How Stories Sell
Updated: Apr 5
To spend your advertising energy more wisely, pull up a chair and tell a story.
There are a number of things I consider common knowledge that I discover my husband hearing for the first time. Now he could say the same for me, so perhaps that is how, together, we know just enough to survive. Tonight I was dismayed to find he knew nothing of “unconscious selective attention”, or the phenomenon that allows our nose to go completely unseen by us, even though it’s in our line of vision at all times. You know, the way our brains evolved to automatically tune out unnecessary sensory information? He also claims to never have gone cross-eyed in an effort to see his own nose. Unbelievable, but I digress.
That phenomenon mirrors the struggle with marketing to the modernized mind. We’re so bombarded with advertisements that our brain has learned to identify and treat them like our nose: Ignore it in hopes of noticing something more important. This is good for us in navigating the world and processing data, but poses even more challenge to capture the attention of our assuredly clever clientele.
Stories interrupt this marketing cycle, delivering information in such a way that humans will naturally devote attention to. When we begin following a story, we gladly trade our time and attention in exchange for the entertainment and learning opportunity. If we find some character or conflict especially relatable, we’ll go to great lengths to hear the conclusion. Not to mention, better retain the promotional aspects that were involved.
List the features of your home security system and your audience will naturally skim over them. Turn that into a narrative of how your product changed the way one family escaped a house fire.. We want to see it through to the end, we have to see it through to the end! That’s a dramatic example, but there are limitless ways to weave story into your customer’s journey.
Further more, these tales need not be complex or daunting. In fact, they require only two things: Subject and conflict. If we are willing to be a bit transparent, every day is full of story. That first conversation you had about your idea for a product? Story! Your client’s emotional reaction when you solved a problem for them? Story! The struggle you overcame, personally and logistically, to get where you are today as an entrepreneur? Story gold your audience won’t want to tune out.
Copyright ⓒ Forged Film Company 2020