Storytelling (Part 1): The Art of Attracting Customers

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Storytelling (Part 1): The Art of Attracting Customers is the first half of a 2-part series highlighting the concept of utilizing Storytelling to your advantage. You can skip to the second half here.

When we were young and we first started going to school, we were taught a plethora of subjects. And, if we were lucky, our teachers would tell us stories to grab our attention, peak our interests, and introduce the lesson in a way that would help us remember what we learned. But at that age, no one ever explains to you the power of storytelling.

A 21st-Century Invention?

Storytelling, the art of telling stories to attract potential clients, is nearly as old as humanity itself. From the troubadours of the Middle Ages to the Halakah of Morocco, they all had their own masters of storytelling. so, what happened? Why has it suddenly gained newfound attention?

Speeches that feel distant, mounds of cumbersome documents, soulless press releases, unengaging corporate video presentations, the list goes on and on.  In many of today’s large corporate setting, companies will often choose a style of communication that may be seen by today’s generation as being overly formal and can quickly go from being something intended to be informative to the day’s most boring highlight. That’s because more often than not it fails to capture the audience’s attention.

The “Attention Economy” 

The digital age has changed many things in our society–how we communicate, how we discover news, what we hear, and how quickly that information can spread. But, one of the things that companies are now discovering to be less effective is how they are connecting with their customers and potential new customers. With the disruption of social networks, there’s no denying that the conversion of the consumer into a producer of content with publicized opinions have made companies and brands rethink their strategies in attracting new customers.

Before, companies used to be able to ‘let themselves be loved’ by the consumer. Now, instead, they need to ‘make them fall in love’ sort-of-speak, and the most effective way to do that is to master the art of storytelling.

But, won’t stories make the content seem less credible? That’s the big problem companies are facing. The secret to ensuring it continues to be viewed as credible is that the story being told should be honest, transparent, real, and personable. Additionally, it needs to be catered to its intended audience.

If it is a “formal” audience, we must use a language and deliver our content differently from those that we would use with a more relaxed audience, whereas a relaxed audience is made up of those who are expecting the content about to be shown rather than content that catches them off guard through a suddenly appearing advertisement. Ultimately, however, the tone of speech won’t matter if we manage to connect with our audience somehow.

Thus the advantages of using the storytelling technique in business communications have become notorious. It makes a brand feel unique and more easily identifiable in the consumer’s mind, differentiating them from the competition and creates a strong link between them, the consumer, and the brand.

This business-consumer bond can be enhanced even more if delivered with an emotional charge. This is best achieved when the message within a story is not only aimed at the rational (logical side of the brain), but also emotional feelings.

If you consider how a drama can make us cry or a comedy can make us laugh, you would understand how these kinds of sensations can be very powerful. All that’s left is knowing how to use it to your advantage advantage.