Statistics and data. We like them, because the numbers don’t lie. Numbers are strong proof that something either works or doesn’t work. Especially for people who pay much attention to detail, numbers are crucial. But for many others, numbers don’t work. Why though?
Numbers are impersonal.
Although many people aware that numbers represent facts, they can’t make a personal connection. Numbers don’t tell stories. They don’t make people feel anything special. They are nothing more than cold, hard facts.
You need something that would connect to people. Something they can relate to. Something they would feel special about. You have to give them stories. Not just any story though; they have to be factual too.
Let’s suppose your business addresses the problem of mice in houses. In your marketing materials, include an anecdote of one of your clients, and make that the focus. Be as detailed as possible, so that people can really picture out what’s going on. When it comes to grabbing people’s attention, real life experiences trump raw data. With a story, people can make a connection, and they would be more inclined to know more about your products and services.
And you can still do better. How?
Put a face in it.
Since it’s a real story told by a real person, put his face into it as well (with permission, of course). People can then make a stronger connection to the anecdote because they see a real person behind it. That would just make your message more powerful.
This is known as the Identifiable Victim Effect.
This characteristic of human psychology is usually used by charities to increase donations. Research has shown that if people see the face of a victim of a social issue, they would tend to donate more for the cause. But once statistics come into play, donations decrease, even if there is a face and a story alongside them. People tend to care less about so-called “statistical victims” than “identifiable victims” (i.e. those with a face and a story behind them).
But it isn’t only applicable to charities; you can also use it for your business. Connecting the problem you’re addressing with real people who experience it works great as a marketing strategy. Many people crave emotional connections, and if you give them that, you can better convince them to purchase your products and services.
Thus, for your next advert, drop the numbers. Put a face on it instead.
Speaking of stories, you could also integrate storytelling into your writing style. This video shows you how.
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