Marketing is all about storytelling, if you can tell a better story than your competitors- you win.
We are hardwired to learn from stories, before the invention of writing, all we had for transferring our knowledge was stories. Learning how to tell a compelling story WILL help you sell more products, and make a lot more money
Here are a few keys marketers like me use to telling a compelling story...
Let's start with creating powerful visuals inside your readers mind. If you can create a mental movie with your words, you will fill up more mental space, which will make it much easier to influence them.
The first thing you need to realize is that to create powerful movies inside the heads of your readers is to use all 5 senses, kinesthetic, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and of course visual.
Let's do a little experiment, I will write out two ideas here, one will be very un-persuasive ( is that a word?), and the other, using idea of visual adjectives, should be significantly more compelling...
Idea 1: I went to the room and got something.
Pretty vague and completely boring right? Good.
Idea 2: I went to the kitchen and took a steaming hot fresh pizza out of the oven, covered in delicious mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, italian sausage, freshly squeezed virgin olive oil, and made from the finest flour. The pizza was baked in a genuine wooden stove imported from straight from beautiful Italy- this not only gives it a smoky flavor, but also gives the golden brown crust a loud crunch when you bite into it- Mmm, Perfecto!
Ok pretty big difference there but can you see the power of this yet? Our brains automatically project what we read or hear into a sort of mental movie, we cant help it. For example...Don't think of a purple kangaroo on a trampoline!
Haha I made you think of something weird...
Ahem, Moving on.
Want another example of just how powerful this is? Okay, try this one.
Picture in your mind holding up a bright yellow lemon...You take a knife and slice it in half. Can you see the juice fly out?
Hold the half lemon in your hand and then suddenly bite into it.
Can you taste how sour it is and how your taste buds explode?
This is powerful stuff...
So how does it all fit into marketing you ask?
Well why does one bottle of water cost a quarter, and another cost 5 dollars? It's all in the stories companies tell.
Our water isn't ordinary bottled water, oh no no no!
It comes from the purest aquifers, 4000 feet underground. This is the rarest water in the world- completely untouched by all man made chemicals, harmful bacteria, and not to mention those dirty fish!
Not only is this water the freshest, most delicious water on earth, it is also infused with the natural minerals only found at those depths. When you drink it, you feel the cold refreshing, crystal clear water running through your body, revitalizing all of your organs.
You do know that almost everyone in is chronically dehydrated right? Its a fact- If you feel thirsty, it is a clear sign that you are dehydrated and that your body craves water, so give it what it needs- the freshest, healthiest water in the world...
Only $9.99 a bottle. Hurry while supplies last
A little ridiculous right? I mean, it's all the same product, water is water right? Well my dad absolutely swears by certain brands of bottled water, he says he can taste the difference. I don't know, they all taste the same to me.
Woohoo! Marketing is pretty neat, isn't it?
Did you know our brains are so tricky that we can literally change our perceptions with little suggestions. In one of Malcolm Gladwell's books (Blink maybe?), he talks about how Sprite found that when they change the shade of green or yellow on their cans, people can taste more lemon.
So why is it that some companies tell amazing stories and sell their products by the millions, and others totally flop?
The truth is this- a good story isn't about your product or service, nobody actually cares if you have the best lawnmower in the world. People want a nicely mown lawn, in other words- people pay for results, not things.
Smart companies tell stories that are all about their customers. They tell a powerful, visually compelling story that features the customer as the main hero( not their product!), slaying the big bad dragon- and the sword? The sword is the product or service!
To sum up: your story should connect to what the customer wants to do and how it will make them feel.
Aha, lightbulbs are going off!
In the writing and advertising world there is something known as the "heroes journey".
It's a set pattern that almost all stories follow. There are 12 steps and I don't really want to write them all, but if you want to learn more about powerful storytelling, google "heroes journey". Be sure to think in terms of your customer as the hero, their problems and your product as the solution.
By the way, to be a more compelling storyteller in person, a neat trick is to "divorce the content from the emotion".
It's hard to demonstrate by writing, but the idea is this- think of the most exciting story you have. Maybe you went camping and you got chased by a bear and you barely got away by jumping into white water rapids.
Take the emotion you have when telling that story, and you can literally apply it to the most ordinary topics. It's a pretty cool "trick".
Ok, that's enough of my rambling!
Until next time,
TL:DR Summary: Use powerful visuals, direct a movie in their heads to take up more " mental space", make them the hero in your story and your product the sword that kills the dragon, and sell them butt loads of products!
Oh and drink bens water...hmm maybe I should make that water, it sounds pretty good.