Is there an art of storytelling
How to use the art of storytelling
Storytelling can increase conversion rates by 30%. A detailed study of what exactly makes storytelling an insanely effective tool for marketing content.
No story, no sales. Do you think it's an exaggeratedly bold claim? I dont dare. In fact, according to Arianna Huffington, "people think in stories, not statistics, and marketers have to be masterful storytellers."
Moreso, statistics say storytelling can increase conversion rates by 30%. Even 62% of B2B marketers consider storytelling to be an effective content marketing tactic.
Since marketers trust the power of storytelling so much, there must be something to it, right?
The aim of this article is to take a closer look at what makes storytelling an insanely effective content marketing tool. In the process, I'll also highlight some practical ways that content marketers can weave stories into their content that will dramatically improve their conversion rates.
Storytelling is part of the human framework. The history of storytelling helps us know that storytelling is the way we have passed on valuable information for centuries. Our ancestors were smart. They knew it had something to do with the power of storytelling to convey information to their audience, and they made the most of it. Because of this, folklore tales have been very popular in many cultures. And in the Bible, Jesus did most of his illustrations with stories or what we call parables.
So what makes storytelling so powerful? Stories make it easier for people to relate to your content. And why? Because a well-told story creates an image in the mind of your target audience and they see how things play out in their mind.
For example, if you've read, "There was this playful dog wagging its tail in excitement," you won't be able to stop yourself from creating the image of the dog in your head. There's nothing hypnotizing about it, it's just how our minds work.
So when you talk about a product or service and start describing the experience in terms of a story, your listeners will see it play out in their minds. They feel the same emotions that they would have felt if they had the product or experienced the service. And when they can imagine making what you offer a great experience, it creates a longing to buy from you or rent you.
How can storytelling change the game in content marketing?
If storytelling is that powerful, imagine incorporating it into your content. As content marketers, we are constantly looking for ways to develop content that can efficiently reach the target audience and achieve the results they want. And judging by the statistics in the introduction, the storytelling seems to be doing the job.
Chris Haddad is an interesting case study. He's been able to increase his conversions by 400% just from using stories on his product's landing page.
How did he do it?
Chris sold information products that taught women how to find the perfect partner. First, the landing page of his product listed the benefits of buying his product. That was responsible for the two percent conversion rate. That wasn't good enough. So he changed his strategy.
Rather than just listing the benefits, Chris shared the story of how his wife (who was his girlfriend at the time) managed to pique his interest in her and keep him attached. This simple adjustment resulted in a conversion rate of eight percent.
Three ways to bring stories into your content
Chris is just one of several other people who, through the art of storytelling, or as I call it, "story selling" alone, have been able to work wonders on their conversion rates. Now that you know how storytelling can affect your conversion rates, here are a few ways you can weave a story into your content.
1. Let your customers tell their story about their experience with you
Research conducted by Nielsen found that 92% of people trust a recommendation from someone they know, while 70% trust a recommendation from someone they don't know. This means that we are more inclined to believe what other people are saying about a product or service.
So if a customer shares their experience of your product, service or brand with you, then this will have a big influence on the decision of your target audience.
Patagonia does a great job when it comes to sharing customer testimonials. Former customers are encouraged to share their stories about clothing they have worn, and this leaves the reader feeling warm and indistinct (pun intended).
2. Make your ideal customer a hero
Did you know that you can use a story to get your target audience to play a more active role in using your product or service?
Every story has a hero, and most of the time the hero is the most popular character in the story. You can design a story that paints a picture of your client's journey to solving a problem they are facing and make that client the hero in the story.
To do this, you need to divert the focus from yourself and your company and put your potential customers first. You are only a partner to their success and not the one who did "the work" that contributed to your client's success. (I know you know the truth. Just don't tell anyone).
Salesforce captured that reality when they told the story of Room & Board, a brick and mortar furniture company, how it could offer its own customers a more personal in-store experience online.
3. Take them on a trip
Take your prospect's hand and take them on a journey. There are several trips you can take them on. You can take them on the journey through their problem and show them the way to the ultimate solution to the problem they have struggled with.
If they follow you down this path, your ideal client will be able to see where they are on the journey and see you as the bridge to where they want to be.
Another option is to take them on a journey through your story. How did you start the company and why? What challenges did you face and how did you master them? This can create a sense of purpose in such a way that they connect your offerings not only with what they gain from you, but with something bigger.
Where can you put your story in your content?
Now that you know how to put stories in your content, as a bonus, I'd like to give you a quick hint of exactly where in your content to put your story in. There are three places your story can show up:
1. At the opening
This is quite a common occurrence. When you start reading, watching, or listening to content, it starts with a story. In this case, the story is the hook that gets your audience to read, see, or hear all of your content.
A classic example of this is Jon Morrow's article entitled “On Dying, Mothers, and the Fight for Your Ideas”. It perfectly captures the attention of readers and casts them under its spell.
After you've given your target audience a great deal of benefit, you may decide to end your content with a story that clearly illustrates what you're talking about. Stories that you put at the end of your content should be a story that practically shows how the value you shared comes into play, or that gives a picture of why you brought such value to your audience.
3. As part of the declaration
This is perhaps more common than the other two I just shared with you. While you are conveying an important fact in your content, you may want to give it a little more context with a story. The story helps explain the concept in a way that your target audience can relate to the explanation you shared.
For example, the screenshot above is an article on how to turn your hobby into a profitable business. I made five points and woven a different story into each point. And from these stories, my readers found it easier to understand the point I was getting at. And by understanding these points, I was able to take them on the journey of content marketing that ultimately turns readers into leads.
Check out this other example from Neville Medhora on his blog post entitled How to Publish Your Book Online for Free. In this blog post he shares how he got to write his own book. You will see how he relates to how he set a completion date for his book.
Example of sharing experiences while writing a book
Storytelling is an ancient tool that was used to educate, entertain, and encourage those who cared about listening to the stories. These stories were shared with others, increasing the pace at which they were told.
Now that you know the power of storytelling, you can repeat the same effect by incorporating stories into your content. Because, according to Brian Eisenberg: “Effective content marketing means mastering the art of storytelling. Tell facts, but stories sell. "
I know it takes a lot of practice to be a skilled storyteller, but you will realize it will be worth it in the end.
Maxi Maxhuni is a passionate SEO blogger, content marketing and SEO specialist. He is a certified Google and content marketing expert. Before blogging about SEO, he implements optimizations himself. This increases the authenticity of his blog articles.
In his role as Operations Manager at the MIK Group, he deals with the latest SEO trends and updates. This enables him to recognize possibilities and to implement them in daily business. This leads to the fact that his articles are unique and shaped by personal experiences.
Working with a wide variety of customers, from SMEs to international corporations, enables him to understand SEO from all angles. This is also reflected in his blog articles, which appeal to all target groups. Due to the diversity of daily work, its content is extensive and at the same time free from too much technical jargon.
In the operational area, he has almost a decade of experience. He was also the operational manager of one of the largest outsourcing companies with around 500 employees.
He also likes to share his articles on social media. Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter and stay up to date with developments in the SEO world.
View all posts by Maxi
Maxi Maxhuni is a passionate SEO blogger, content marketing and SEO specialist. He is a certified Google and content marketing expert. Before he...
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