Marketing can be tricky. But it is key to your business’ success that you get it right. If you look at some of the biggest companies in the world you’ll notice their marketing is top tier. From companies like Apple who always seem to impress with their incredible production quality shown in their ads, to Ford with the reveal of the new Bronco, shows how great they are at visually appealing to nostalgia. One thing they all have in common: Storytelling.
You ever see a car commercial where you watch say a young man go through a journey to getting the car of his dreams or a young couple fighting through the struggles of a bumpy relationship with it all being solved with a car? It may seem silly but it works, and it works well. Now of course commercials aren’t the only form of marketing out there.
I was recently introduced to a form of email marketing called open loop emails. Where the goal is to start the email with this ridiculous notion or story and end with a cliffhanger that leads them on to the next few sets of emails that will be sent over the next few weeks.
Now why does this work? Why does storytelling work so well with marketing? It all goes back to the beginning of civilization itself. Back when our people were writing on the walls of caves. Storytelling is part of the human condition, storytelling is what allows cultures to connect, storytelling is what allows a civilization to live past the fall. We have always told stories and that’s why when you combine in with marketing, it resonates so well with individuals.
Here’s some science to support this claim. Ever heard of oxytocin? According to study done by Study, Oxytocin is a peptide (amino acid-based) neurochemical made by the hypothalamus, a part of the brain. It has numerous functions, including the stimulation of uterine contraction during labor, as well as the ejection of milk during nursing.
Also from the same article done by Study, they state the following: Additionally, studies have shown that a well-crafted story about a person, even a fictional character, can increase the levels of oxytocin in a person’s brain, and elicit empathy and subsequent cooperation in the listener. In other words, an emotionally charged story can inspire people to perform an action, partly as a result of the release of oxytocin. In fact, the science behind this is very strong. By measuring the neurological activity of the body, scientists can predict how likely it is someone will perform a cooperative action, (before they even know they will), after listening to a well-crafted story.
Here is a neat little graphic from Single Grain:
Now how do you apply storytelling within the many forms of marketing? It can seem like a daunting task but check out this great article from Medium to see a basic outline of writing a logical story. Now how do you apply storytelling to your business? I am going to leave that part up to you. I can show you the basics of storytelling but I can’t tell you how to craft your story.
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