5 Keys to Effective Storytelling

Effective storytelling will get the user to focus on your story, and your message, above the noise and information overload.
5 Keys to Effective Storytelling
Keep in mind the following figures:

  • In the last 30 years, mankind has produced more information than in the previous 5,000.
  • An average American is exposed to 3,000 to 12,000 marketing messages every day.
  • 205 billion emails are sent daily.
  • Employees receive an average of 121 emails per day.
  • Each minute there are 3,125,000 new likes on Facebook and 350,000 fresh tweets sent on Twitter.
  • On average, professionals spend 51% of their workday receiving and managing information, rather than actually using the information to do their jobs. 

Given the overload of data you must manage the information, you want your audience to read, listen and pay attention to. Otherwise, your target won't connect all the dots of your story, or they will make their own (You probably won't like it). Even worse, your message might get lost in the noise.

"There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." Oscar Wilde 

Therefore, you must be able to offer good, dynamic, and attractive stories to your target audience, so that when they get your message, they won't discard it at first sight.

Although storytelling is not a new concept, not all companies have implemented it correctly. Not every story will allow you to benefit from this technique. Brands must learn to do it right, in order to connect with their audience on an emotional level and generate empathy with their values.

How Can You Achieve Effective Storytelling?

1. Define what your target audience

Our stories are not meant for everyone. No matter how good your story is, there will always be those who do not like it. Your message must be transmitted in such a way that your audience can identify with the settings and characters of your story. Before you start creating your story, take the time to analyze your target audience: who they are, what motivates them, what they like, what they do, etc.
These are a few questions that might help you achieve this:

  • Does this audience currently buy something similar to your product or service elsewhere?
  • How does your product or service help your targeted audience or what problem does it solve for your audience?
  • What are your marketing demographics? (Age, location, Gender, Income Level, Education Level, Marital/Family Status, Occupation).
  • What specific things do your buyers have in common?
  • What is your marketing psychographics? (Personality, Attitudes, Values, Interests/Hobbies, Lifestyles, Behaviors)
  • What drives your target audience to make buying decisions?
  • How can you best reach your target audience?

2. It's not about the products you sell, but the emotions you trigger

Once you know your audience you must define your objective. What do you want to accomplish with your story? Perhaps you want to increase your sales or establish your brand, educate the customer, etc.

Based on your goal, you must choose which emotions you want to trigger in order to captivate your audience. Not all products are sold through the same emotion.

Take your audience's emotions to the limit. Have you noticed that movie trailers make you experience different emotions in a short period of time? The reason behind this strategy is that when the mind is faced with these changes in emotions, it remains active and tends to remember more; and when the mind is exposed too long to the same emotion, it tends to get bored.

3. + Media - Words

A great story in words is a good idea for a book. However, if you want the attention of people use the media. Humans are visual creatures. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.

Blog entries with videos are shared on average 3 times more.

The best stories go beyond the words, they let your imagination fly before surprising you.

4. Be simple

Being simple is complex. The purpose of your story is to appeal to the emotions, and the statistics do not inspire, do not make them the stars of your story. Instead, use everyday characters to which your audience can relate.

You must not forget that every good story has a structure, and yours should have it as well. Any story has a beginning, a mid-portion, a climax, and an end. You can play with the structure but make sure your story is complete.

Moreover, make your story easy to understand. Use the body language of characters, and add details to give authenticity and originality to each scene. If you do it right there is much that can be left unsaid, but the imagination of the audience will complete. It will also help you to make your story memorable and comprehensible.

5. Your story should be attractive from the beginning

Many people want to leave the best for last. Nevertheless, the start is equally important. If you do not get them hooked from the start. They will discard you, and all the valuable content you were going to offer because they got bored.

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