When did you last tell a story?

What are your initial thoughts when you read the following excerpt?

“I can still remember the feeling, after getting lost multiple times and then arriving 30 minutes late. With palms sweating and heart beating fast, I finally pulled my car into the dusty makeshift car park. My little city car was almost as much at odds with all the big rugged trucks surrounding it as my corporate attire was with the sea of high visibility vests, hard hats and muddy overalls. I sure as hell felt like a fish out of water.”

Sounds more like the beginning of a work of fiction than a piece of marketing copy doesn’t it?

Well, it isn’t.

I wrote this piece a few years ago to introduce a range of case studies I’d written for a large construction company. It was the time when I finally discovered the true power of storytelling in marketing.

I also resurrected it recently as part of one of my most popular articles “Living the hard hat experience – and telling the story.

When it comes to really connecting with an audience, I believe that storytelling leaves just about any other method in its wake.

When done well, storytelling has the ability to gently guide an audience in your desired direction. It can create a real connection with the reader which in turn leads to a positive association with your brand, making it a more memorable experience that resonates with them for longer.

A key reason as to why great authors become so successful is that they have the ability to draw the reader into their world right from page one, and then hold them there until the very end.

The magic of great storytelling doesn’t just happen. It takes practice, practice and more practice.

But, the end result is so well worth it.

Try not to forget that we are dealing with human beings here, with human feelings and human emotions. As marketers, that’s what we really want to tap into.

Face it. Cheap sales tactics just don’t work anymore. Consumers have seen it all before and they’re more sceptical than ever.

Give this some thought next time you sit down to write some marketing copy which in your heart is really just a thinly veiled sales pitch, and ask yourself which method is going to generate the greatest success for the long term?

 

Author: Cameron McIver

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www.optuneconsulting.com.au

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