Why Storytelling Matters to Marketers

In today’s world people are inundated with marketing messages. Cutting through the clutter just to have a chance to resonate with the audience is the most critical first step a marketer can take. That’s why storytelling matters. Stories can help brands break through.

When you consider the following stats, it’s fair to say that content marketing has become saturated:

  • Every 60 seconds, approximately 3,780,000 Google searches are performed.
  • 5.3 trillion ads are shown online each year.
  • The average consumer processes 100,500 digital words daily.

Consumers are inundated with marketing messages. Many messages get ignored. Marketers shouldn’t take it personally, with so much information thrown at them, consumers are doing what they can to survive.

More People Are Blocking Ads

The rate of ad blocking is increasing exponentially. Ad blocking software is becoming more prevalent, and very easy to use. Oftentimes it’s built into browsers which makes it super easy for people to block ads they don’t want to see.

why-storytelling-matters-ad-blocking
Image credit: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

Content Marketing Saturation Is Here

If you’re thinking, “if my ads are being blocked, I’ll just focus more on content marketing”, then you might be in for a shock when you check out all of the content you will be competing with for the attention of your target audience. The content marketing saturation infographic below is from 2017, so we can imagine just how much worse it is today than it was two years ago.

Content marketing is actually a great solution, but only when done from a storytelling perspective. Storytelling content marketing can cut through all of this clutter.

Check out what happens online in 60 seconds from a content perspective.

content saturation is why storytelling matters
Image credit: Smart Insights

So, how do you get your brand to rise and cut through the clutter? Inject storytelling into your content marketing strategy.Storytelling is foundation to great marketing content. Stories help marketers resonate with their audience by threading marketing messages together in a way that creates emotional responses in those storylisteners, helps people remember what they learned, internalize it, and compels them to make brand-friendly decisions. Without storytelling marketing, marketing messages simply fall away into a sea of similar content.

STORYTELLING EVOKES EMOTION

Stories trigger chemical reactions in the brains of the audience. The release of chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin cause the audience to focus better and help them forge emotional connections with the story and storyteller.

According to cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner, it’s estimated that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22x more memorable. Stories are more memorable because of those chemical reactions taking place in the brain.

why storytelling stories are memorable

STORYTELLING ELICITS ACTION

All great stories are purposeful. Purposeful stories thread together key messages in a linear pattern in a particular order to ensure messages resonate with story consumers. All purposeful stories end with a specific call-to-action which ties into the key messages that story consumers just heard, and moves them to take brand-friendly actions.

This is another big reason why storytelling matters, people are more likely to take action after they have created an emotional connection with the story and storyteller. When their brains are filled with happy chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin. Stories move people. Make sure the direction they are moving is towards the brand and not away from it.

STORYTELLING ENCOURAGES RETELLING

Because stories are easy to remember, and emotionally resonate with story consumers, people internalize those stories and make them their own. It’s only natural for us as humans when we hear a great story to want to retell that story with our friends and network.

If marketers can tap into this natural human behavior of retelling great stories, that’s when the viral magic happens for the brand. Having others share a brand story on behalf of the brand costs $0, and the story is now coming from a trusted confidant from the perspective of any new listeners, which only increases the authenticity in those listeners’ minds. Encouraging viral story retelling should be the objective of every marketing story.

“Staying true to your brand, being timely with content, using the power of wow and wonder, and embracing new technologies to tell stories”.

– Nadine Heggie, VP of Brand Partnership, National Geographic

If you agree that storytelling matters, and can help your brand amplify your content marketing, consider what Nadine Heggie is saying in the quote above about embracing new technologies to tell better stories. Learn more about how our mobile first digital storytelling solution can help you tell better brand stories or request a STORYSOFT demo to see the platform in action.