Storytelling is an art that can help you sell products and services. Any good storyteller knows how important emotions are in making purchases. If you make your consumers laugh, want something or feel empathy, you will leave your mark. It makes sense that storytelling also plays an important role in digital publishing. This might seem rather technical, but the idea is simply to transmit your message through a more attractive narrative form, motivating your prospects to buy.
The Advantages of Storytelling
Rambling commercial discourse isn’t really appropriate for communication these days. It is slowly being replaced by stories centred on the product. Stories have 3 important advantages: they generate emotions, they capture our attention and they help us remember the product better.
- Capturing Attention
- Generating Emotions
- Encouraging Recollection
The essence of storytelling is that it captures the reader’s attention better than traditional commercial discourse and gives them access to the product’s benefits. The goal is to involve your reader and keep their attention with a narrative throughline. Let’s take the example of a digital catalogue of gardening equipment. What if all the products were included in the same story? A story of “spring gardening” with different twists, characters and resolutions that include each of your products.
It’s not an accident that the seventh art is based on emotions, using music, sound and images to help us experience the story. Who hasn’t laughed at a comedy? It’s the same thing in communication, even with media like commercial brochures. Imagine an interactive brochure that demonstrates ways to prevent the risks of ageing with funny scenes: “A senior moment can happen at any time”. Humour is often the key to successful storytelling.
Truthfully, this advantage is a consequence of the previous two. We are all more or less guided by our emotions. These emotions forge our memories and tell us subconsciously how we should act in the future. So, when you make a consumer laugh with a story about gardening equipment, they will associate this emotion with your brand. This will push them to choose your product over others and help you sell better. Insight is also an important aspect of storytelling that allows your readers to see themselves in your story. We all remember something better when it evokes memories of past experiences.
Tips for Writing a Good Story
- Start with an Insight
- Follow a Throughline
- Your Product Arrives as the perfect solution
Insight should almost always be your starting point for a story. This means a problem of which everyone is aware (physical, societal, etc.) that your product or service will solve. Let’s go back to our example of the interactive catalogue for gardening equipment. The insight could be that gardening is hard if you don’t know what you’re doing!
The narrative throughline is extremely important. It allows your readers to follow your story. Now, imagine that you need to create funny tutorials for your gardening equipment. Maybe our hero has run into difficulties in their garden and has a “black thumb” after trying methods that they found on unreliable forums.
Your product must solve the problem. Here, the problem is that gardening is difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. So, show your readers that your equipment is easy to use and how much it helps with gardening. The hook could be: “With XXX’s products, you don’t need to be an expert to garden like a professional”.
Using Enriched Content and Interaction
Interaction and enriched content open up a whole new set of possibilities in narration because they give much more weight and value to the story. Sound, video and animations wake up the senses and help your readers dive into the story and feel the emotions that you want to transmit. Always ask yourself, “how does this enriched content help my narration?” before you enrich a document.
Let’s go back to our example of the interactive gardening equipment catalogue one last time. The question here is, how can we show that it is difficult to garden when you don’t know what you’re doing using enriched content? You can add lawnmower sounds with “ouch, ouch, ouch” when the catalogue opens, images of men and women covered with compost, etc. this will make your readers laugh and want to keep reading your catalogue!
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