How a personal story can keep your audience’s attention
As a web developer and marketing specialist for online businesses, to increase my knowledge and keep up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, I often attend conferences where a range of speakers deliver relevant content to their audiences.
The contrast between different speakers is easy to see. I have come to learn that those who reach out to me on a human level speak to me more than any other. They tell a story of dreams and ambitions, how they overcame barriers and eventually triumphed. Those are the talks I remember most and the ones I will seek out when going to future conferences.
Yet there are many talks which have a more sober approach, covering plain fact and instructing the listener the best actions to take. They can be interesting for a certain type of individual, one which has a particular interest in the subject, but they soon lose appeal to those that are only there with a passing interest.
Stories of human endeavor can keep the interest of a great number of people, interest or no interest.
The question is, can you connect with your customers on a human level?
It has been shown in some evidence that when we trust someone or something, a chemical called Oxytocin is produced which helps to enhance our ability to feel other people’s emotions. It is known as human ethnocentrism—the tendency to view one’s group as centrally important and superior to other groups. Our empathy with others in our group increases which allows us to understand each other better.
Storytelling is also good at releasing other hormones such as cortisol and dopamine which allow us to focus and feel optimistic respectively. These hormones get released during tense moments in the story or when there’s a happy ending.
The human storytelling which I have witnessed at conferences is an example of this and shows how a human approach in business can give you a greater audience. The emotional driven content brings about a fuller understanding of the conclusions the speaker is making and you take away with you a sense of inspiration.
To connect with your customers through your online presence means making your products or services memorable. Making your customers feel part of a group and gaining their trust. How can your business improve the lives of your customer?
Shift your online focus away from blatantly selling your products or services to sharing stories of how your business has overcome barriers or taken different journeys to reach where you are today.
In order to increase business revenue, you need to persuade your audience to act (i.e. buying a product or using your services) and having a sober informational website won’t do this half as effectively as one which motivates and inspires people. There are many very successful television adverts which win over potential customers by telling a memorable story and only subtly mentioning their brand.
Start your website strategy by thinking about your own story.