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Storytelling in marketing, or why good stories sell

Storytelling in marketing, or why good stories sell

When a copywriter wants to effectively motivate recipients to a specific action, he should definitely reach for appropriate, targeted storytelling.

Not only children love fairy tales…

What is storytelling? A narrative of a specific story, a narrative full of emotions, wrapped around the hero or heroes with whom the recipient can identify. Dry, bland, colorless presentation of information is boring and will not catch anyone’s attention. However, fascinating stories and myths have accompanied mankind since the dawn of time… If anyone thinks that only children like fairy tales, they are seriously mistaken. Stories allow us to experience something, to experience it (with the help of our mirror neurons). If we do – we are prone to react, respond to the story.

Starting point – the definition of the persona

The first and most important element of building a successful sales history is creating a portrait of the recipient. The vision of the “persona” should be as vivid and precise as possible. What is his/her profession? How old is he/she? What are his/her life experiences? Who are his/her friends? What are his/her habits and habits? What is he/she dreaming about? The goal is to adapt communication to the target group. So as to speak its language, move appropriate “strings” in it, and trigger emotions. We will “tell” our stories to a corporate employee completely differently than to a 23-year-old partying student. The “feeling” of the target group undoubtedly requires the copywriter to be psychological and observant.  

Captivating narrative is the basis of persuasion

How to catch the reader’s attention from the first sentences? If possible, already in the headline you should sow the seeds of fascination. Give a foretaste of what the recipient will be richer for, which will gain after learning the whole story. It works great, among others reference to desire, forbidden fruit, gaining power, prestige, regaining control, learning a secret known only to a select few… By serving an engaging, intriguing narrative, our persuasion gains a perfect “carrying capacity” to inspire the recipient to a specific action that we care about. The workshop of storytelling tools is really impressive – we can reach for various dramatized themes: conflict, passions, taboos, spicy details from life, fight, competition, and above all – the theme of a hero’s transformation.

The outline may look like this:

  • We choose a hero with whom the recipient can easily identify (e.g. a middle-aged woman, a busy wife and mother struggling with overweight).
  • We gradually introduce suspense and create an intrigue (e.g. a young, attractive and slim work colleague begins to circulate around the heroine’s husband).
  • The protagonist faces a challenge and tries to overcome it (e.g. the wife realizes that in the sheer volume of duties she has forgotten to take care of herself).
  • The recipient goes through all stages of the fight with the protagonist (e.g. diets, murderous trainings, etc., there are moments of doubt).
  • There is a climax – a breakthrough, an artifact or a mentor thanks to which the hero wins (the heroine finds an effective method of fighting overweight, turns into a slender beauty and emerges victorious from the crisis)

As you can see, it can also be effective to delineate some “enemy” the hero is struggling with. It doesn’t have to be a literal villain, but rather some vague threat, vision, idea. In the above example, the personal enemy would be a shapely colleague from work, but in a broader, impersonal context – the prospect of losing attractiveness in the eyes of the partner, the possibility of marital infidelity, lowering self-esteem, etc. Fortunately, everything ends well (thanks to the X method).

Storytelling sets a new canon of advertising

Why, then, good stories are so sales effective? The overwhelming majority of our purchasing decisions are dictated not by cold judgment of reason, but by emotions. Although we prefer not to admit it to ourselves. Numerous studies by psychologists, sociologists and specialists in behavioral economics leave no doubt here. There is no point in creating emotionally neutral, purely informative marketing content. They will not arouse any emotions in the recipient, will not cause any reaction, they will be forgettable. Even if our product has features that are valuable to the consumer, their dry description will not be a sufficient argument for a purchase. No wonder then that storytelling based on dynamic stories referring to emotions is an increasingly popular direction of effective marketing.

We are creative. We are innovative. We are INTREDO

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