All about Storytelling
Posted 20 Jul 2021
In order to successfully convince other people of new ideas, opinions or products, pure informative content alone is no longer sufficient. In addition, the way how a piece of information is conveyed becomes increasingly important. That is exactly what storytelling is for. The simplest forms of storytelling have existed for over 200,000 years and can now be found in virtually all areas of life: literature, films, journalism, and even political speeches.
Purposeful storytelling has become a widespread and popular method of simply and vividly communicating knowledge, information, products, and emotions in the form of a metaphor. Consciously or not, storytelling is already used in almost every company, and is part of their everyday communication. So-called business storytelling is used in areas such as branding, marketing, PR, and corporate communications.
Furthermore, storytelling can also exist in various forms. Be it as a continuous text in print media or books, as a song in audiovisual media, or even as a video on digital platforms.
A story is usually divided into three acts: the initial situation, an evolving complication and the resulting solution.
The first act describes the initial situation. The questions of where and when the story takes place are clarified. Also, a protagonist or hero*ine is introduced into the story.
The subsequent act comprises the goal and core message of the story. This is directly related to the company’s positioning and reflects its values. Likewise, resistance or conflicts arise that make it difficult for the hero to achieve the goal.
In the final act, the solution to the problem is found and delivers answers to any questions still pending hence showing what can be learned from the situation.
To capture a story, you can proceed according to the following scheme:
1. Positioning: formulate a core message that represents the company’s interests and values and adapt it to their target group.
2. Communication concept: create an evaluative situation analysis and a communication strategy based thereon.
3. Story theme: find out which story will lead most quickly to the company’s goals and which group of people needs to be involved? The target audience should always be able to identify with the story and its hero*ine.
4. Scriptwriting: explain the structure of the story, the core problem, introduce the hero*ine. Simply said: answer the key questions (who, where, when, what, how).
5. Share content through different communication channels: analyze according to your company’s positioning which mean suits the matter best: as text, audio, or video and/or in print media or online forums?
The following elements characterize a good story:
– A stimulating central idea along with new perspectives and valuable information
– A simple structure and language, that are easy to follow
– A pictorial narrative that creates a mental illusion
– Conveyance of emotions and authenticity
– Identification possibilities with the hero*ine for the target group
– An educational core message and moral
– A good maybe even doctrinal ending
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In general, storytelling is used to inform people about a company, its products and to prompt their motivation to engage with the brand. Other objectives can be to evoke enthusiasm, identification and trust in a customer for a process, company or product.
The goal of storytelling is to provide people with a simplified version of information and facts that they can identify with and remember in the long term.
Studies at Stanford University have confirmed that a person remembers facts and figures up to 22 times better when they experience them in the form of a story. This is partly due to the hormone oxytocin, which the body releases when reading or hearing stories. Whenever we feel empathy for a character within a story, oxytocin is responsible for it. It also induces people to act in an emotionally driven way and leave their rational way of thinking aside.
You might also be interested in: Once upon a time there was an article that wanted to explain why storytelling is the perfect B2B marketing tool
In summary, storytelling has become indispensable in many industries and business sectors.
Not only because the competition between companies for the greatest possible attention and prestige for their products is growing. But also because of the dilemma between conveying the increasingly complex information of products in a comprehensible and meaningful way and a meanwhile limited receptivity of the customers.
Marketing Assistant at HBI Helga Bailey GmbH – International PR & MarCom
Lukas Huber has been part of HBI’s marketing team since 2020. As Marketing Assistant, his responsibilities include the development of marketing campaigns, social media management and the creation of specialized articles.