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The Impact of Storytelling in a Digital World

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The Impact of Storytelling in a Digital World


“The meaning behind the words…the feeling is more significant than the words themselves, so…listen.”


“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader…not in the fact that it is raining, the feeling of being rained upon.”

E.L. Doctorow



Anyone can write. But good writing… the kind that captures a reader’s attention and imagination is a lot harder. Words create emotions, which is important in creating emotional relationships with our customers. This is the power of storytelling.

Our brains crave stories, because stories stimulate our brains to experience what is reading and seeing…more so than simply interpreting data only. Studies have shown:

  • Higher retention because our brains make little distinction between an experience and one we read about,
  • When reading straight data, only the language parts of our brains work to decode the meaning. But when we read a story, not only does the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well.

What this means is that it’s far easier for us to remember information that leverage stories than those that use just cold hard facts because our brains make little distinction between an experience we are reading about and one that is actually happening. So what does this mean? It means that we need focused messages and creative writing to make the connection with our readers.

Storytelling takes on an even greater impact in the age of social media where we are fighting attention spans and competition for our messages. We have 140 characters to communicate our message. That is challenging with so much to say.

Even though there are a lot of articles already published about writing effective on-line media content, we thought we’d share some of our insights. We hope this will help with your next article:

  • Make your story visual…use arresting images to pull readers in…and keep them engaged in your article.
  • Don’t be so formal…engage with your readers like it’s a conversation. Look them in the eye and paint a picture with your words.
  • Be authentic…your passion for the subject will jump from the screen if you write like you mean it.
  • Minimize the sell…your words, thoughts and images will sell your expertise. Nothing more needs to be said.
  • Build a campaign…planning ensures that the right pieces are in place at the right time…and it’s sustainable.
  • Think and write like a leader…be thought provoking…think big and take a chance.

Good social media content is more than just listing product features. Good social media offers solutions… improves the lives of our customers… demonstrates value… and positions you as a leader because you are communicating a vision and a way to help people.

We help a lot of companies develop messages and stories that resonate within the markets they serve. During these coaching sessions, we push executives to offer solutions. All products, services and companies were created to solve a problem. However, it’s common to lose sight of that as we focus on fighting day-to-day battles on many fronts.

People buy solutions… not products. Remember that when writing your next social media content. It will create a more memorable story.

Here’s an example of what I mean: I worked at GE a few years ago and we sold charging stations for electric vehicles. Rather than focus on competing on a transactional basis…my product vs. your product. Our story focused on our ability to build the electric vehicle infrastructure and the many benefits of electric vehicles. With more than 600MM media impressions, and stories in nearly every major news outlet in six months, we shaped the conversation occurring about electric vehicles in the US. People remembered the GE WattStation and were willing to pay a premium for the technology.

So, paint a picture with words for you next social media content. Make a connection with your readers so they keep coming back to you. Give us a call if you need help writing social media content that really resonates with your customers, employees and other key stakeholders.

For more information contact:

Thomas J Beckman

CEO & Head Coach

28 Power Communications


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