The Science of Storytelling: Why We Love Stories

Everyone loves a good story.

Joshua VanDeBrake
Sep 27, 2018 · 5 min read

Oxytocin is a “feel good” hormone.

It boosts our feelings of things like trust, compassion, and empathy. It motivates us to work with others and positively influences our social behavior.

Looking even deeper

When we hear facts, it activates the data processing centers in our brains, but when we hear stories, it activates the sensory centers in our brains.

Your brain places you inside the story.

Take a look at any Disney movie.

Remember in The Lion King, when Scar forces Mufasa off the cliff into the sea of trampling wildebeests? And believing it was his fault, Simba exiles himself out of shame!

Stories make us feel like part of something bigger than ourselves.

Storytelling + Marketing

You can use this effect to supercharge your marketing efforts by creating more engaging content through storytelling, rather than simply stating the features and benefits of a product or a service.

  1. Case studies

1. “About”

For most businesses, the about page is one of their website’s most visited pages — second only to their home page. The most common reason for this is that people want to learn about your company; they want to read your story.

  • Talk about the founder’s vision when the company was just started.
  • Explain the evolution of the company from its inception to present state.
  • Write what the company’s ultimate goal is and the values the company lives by.
  • As an added bonus: include photos of the team — humans are very visual creatures and we like to see people.

2. Case Studies

Case studies are an amazing way to bring in an ongoing supply of stories directly from your clients. They also give you an opportunity to brag about the results you’ve helped them achieve.

  • Introduce them to your audience: tell your customer’s story and what problems their business solves.
  • If they are a leader in their respective market, make sure to acknowledge that.
  • If you can, give the name of the decision makers you worked with at that company. Include that person’s picture if you can. Putting a name and face together with a company fast-tracks the creation of a connection. Important note: make sure to get express permission for this beforehand.

That is how you engage your customers and become a storytelling brand.

Because science says: people engage with a well-told story. We are biologically and neurologically wired to connect with stories.

Everyone loves a good story.

Thank you for reading! 👏

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