With the wealth of information that overruns the Internet today, it is hard to capture the attention of an audience. Hundreds of thousands of companies are competing head-to-head to see who can push their message the furthest. Therefore, the story unfolds, of how companies are turning back to the roots of human heritage to unlock the ancient art of storytelling.
A long, long time ago, the earliest forms of storytelling were thought to have been primarily oral incantations combined with gestures and expressions. Eventually art began to accompany these stories to help depict the messages. Specific individuals, sometimes referred to as bards, began to have the main responsibility of passing down these oral traditions. As history progressed, writing was produced, the printing press was developed, and soon these intimate stories were spread far and wide. Many years later, the typewriter was invented, and then the computer. Now, we have the ability to share information in the blink of an eye! Storytelling seemed to have fallen to the wayside as companies and individuals kept projecting loose messages that had no common threads. However, marketers, the modern day bards, soon stepped onto the scene to unleash the power of stories once again.
So why are stories still so important? Well, storytelling fulfills the need for human beings to cast their experiences in narrative form. Telling stories is a nurturing act for the listener, who is connected to the storyteller through the story, as well as for the storyteller who is connected to the listeners through the story. These connections are vital for establishing relationships and allow for distribution of beliefs and ideas. This is an effective method for marketers because it allows for them to create content that will build relationships between their brands and potential customers. It also gives marketers the chance to break through the barrier of the digital overload by utilizing the power of social media, and the lost art of storytelling, which then allows them to gain the customers’ attention. These unique messages marketers create can help define a brand, sell a product, make a point, but most importantly, they stand on their own.
Even though storytelling is an effective method for sharing messages, marketers have to be careful. If the story solely exists to disguise a marketing message, then it won’t fool anyone. Marketers work hard to make the stories interesting and exciting. Their stories need to reveal something unknown, tap into specific emotions, and take people on a quest, which usually involves a transformation between the beginning, middle, and the end. If the story does not do any of these things, then it is simply not a story.
Although this all may sound like a tall order, it is imperative to embrace the heritage of storytelling, reach towards the roots of humanity, and create a environment where customers can feel that personalized connection to brands again.
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Sep 25, 2015