Now that the web helps everyone share stories, you need to create brand stories that others can tell for you. A great story can capture your customer’s attention as no other feature or benefits package can.
Seeking the science behind stories
The brain has three main “parts:”
(1) the neocortex, where thinking, imagination, and problem-solving happen;
(2) the limbic brain, where people retain memories, experience emotions, and form value judgments (consciously and unconsciously), among other things; and
(3) the reptilian or “lizard” brain, which controls automatic physical functions and signals a “fight or flight” response in an attempt to keep them safe. The lizard brain relates to how the stories you tell influences your customers.
Consider this: The lizard brain responds when your customer perceives a threat. Even though the threat is not a stampeding animal herd, as it may have been in your ancestors’ day, customers may still perceive a kind of danger. In this case, it could be a high price or an assault on their time. They need to decide whether to stay or retreat. As a content marketer, your job is to mitigate that fear long enough to get your customer interested in your brand. So how do stories do that?
The lizard brain is quieted by stories that help build trust. Such stories actually cause a chemical reaction. Every content marketer knows that trust is the key to building a lasting customer relationship. The screenwriter and teacher Robert McKee says that for business communication, you need to “unite an idea with an emotion.” So when you see long, boring articles about a product, you know they’re missing the mark.
Finding your product stories
This section begins with a basic rule. The product stories you tell should have the customer as the hero of the story. You can make your product the hero, but then you lose the interest of the customer. The customer’s focus is on himself, not you.
Keep these characteristics in mind when you’re putting together your next product presentation. Straight statistics and facts will not be as persuasive as a good story to go with them.
Your company has many stories to tell. Key among them are the messages that are derived from your mission and goals. These messages tell your customers how you will serve them. This section focuses on the stories you post every day on blogs, in articles, and on guest sites — the ones that keep your audience loyal and engaged. These stories are the bread and butter of content marketers
According to Aaker, three major characteristics of stories are what can make them so powerful. Stories can be
(2) impactful, and
You can convince people by using statistics. But statistics alone don’t have an emotional impact. If you conjoin statistics with a story, the listener connects with the storyteller as well as the story, and persuasion becomes possible