It’s a good question. People have less and less time so they are picky with what they spend their time on. Storytelling is the key to make people care.
I always loved to tell stories. When I was a child I would get myself a ballpoint pen with a huge, fluffy, hot pink feather attached to it so I could write my stories into my big journal like a proper wordsmith. There were stories about dragons and princesses and great adventures. I really could immerse myself into those stories. Whether by reading a book or by writing them myself didn’t really matter to me. I was part of these epic adventures and I felt the emotions of the protagonist as if they were my own. I believe my great-grandma had some influence on me regarding this subject. She would write witty poems and fun little stories for us kids. My favorite was the story of the house mouse Scholastika who fell in love with a field mouse but had her little mouse family taken away from her, when the people who owned the garage where they were living captured the mouse father and the little children and released them into the woods. My granny always had a terrifying fear of mice and I remember one time when she wouldn’t sleep in her ground floor room for a week because a mouse took a wrong turn and ended up in our house. So I think that story maybe was a little self therapy.
But I loved the story. I had her tell it again and again and when we found the handwritten story after she died it was as if she would tell it to me one last time. Frankly, I still get emotional holding that piece of paper.
So as you might have already realized, storytelling is a subject that’s very dear to my heart. But there is a reason I am telling you about it. People connect over stories.
I think people throughout history always were aware of the power of stories but now we have scientific proof. When we listen to stories the same areas in our brain are active as the one of the person telling that story.
In my career I always tried to tell stories with my work. After all the most powerful brands are those who can build a very deep connection with their customers.
People are willing to pay more if the product has a story connected to it and listings on Ebay achieve higher biddings, when the product description has a short story in it. There are dozens of studies showing that storytelling is crucial for selling your product and for getting loyal customers who work as brand ambassadors for you.
The story you want to tell should be the first part to think about when developing a brand, a campaign or any type of content.
When I worked at Markenstolz I would conduct brand workshops with my colleague. One part of these workshops was to figure the customer’s brand story. After all Markenstolz’s credo is “No story, no glory.” And they are right. You won’t connect with your target group without having a story. We had the participants of these workshops figure out who was the hero of their brand story. Was it the company? The employees? The product? Maybe the main characters are the customers themselves and the company is only there to assist them. These are important questions to ask yourself when creating content. Why should my target group care about my brand? Why is it important to them?
So next time you create any piece of content consider thinking about the story you want to tell with it. What feelings and emotions do you want to convey with that piece of content.
Or go a step further and consider developing a content strategy for your brand that is built on storytelling.
By the way, if you were curious: Scholastika the house mouse never found her family. She was eaten by a cat while waiting at the field mouses former nest for him to return. In hindsight that’s one depressing story to tell to kids, grandma.
If you want to know more about storytelling or content strategy in general I’d be happy to connect with you on my social media: