“And so the story goes…” – The curious art of storytelling

13 September 2018 / Andy Wright

Storytelling has been used to communicate knowledge about the world for hundreds of years. From the original cavemen, to our ancestors and now to businesses and marketers. Storytelling is a valuable tool, yet one that is undersubscribed to by many small business owners. We believe that storytelling is an integral part to the success of a business, why? Because if you can’t properly convey a story then your products are not going to appeal to your audience.

Our brains value stories over anything and are hardwired to process and store information in the form of a story, they’re irresistible to the human mind because they activate our imaginations, leaving us with no choice but to follow the mental movie created in our heads. You don’t have to be a ‘Roald Dahl’ to be a wonderful and effective storyteller, you only need the ability to think creativly and to the point to successfully immerse your audience.

Where and how can you apply storytelling in a business

As we transition through the ever evolving technological revolution we find it increasingly important to have the ability to communicate through all forms of media. By implementing a storytelling technique you can communicate and ensure a level of transparency with the customer, which is a much desired trait.

The fundamental goal of any business owner is to attract and upkeep customers, we here believe that storytelling is a essential way to do this. Not only does it show investors and customers that your Business isn’t just a faceless organisation, it displays vulnerabilities and humanises corporations, offering a stance of relatability for customers to find a common ground. This makes their investments exponentially more likely, bridging the gap of disconnection between company management and customers.

Storytelling can be used for many varying purposes in a business and be incorporated into all your forms of content;

Your blog – If you often use blogposts to convey company information you can also use it as a way to tell the your company story or each blog post as a mini story encoding values and your mission statement.

• Videos – Videos can be a useful way to visually represent your story to clients, images bring stories to life, they will make it more powerful.

• About page – The ideal place to tell your story, this will be one of the first impressions that your customers will see of your Business so this is incredibly important in captivating the audience.

• Advertising hooks – Use of slogans or story hooks that stay in the mind of the audience, famous lines that act as a reminder of the business.

• Customer stories – Enlist your customers to explain why they use your products and services, and what they truly value about the way you provide them.

Storytelling tips

You can apply storytelling into many areas of Business, and we see it in everyday major corporations, such as the friendly faced children in JohnLewis Christmas adverts. But does storytelling apply to smaller businesses? Can storytelling be practical? The short answer is Yes, of course it can – and here are some helpful tips on how to best apply storytelling.

• Make it personal and easy to relate to your audience

• Engage your readers through their senses

• Show don’t tell

• Use visual guides and keys

• Spark the emotional side of your audiences brain

Why you should implement storytelling

Storytelling can be a truly powerful tool in business, journalist Rob Walker proved this in his “Significant object study.” Walker brought 200 insignificant objects on eBay and enlisted the help of 200 authors to write a personalised story about each item. One item, initially brought for $0.99, was later sold for $62.000, proving that customers respond well to the effects of Storytelling. The human mind is easily altered and manipulated by a simple story, it comes down to emotional investment – the more invested you are in life, the less critical and objectively observant you become.

Catch David JP Philips Ted talk on “The magical science of storytelling” by clicking the link below.

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