Who doesn’t love a good story?
From the fairy-tales you memorised as a child to the witty anecdotes you share at dinner parties after a few too many bottles of red; stories are a fundamental part of the way humans communicate. Whether the goal is to raise awareness, recruit new customers or to start a conversation, telling your story online not only gives you more credibility it makes you more memorable.
Putting a face or a story to your brand allows people to create a meaningful association.
It’s all in the brain. When we are told a narrative certain parts of our brain are activated; describe an emotion and your listener’s insula, an emotional brain region, will be activated, describe your drool-worthy breakfast and the sensory cortex lights up.
Our brains are designed to find connections. We are constantly relating information presented to us with past experiences. When someone tells you a story your brain will automatically link it to an emotion or experience you’ve had that was similar, thus you might follow up their story with “That reminds me of the time…” or similarly, you might find yourself repeating the story, as if it were your own, to another friend a few days later.
How can you utilise this?
Whether you use images or info-graphics, video or quotes, using storytelling methods means you’re not just relaying information, but making that information come to life.
Dry slabs of text should be avoided. Whether you’re displaying information on your website or on social media, communicating your story effectively requires clarity, brevity, and creativity. Complex issues should be broken down and delivered succinctly. People need to be able to easily digest the information put before them.
Write like you talk.
A study by researchers from the University of California San Diego and the University of Scranton investigated how we absorb information online.
The researchers asked 280 undergraduates to read 100 sentences pulled from Facebook pages and 100 sentences extracted from books — none of which were more than 25 words long. The participants were then prompted with the same phrases and asked to recall which ones they had seen previously.
Which do you think were more memorable? The professionally written and edited extracts from well-known authors or the casual, spontaneously written quips and thoughts from Facebook users? The study found students remembered about one and a half more Facebook posts than book extracts.
What does that teach us? That casual or conversational wording is more memorable than formal text. Which makes sense because it’s how we speak every day. Next time you want to get a point across try using a story. Just write as though you are telling your friend something and put some personality into it.
Remember – don’t waffle on. No-one likes a story that doesn’t go anywhere.
And here’s one we’ve had on replay. Check the view count.