Photo by Aaron Burden

Why storytelling is more powerful than advertising

You’ve heard it all before: show a man a pretty picture, he’ll buy it for a day. Tell the man a story, and he’ll buy it every day.

OK, I made that one up. Let’s call it a micro-story.

Point is that when our emotions are stirred properly, we remember better. A picture of an often scantly clad woman is a great way to get mostly male attention but a story of people being out-ranged, an abusive bro’ culture and money hungry entrepreneur keep people ‘engaged’ longer.

Truth be told, controversies are a fantastic tool. If you push it too far, you can end up like this specimen of a man:

But I digress, we were talking about why storytelling is more powerful than ads. They are harder to get ‘right’, cost more time and need to be developed strategically, compared to pay as you go online advertising. It is downright cumbersome and where do you start on your way to content marketing El Dorado?

Just be yourself.

True words are written truthfully, gain strength paragraph by Snapchat post and can entice even the most critical of users. But only if it is interesting. And irritatingly written like by a proper Millennial (disclosure: I count myself as one). And brought to life with pictures and video. In short form, bar the occasional rant or background in long form. It must be relevant to the product or service and as brutally open and honest as you can (pro tip: change the names and sprinkle topical controversies as desired).

An ad just says one thing and it is often out of context, not timed well or totally boring. Looking at the latest Internet Trends report you better add some sizzle if you want to attract the people with money.

You just can’t do all that with an ad, or a thousand, unless it is part of a well orchestrated campaign plan. Best of all, good writers grow on trees in most areas and can be found in most supermarkets for 10 to a penny (usually pretending to serve customers from behind the counter). Seriously, good content isn’t easy nor cheap but ever so much more effective when employed right.