Why do most marketers tell stories?
Interesting question! The answer, perhaps to your relief, will not require a story.
It’s to increase engagement. Out of the three pillar high-income skills of copy, closing, and speaking, storytelling is a powerful writing and communication tactic that makes all three more effective.
Let’s get into more details with the following three reasons:
#1 It provides a better connection with the audience. Storytelling involves continuity, imagination, empathy with another person, and mystery. All good things to implement into your copywriting and business communication in general. One very common storytelling scheme is to tell the personal struggle of how you came to make, discover, try, whatever, the product you’re talking about. Establish the pain points that your prospects are feeling as well, so they know that you get them. Then, they’ll believe that what you’re selling is indeed the solution to their problem, since you are just like them. In a nutshell, that’s all it takes.
#2 Stories make complex concepts or information more memorable. So, if your business has some challenges with customer education (why does this product exist, what problem does it solve, is it really a problem, etc.), stories will help a lot. In marketing, you can’t always just tell people what a product does, you have to explain why they should want those benefits in the first place.
Imagine someone wanted to get me to buy a special wax for my car. I might tell them I don’t care that much about how my car looks, as long as it’s washed and the paint isn’t chipping. But then they tell me that if I use this wax, I’ll only need to wash my car about a third as often. That sounds pretty handy, so I buy it to save myself some time. And once I’ve done that, I’m also sold on all the other benefits too, because psychologically that’s how we defend and justify our purchases.
#3 In a time when everything is being directly marketed, storytelling is subtle. If the story connects with you, you probably won’t notice or care that the marketer is using a story and a format that probably seems familiar to you. That’s because it’s not so much about telling an amazing story, or an original one. It’s about a story that makes your ideal customer say “Yes, that’s me! I’m struggling with that!” No doubt, there is enough marketing all around us, so a little subtlety, a little time getting personal, will pay off.
Might be other reasons, I don’t know. But those are what stood out to me.
Here’s the thing about storytelling: for newbies, it can be hard to figure out what to say. Often you’ll struggle to write a single sentence, or you’ll write pages and pages when you only need about 500 words. It’s a skill you need to calibrate, and if you do, it will benefit not just business, but everything else in your life that involves trust with other people. Being able to tell a truly great story, in text or in person, cannot be undervalued. I once told a story that saved me from failing college (for being a lazy student). If you’re struggling with using stories or other more psychological or “opening up” aspects of marketing, I have tips on storytelling for marketers and other useful techniques for closing more sales on the Knowledge Base section on my website.
Feel free to reply if you have any questions or need suggestions.