Storytelling is Hiding Everywhere
Storytelling – telling stories – is an essential part of all our lives. No matter which generation we belong to or which age we live in – stories have always inspired mankind and encouraged the exchange of information. You can use this tool for your marketing activities. But before we get to that, let’s have a look at what storytelling actually is and why it is promising.
Plain and simple: the telling of a story. Whether we are reading a book, going to the theatre or watching a film at the cinema or via streaming services, the element of storytelling is everywhere. Stories are used to entertain people – whether they are fictional, based on a true story, novels or short stories – we let ourselves be carried away by them.
What is a Story per se?
A sequence of moments and situations that happen to one or more characters. In this sequence, characters are introduced to the readers, listeners and viewers and – as long as the script or novel provides it – continue to develop at a certain point in time. Of course, not everything is a story yet. Someone who goes to the baker to get a coffee is more likely to present a fact than an interesting story. But when that person is robbed by someone else on the way, runs behind that person and gets knocked off by a cyclist, it’s more like a story. Since we have combined several elements here: tension and drama and the question: how will it end? Will the thief be caught and what happens to the robbed person?
Why Does The Storytelling Work?
Very simple: we humans love stories! They grab us and we remember stories rather than pure scientific facts, which we forget anyway after five minutes. Even if the story doesn’t really suit our taste, e.g. bad plot, badly played or written – we are still captivated and want to know how it ends.
Hero’s Journey Transferred to Marketing
The storytelling is based on the so-called Hero’s Journey, which was invented by the American mythologist Joseph Campbell. The hero of a story goes through several levels or situations and is on a hero’s journey. At first we show you these stages, which the hero goes through, in order to be able to transfer them to the field of marketing afterwards. The previously 17 stages were later transformed into 12 steps by Christopher Vogler. These are:
- Ordinary world: Action starts in a defined scenery
- Call to adventure: Hero should set out on a journey to face a deficiency or a certain fate
- Refusal of the call: first of all he resists it; does not want to give up his usual life
- Meeting with the mentor: Meeting one or more people who convince him to take up the adventure after all
- Crossing the first threshold: he overcomes himself and sets off on a journey
- Tests, allies and enemies: Meeting challenges, allies and also enemies
- Approach to the inmost cave: Hero advances to the most dangerous place in the story and meets his boss
- The ordeal: Hero must survive an ordeal to continue his journey
- Reward: after he has succeeded, he receives a reward
- The road back: He’s on his way back
- The resurrection: He has evolved during the journey and has come out of the adventure almost as if reborn
- Return with the elixir: The hero returns with the cure; the solution. This now has a positive effect on the end of the story
All well and good, but how can I transfer this to my marketing, you will ask yourself. Don’t worry, we’ll show you! 🙂 Let’s take a look at the following situation:
The hero – your customer – is in his familiar surroundings (Step 1). He notices that he has a problem and that it would be best to solve it (Step 2). But at first he is not 100% convinced to seek help and turns away from the problem (Step 3). He then meets with friends or family members and discusses his “challenge”. These encourage him to address this problem and find a solution (Step 4). He gives in to this and sets out to find a suitable solution – this can be done both online and offline (step 5). In doing so, he encounters different providers who promise him one thing or another – even if he does not want it (step 6). He reflects on himself once again, evaluates all offers, and confronts what appears to be the best offer (step 7). He looks at this provider and offer and tests both (step 8). He has overcome the test phase or the live demo and now understands what the product brings him and receives, for example, a discount for immediate booking of the package (step 9). He ends his search because he has found the right product (step 10). He is now much smarter than before and convinced of the solution he has found (step 11). He uses the product or solution to sweep his problem off the table for good (step 12).
Use Storytelling For Your Business
You can use storytelling in many places to convince your customers of your company and your products. Even if you create your own app, you can take advantage of this element and tell a story with the app to show the added value for your customers. Newsletter, Sales Pages or your homepage are also ideal candidates for storytelling. Social media channels are also suitable to show users that you are their problem solver. Like writers and screenwriters – let your creativity run free and use storytelling.