Understanding the Science Behind Persuasive Storytelling

Storytelling As a marketer, we understand that you’re looking for new ways to engage people with your digital presence. Chances are that you know how discouraging it can feel when nothing you do seems to be making a connection. You’re following the proverbial rulebook, but nothing is sticking and capturing the audience’s attention. The reality, though, is that there’s a science behind how narratives cut through digital pollution to hold human attention. This is the power of storytelling.

So how exactly can you take advantage of the science of storytelling to move people?

  1. Start with the takeaway message. Stories that stick with us, even if we were too young to comprehend why, are those that have value beyond their entertainment. They have a message that many people can relate to. So what’s your brand’s story? By having a clear takeaway message, you’ll have an easier time crafting a compelling story that resonates with your audience.

  1. There’s always a villain. No matter how simple or uplifting the story, there’s always some sort of antagonist that causes tension. Conflict is critical to persuasive storytelling, but it doesn’t have to be as violent as Darth Vader’s take over of the universe. Rather, conflict can be a simple challenge that your consumers face or something as broad as uncertainty in the economy. Your villain might not be a character in your brand’s story, but conflict is necessary to be persuasive.

  1. Be creative. The information age has exposed consumers to more stories and data than ever before. The result? Consumers are numb to things that would have compelled them a decade ago. If you want your content marketing to be compelling, it’s important to take risks and go the extra mile with creativity. Cookie-cutter solutions can only work for so long.

  1. Set the trend. Stories don’t just entertain – they have the power to shape human thinking. This is why Hollywood and the entertainment industry have such a strong hold on our culture. The more compelling the story, the more likely it is to shape the way that we think, process information, and behave. So the question is: how do you want your audience to respond?

  1. Simplicity rules. The power of a story usually lies in its simplicity. There’s a mistaken assumption that complexity is what makes a story compelling, but the reality is that audiences can only handle so much information. There’s a reason that LOST ratings began falling in season four…

So as your brand ramps up its content marketing strategy, be sure that these key elements are included in your campaign. You’ll be surprised at the effect they can have on your audience.

Are you incorporating any of these ideas into your current content marketing strategy?

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Daniel

Daniel Chioco is a writer living in Nashville, TN. He earned his Commercial Music degree at Belmont University, where he also studied creative writing and wrote for the student newspaper. When he isn't creating content, Daniel works as an actor and films YouTube videos. He is also a freelance musician and is authoring his first fantasy novel.

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