mention difficulties and failures.
Show the audience that behind the brand stand real people with real problems.
7. Write the story as you talk
Let simplicity be your guide. Use strong and simple words with power and talk like you would speak to a friend. A corporate way of writing or speaking can ruin the story.
Use a conversational tone, almost as if you were sitting around a campfire, all eyes were on you. Write words and sentences that sound like a real conversation, avoid repetition, and watch your language.
8. Make a visual story
Use words that help the reader “see” the story you are going to tell. Everyone has a story to tell whether the company or a person.
Visual storytelling is a very effective way to share a brand message and engage with clients. It is essential to determine an interesting topic and have quality photos to evoke emotion and get attention.
There is a reason that many of the greatest stories told have become movies. You can tell a story by writing or talking, but images will bring a story to life and make it more powerful.
These structures will help you keep the story thread, get the audience’s attention and enable them to see the point of your story easier and faster.
How do you sell by storytelling?
Marketing offers many solutions and tools to attract customers. One of them is undoubtedly storytelling.
The critical ingredient of storytelling and creating a good story is an emotional investment – the value that a brand has and how we distinguish it from others.
People are emotional beings and it is most comfortable to connect with someone through emotions.
In childhood, stories taught us how to follow dreams, help others and beware of danger. In marketing, the goal is to create a good feeling by creating a cocktail of emotions.
Through emotions, companies have opportunities to attract new clients and customers, which ultimately leads to loyalty.
Let your clients become partners in developing your storytelling. Listen to their comments and find out their expectations.
Success never comes overnight. So be patient. Give your storytelling time to develop. And if you are impatient or don’t have time, we are at your service, waiting to weave your story!