Storytelling is one of the oldest practices and professions in human history. From ancient ruins housing histories carved into stone or painted into frescoes, to the birth of books, radio, and television breathing new life into our stories, storytelling
is how we’ve communicated most effectively forever.
So, if you’re not using it effectively for your business, drop everything for our quick reminder of why you should start (or restart) implementing this ancient practice.
Any marketer worth their salt knows that in order to sell effectively, you need to fulfill a need or provide a solution to a problem. But sometimes you can have the BEST solution or show up at the BEST moment, and still fall flat. That’s
because the vehicle of said solution or need isn’t there, as was demonstrated in one of the best action movies ever, Gladiator.
In Gladiator, Russell Crowe plays Maximus Decimus Meridius, an army commander to the ‘good’ emperor, and who’s son and wife are killed by the generals of the antagonist, the Emperor’s son (played by Joaquin Phoenix). In one scene,
after becoming enslaved and forced into the life of a gladiator, he demonstrates his “solution” or “need” to escaping his new chains to an audience of nearly 80,000: his solution or need being his expertise in killing many
Another character, Proximo, the master to Crowe’s slave, teaches that you can win your freedom and shed the slave’s shackles not by simply killing quickly, "I wasn’t the best because I killed quickly, I was the best because the crowd loved me"
In other words, you can have the best skill in the ring, you can even kill lions, tigers and bears, but if the crowd (customer) doesn’t care about you, they won’t care how many problems - or animals - you’re slaying for them.
Maximus proceeds to reinvent himself (implements good storytelling techniques):
He also ends up doing a few more impressive things, but that would require a disclaimer over spoilers…
Do you know how Tik Tok managed to create a billion dollar ad business during a time where ads are failing?
The best Tik Tokers are expert-level storytellers: they can share a complete story in 3 minutes. How? By understanding the elements of good storytelling:
Good Tik Tok creators are not only excellent at all three under a time cap, the overall pull of their storytelling has been documented repeatedly as creating “joy”.
Thanks to storytelling creating intrigue, excitement and enjoyment, Tik Tok generated $11B of ad dollars by the end of 2022, blowing literally every other platform out of the water.
LinkedIn’s most effective posts show
relatability, empathy, perspective and a respect for time.
LinkedIn is an excellent place for thought leadership and B2B growth, no question, but understanding how to best utilize the platform for business has many companies stumped. That’s because, once again, it comes down to great storytelling: people
want to hear from individuals in a way that they can relate to in an immediately implementable way.
The posts that excel are just like this:
Companies pour money into data collection, management and analysis, but here’s the thing, if you can’t create a story from the data you pull, then all you have is numbers. So next time you’re wondering why your approach isn’t working,
take a look at your storytelling methods.
The power of good storytelling has been around forever, and will continue to reign supreme in one way or another far into the future.
And if you need a little extra inspiration, Gladiator is always a great choice…