“People are not moved by facts and figures, but emotions, stories and especially other people.” This quote by the renowned neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer explains why storytelling is at the top of the hit list of modern marketing. Stories are the most direct path to people’s hearts.
Never before have people been overwhelmed by such a flood of content as is now the case in the digital world. Given the quantity and diversity of messages and content, only high-quality content has a good chance of being perceived. This is especially true in light of the fact that products and services are largely interchangeable and consumers have become increasingly critical of advertising and often ignore it entirely. This places high demands on marketing creatives, from conceptual design and text authoring to graphics and moving images. The question is: What does “quality content” actually mean? And how can one use such content for one’s own marketing purposes?
Stories are an important key to this. Important information has been packaged and passed on in story form such as fairy tales, legends or myths since time immemorial. According to neurological findings, people think in stories. Stories captivate, arouse emotions and have a lasting impact. They are the way people communicate with each other, prepare and distribute information. And how they store knowledge by way of mnemonics.
As a way of anchoring commercial communication in the minds of target groups, the narrative technique of storytelling is a perennial favourite in content marketing. This refers to the art of telling stories about a brand or product in the form of texts, videos or even pictures. The more surprising and unique they are, the greater the chance of being noticed. If they are also easily understandable, catchy and arouse various senses and feelings, then the best foundation is laid for deep anchoring. If customers have a positive experience with a product and brand through a story, it is better than any bold advertising claims.
The basic principles of successful storytelling:
- All good stories have a common core: they are worth being told. Building blocks here include heroes, resolved conflicts, emotions and virality. Good stories offer a tangible benefit (information, knowledge, fun and entertainment) and are constructed using a clear storyline so that not many details can be lost when retold.
- Memorable and emotional narratives in word, sound and image can touch on basic emotions and thus trigger neural processes.
- Ideally, the recipient can connect their own experiences with the story in some way. Such stories enjoy are readily passed on, because they are already associated with positive connotations.
- Good stories can easily be generated using traditional creativity techniques. The exact subject of the stories is of course closely connected with the positioning. Whether telling a company story, brand story or product story, the deeper message takes priority.
- The multimedia internet offers countless technical and creative ways to tell stories. From simple text to videos and adventure worlds (interactive storytelling), almost anything is possible.