What are the most effective and proven ways to attract, engage and convert your customers?
Tell them a story.
Reporting can increase conversions by 30%, according to Search Engine Optimization.
A lot of evidence supports that. So, if you’re looking for some really solid material to incorporate into your marketing strategy, here are some essential articles.
Storytelling helps prospects remember your message
- According to the famous psychologist Jerome Bruner, the human mind is twenty-two times more likely to remember the truth if those things are part of a story.
- Stanford University professor Chip Heath asked the students to speak for a minute about non-violent crime. Most students showed data – about 2.5 points per word. Only one in 10 students reported. When Heath interviewed the students 10 minutes later, 63% remembered the stories, while only 5% could recall one statistic.
- The London Business School came to a similar conclusion. Researchers have found that people retain only 5-10% of information if it contains only numbers. But, when they hear a story, they remember it 65% to 70% (4)
Storytelling creates an emotional connection
Stories drive engagement. We are in contact with the people who are making the news. We feel their emotions – anxiety, happiness, chilling fear, warm comfort, sadness, joy, disappointment, triumphant satisfaction after a decision is made.
Why do we do this? It all depends on neurochemistry. As researcher Lisa Cron says, we humans are “wired for history.” (5)
- In a 2017 Harvard Business Journal article, Lani Peterson says, “Scientists are finding that chemicals like cortisol, dopamine and oxytocin are released in the brain when we are told a story. Three chemicals these, in turn, help us retain information, establish emotional connections, and truly empathize.
- According to psychologists Melanie Green and Tim Brock – said Jonathan Gottschall – when we enter the news, we let ourselves be on guard. We don’t focus on the cold, hard truth, as we get swept up in the story. This is called a story journey. The fictional world of the story “dramatically changes the way information is processed” in our brains.
- Claremont Graduate School professor Paul J. Zak explains the science behind the magic: When we hear a good story, the neurons in our brains fire and that of the storyteller. This is called muscle contraction. It floods our brains with the feel-good chemical oxytocin. And, according to Zak, this release of oxytocin actually changes our brain to respond to stories of human interest in empathy, care, compassion, and connection.(8)
Conclusion: We are emotional creatures. And our emotions can drive and influence us far more than any PowerPoint presentation with data can.
Stories are more interesting than simple facts and figures
Just ask Save the Children, an international charity that connects donors with impoverished children in developing countries.
Save the Children needs a better way to convince and convert potential donors. So, in 2007, Carnegie Mellon researchers tested two brochures. A brochure with history. The other presented an outstanding personal story, with an accompanying photo.
Both copies were sealed in envelopes with a $5 bill, which were then given to Carnegie Mellon students. The pamphlets asked students to donate a portion of their $5 windfall to Save the Children.
The fact sheet lists many statistics about food shortages, droughts and other disasters. The story takes the following emotional steps:
“Rokia, a 7-year-old girl from Mali, Africa, is extremely poor and faces the threat of starvation or even starvation. His life will be changed for the better thanks to your financial contribution. With your support and the support of other caregivers, Save the Children will work with Rokia’s family and other community members to help her with food, education, and health education and Cleanliness is key. »
The result? Students who received the “true” form gave an average of $1.14 from their $5 cache. Students who received the same report gave $2.38, more than double.(9)
A 2015 study by Headstream provides further evidence of the persuasive power of storytelling. According to this study, “if people like the article, 55% are likely to buy the product in the future, 44% will share the article, and 15% will buy the product immediately.”
The use of stories in marketing dates back about 100 years
Perhaps the most famous example of a successful conversion story dates back to 1926. It was a landmark publication written by editor John Caples when he was only 25 years old:
Journal of Physical Culture. It was later used successfully in other editions. And, needless to say, it inspired countless imitations.
Today’s successful news media can be more artful — and less wordy — than Caples’ famous example. But it still follows the same strategy, using strong human interest stories to make the reader feel emotional.
So the next time a client asks you why you love to tell stories, tell them this story for real: don’t prove it works!