How do stories influence human thought? How can you use storytelling to engage your audience?
Let’s decipher together the emotions and thoughts generated by stories, to learn how to take advantage of storytelling in your marketing strategy.

👉 Check out Quicksprout’s infographic on engaging and persuading your readers through storytelling .

Storytelling, to capture attention

The human brain is very receptive to stories.

Stories make up 65% of conversations in our daily lives. For more than 40,800 years, humans have communicated by telling each other stories.

Storytelling means telling a story for the purpose of communication. From a marketing point of view, storytelling consists of using the narrative in your advertising communication.

The principle of storytelling is therefore to use a story rather than a classic editorial plan with selling points for your products/services. This will capture your reader’s attention, arouse his emotions and even promote the memorization of the information communicated to finally invite him to the act of purchase or in any case give credibility to your brand. These can be real stories as well as imaginary stories related to your products/services.

How does storytelling influence your readers’ decisions?

Our experiences allow us to establish cause and effect relationships. They push us to act and think accordingly.
Telling user experiences or stories through your storytellings will therefore influence your readers to make purchasing decisions.

To do this, remember to arouse the emotion of your readers in your storytellings! This will impact their final purchase decision and further pique their interest in your brand.

According to Uri Hasson of Princeton University, the insular cortex of a person telling a story and that of the person listening to it can synchronize. The storyteller and the listener then feel the same emotions while sharing this story.

The insular cortex is the part of our brain that helps us relate emotions to experiences using for example inspiration, pain, joy, disgust or fear.

How to generate interest through your storytelling?

1. Engage readers using metaphors

The experience:

In February 2012, research from Emory University in Atlanta in the United States focused on the effect of metaphors on brain activity. Two groups can thus be distinguished:

  • In the first group, people read meaningful sentences like: “the singer has a pleasant voice, he has strong hands”.
  • In the second group, people read metaphors like: “the singer had a velvet voice, he had tough hands”.
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The results :

The areas activated in the brain are different depending on the sentences used.
For the first group, Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas are active. Areas that help process and understand language.
In the second group, the sensory cortex is active. Sentences refer to emotions and are therefore more effective.

Feel free to carefully select metaphors and incorporate them into your storytelling. Your audience will be able to become emotionally involved in your story, which will therefore have more impact.

2. Awaken the senses thanks to lexical fields

The experience:

In a 2006 study in Spain, participants read aloud two sequences of words. During this time the patient’s brain is analyzed using an MRI.

  • For the first group, the words are “chair” and “key”.
  • In the second group, the words appeal to meanings: “perfume” and “coffee”.

The results :

Both language areas (Broca and Wernicke) are activated for both groups, but in the second group the primary olfactory cortex kicks in.

Appeal to your readers’ senses when writing your storytelling. By feeling your words, consumers will subconsciously pay more attention to them.

3. Spark movement with action verbs

The experience:

Véronique Boulenger is a cognitive scientist at the Dynamic Language Laboratory located in France.
She scanned the brains of people who read the following sentences:

  • “John seizes the object”
  • “Pablo hits the ball”

The results :

She was then able to see that the motor cortex area was active in people reading the second sentence.

Use action verbs to activate the motor cortex of your audience, capture their attention and encourage them to act after reading your press release.

4. Avoid words that are too common

Scientists were able to identify a few words that have become so familiar that they are no longer treated as information, but only as words.
The list of the following words no longer triggers any emotion in many people:

  • A tough day
  • Clumsy
  • I won’t lie
  • Responsible
  • Proactive
  • Creative

It is best not to use words and expressions that are too commonly used in your marketing strategy.

To conclude

If you are not yet using Storytelling in your marketing strategy, now is the time to start doing so. As we have seen, storytelling attracts more attention from your readers and uses their emotions to encourage them to buy.
It is therefore a means of communication not to be neglected in your marketing strategy!

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