Storytelling is an incredibly powerful marketing technique. It works great in email, video, content on your blog or other websites, social media and even on your sales pages. And there are a couple of good reasons why telling your readers, viewers and visitors stories works so well.
Part of it that storytelling is deeply rooted in our history. We’ve been storytellers (and listeners) since the days when we huddled around campfires in caves. The telling of stories or oral history far predates any written word. For centuries it was the main way to pass information from one person to the next. Before we had newspapers, radios and the internet, we had bards and minstrels who would travel from town to town spreading the news. You could say storytelling is part of our DNA.
But we don’t have to go back to ancient history to find a deep personal connection to storytelling. It is something we grow up with. What child hasn’t had bedtime stories before falling asleep or begged his or her parents to tell a story? Stories are how we learn about language, behavior and morals. They are a strong pillar of the foundation that everything we are is built upon. We learn from the stories our parents and grandparents tell us.
Stories are a big part of our history, both personally and culturally. That alone would explain why storytelling in business works so well, but it doesn’t stop there. The stories we tell allow us to make an emotional connection with our audience. We share a little about ourselves and our lives in those stories and this allows the readers and listeners to get to know us a little better.
Stories also allow us to evoke emotions and form an emotional bond with our audience. Stories can make you laugh and cry, they can surprise you or confirm something you’ve known all along. As we share those emotions, we earn the audience’s trust. Stories helps them get to know us, like us and finally trust us. And that’s when they start to feel comfortable enough around us to get out their wallet and purchase a product or service we recommend.
Along the way, we get to know our readers, subscribers and customers better. Stories lead to reactions. People will comment on your stories and share their own. It gives you a deeper understanding of what moves them, what problems they have and what they are looking for. Pay attention to any feedback you get from your stories. It’s information that will help you serve your market better. And that’s the key to a long and successful business, both online and off.