The earliest written text we have ever found comes in the form of clay tablets dating to around 3200 B.C..
What were they full of?
They were stories. 12 tablets telling the epic hero tale of Gilgamesh slaying monsters, meeting gods and his search to be immortal.
The hero’s tale is possibly the most common and most beloved of story types.
From it’s written origin here, right up to more recent examples, such as the Star Wars movies series, nothing captivates and audience quite like using stories in marketing – the tale of a hero and his journey.
We all follow along, enraptured, as the hero overcomes his obstacles, falls, gets up again and continues the journey. We feel for even these fictional heroes, as if they were close friends, and ride the roller coaster of emotions with them.
Stories are, and always have been, key to how we communicate as people.
They are how we pass down our heritage, our religions, our beliefs and our wisdom. They are a way to embrace our hopes, dreams and imagination for what could be. They are the foundation of how we relate to each other.
Next time you are in place with a group of people, listen closely to the conversations around you. People are describing their experiences to each other all the time. One person will tell one, it will remind someone else of their own story and they will use these exchanges to grow closer together.
When we hear a story we instantly step into that persons shoes in many ways.
We relate to the other person. It’s not even something we can help, our brains just go right to “Oh! I had something similar this one time…”
So for example, if I start saying something like; “There was a time in my life when I was simply miserable, and I didn’t really know why.”
What came to mind? Did you instantly think of a time when you were unhappy? Even if you did know why? Did it bring back the feelings you had in that time? Did part of your own story pop right into your head?
I promise, I’m not psychic, that is just how our brains work! It’s one of the reasons story-telling has been a part of our lives and cultures for thousands of years.
Simply put, there is nothing that will engage and audience, and help them know and trust you, like a story will.
And that stands just a true today with the internet as it did back when those clay tablets were carved. If you are looking to connect with an audience, tell your tales!
I don’t even mean that you have to write out your whole epic hero story (though I am SURE you have one!). You don’t need to be a poet or an author, an attention grabbing story doesn’t even have to be long!
Using Stories in Marketing
A great example of using stories is a simple post I put in our Facebook group a few weeks ago. I was looking to get some chatter going to get attention for my Saturday Social events (ahem, free social gathering every Saturday at 1pm eastern). I was staring at my old trusty coffee cup, the same one I’m drinking from every week, and I posted this:
Now the social media stats here are not going to break any records, however it did get people talking. Members popped in to post pictures of their favorite mugs, and tell their mug related stories. A very simple way of using stories in marketing.
Short, simple, it didn’t even have a big important meaning behind this little story, yet it got the job done. My social (pssst every Saturday at 1pm eastern…) went from 1-2 people to around 8 or more each week.
We ALL have stories.
You are writing dozens of them every single day without even noticing they are there. Every single one can help you reach someone and connect to them.
Once you tap into the power of using stories in marketing, I promise, you will never struggle for content again.
Hello! I’m one of the founders of DYPU and the Chief Marketing Officer.
The proud owner of Down-Home Me, a wife, a Texan and a dog momma.
I work with clients to coach and provide consultation on all things around your personal brand as a coach.