The art of storytelling is something that goes back thousands of years. What began as the simple use of verbal instruction to facilitate survival, evolved with the use of imagination and shadows thrown up by the fire inside cave dwellings. The first documented story known by historians is the Epic of Gilgamesh, dating back to 2700 BC. With storytelling so ingrained into who we are, it’s no wonder that we respond so well to them.
Most of us have childhood memories of being read stories, particularly at bedtime, and even as we get older, hearing someone tell a funny story about their day can keep us gripped. Forbes released an article at the start of this year which stated that science shows that humans have massive capacity for sustained attention and storytelling unlocks it. Which is why it’s so important for marketers to be good storytellers.
Just as it says in the Forbes article; ‘although it was debunked, the statement that -humans have an eight-second attention span-, scared marketers’. Now, one of the most talked about things in the marketing world is how quickly can we get our message across to avoid losing the consumers’ attention.
The fact is, while short and ‘snackable’ content becomes increasingly popular, you can keep your audience hooked for much longer with a good story.
Why is storytelling important in marketing?
While we now understand that good storytelling can keep an audience gripped, why is it important in marketing?
Well, the main aim of telling a story is to get a message across and it’s the same with marketing. If marketers can hone their storytelling skills, they’ll be able to retain the attention of their audience and ultimately get their message across in an effective way. With the audience being able to recall the information too.
Giving your information in the form of a story helps people retain the information and recall it later. A study was conducted where students had to remember 12 words. Half of the group had 2 minutes to simply study the list while the other half had 2 minutes to create a story that contained all of the words. 93% of students who created a story remembered the words, while only 13% of students who tried to just memorise the words could recall them.
How to use storytelling in marketing
Trying to find a way to incorporate storytelling into your marketing efforts can seem hard at first. After all, you don’t want to be starting your next Instagram post with ‘once upon a time’! Here are some simple ways you can start using storytelling in your marketing to create a better connection with your audience and ultimately ensure that your message gets across to them:
Write case studies
Case studies are a great way to showcase the amazing work that you do as well as how you helped find a solution to a client’s problem. Case studies also lend themselves quite well to storytelling as they can be written in a way that allows you to explain, from start to finish, how you helped a client/ customer.
Why not begin with, ‘x client first got in touch with us and explained that they had y problem’? From there, you can talk about how you suggested a solution and ultimately executed that solution to give them the end result. Which you can then of course showcase at the end of the case study with stunning photos or even a video.
Tell your business story
At the end of the day, people buy people and consumers love to find out about the people behind an organisation. So telling the story of how your business came to be can be a fantastic way to start building a relationship with a potential client/ customer.
Telling this story also provides you with an opportunity to talk about how much you love doing what you do. Helping you to stand out against your competitors. It can also help to establish key figures within your organisation as experts in their fields and even lead them to become industry influencers.
Create a narrative
When talking about storytelling, this might seem like an obvious thing, but narratives don’t have to be long stories as we typically think. Instead, a short and simple narrative can be all you need to explain your product/ service.
This works particularly well when what you offer is something that people may need at a particular moment. Or if your product/ service solved a problem your ideal customer faces.
Top Tip: If you do use a narrative, make sure that the main character in it is relatable to your target audience. I.e the character runs into the same problem and has the same thought process as your target audience. This is why it’s so important to know your audience – something we talk about in more detail in another blog post.
The reality is, storytelling is a fantastic skill for marketers to have as it allows them to convey their message to the target audience in a way that resonates with them. If you feel that your marketing messages aren’t getting through to your audience, it might be time to change things up.
If you’re looking for marketing support, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We have years of marketing experience and are specialists in the construction industry. Give us a call on 01903 686858 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.