Why Storytelling is Essential to Effective Marketing?

Total eclipse

Why Storytelling is Essential to Effective Marketing

Why Storytelling is Essential to Effective Marketing 370 218 Shlomi Ron


I have been thinking a lot lately about the true meaning of storytelling as a vehicle to drive influence. Beyond the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of stories, I was looking for a deeper answer.

“Storytelling” yields 188M search results on Google, whereas its nearest keen “Visual Storytelling” –  close to 90M results.

This tells you that the field is still young with lots of incredible potential for growth, in particular in the context of marketing.

Stories are great instruments to convey information and influence. To realize their impact, just reflect on your recent get together with your close friends or members of your extended family.

Can you remember what was discussed?

The conversation most likely evolved into a string of stories that were connected by common triggers. You shared, for example, the latest about your work, and that reminded your cousin about a similar instance in their job and so forth.

I call this a Live Trigger because part of your story triggered a similar event in the bag of experiences of your listener – in this case your cousin who immediately countered with his story.

But when you are using visual storytelling as part of your overall marketing strategy, your stories hit your audience wherever they are. You are not physically around them to hear back their stories.

Therefore, if moved, your audience will use social signals (views, likes, comments or shares) to express their engagement with your story.

This type of “Silent Trigger” has to do more with how thorough your prior research work was done to really get to know your audience and ensure that critical parts of your story will strike a similar chord with their experiences.

Another great example of Silent Triggers is when you ask art collectors what made them buy a seemingly dull looking abstract blue painting.

Some will answer: “It just spoke to me!”

This tells you that some element in that blue painting silently triggered an important event from their life story that they wish to celebrate with this artwork.

Alternatively, other collectors may have had the opportunity to hear the story behind the piece directly from the artist. And this Live Trigger made them react to share a similar meaningful story from their lives to inform their buying decision.

Now, that you have a good understanding at the micro level, of storytelling dynamics, let’s zoom out, so you can get the forest view of this timeless human communication.

Your story is nothing but a mirror.
It will move your audience only when it will reflect a total eclipse
between your story
and the problem your customer wants to solve. 

You see, stories are indeed nothing but “mirrors.”

They’ll move your audience into action only when your story will tightly overlap with your audience personal stories and core problems.

At that moment, which I call – “Total Eclipse” your story will stop becoming your story but your audience story.

Your audience will then lower their guards down and won’t process your message as an ad but more as a reflection of their personal story as if coming from a close trusted friend.

See it in action with the Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign.

Such compelling stories will help your audience to identify with your message,  believe your journey’s tribulations, and most of all more prone to respond to your call-to-action.

How are you creating Total Eclipses to move your audience into action? I am curious to know your thoughts, so feel free to leave your comments below.

Need help developing your Total Eclipse for your business? Schedule a FREE conversation.

Shlomi Ron

Co-founder, CEO at Visual Storytelling Institute. After 20 years of well-rounded digital marketing experience, having worked both on the agency and client sides for Fortune 100/500 brands such as American Express, Nokia and IBM, Shlomi has co-founded the Visual Storytelling Institute (VSI) to help business leaders rise above the noise through the power of storytelling and the effectiveness of visual media. Follow Shlomi's visual stories on Instagram.

All stories by: Shlomi Ron