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Category: Brand · 5 min read

6 Reasons Why Stories get Shared

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on March 12, 2019

author profile photo

on March 12, 2019

Professional man and woman talking

Everyone loves a good story. It’s a universal thing; storytelling is found in every culture, across times and time-zones. Kids grow up hearing fairy tales, teens frighten each other over scary campfire stories, and grown-ups have book clubs or go to movies.  

At the end of the day, we like to be wowed, inspired, and sometimes even horrified. Take stories that go viral, for instance. Why do they take off? What makes people share them?  

While not every viral post can be explained (anyone remember the dancing baby meme?), the common denominator for most viral stories is that they invoke our emotions. They make us feel something. And it doesn’t matter where you live or who you are, we all feel that. So, as you craft your marketing and try to attract more prospects and clients, create messages that make your target audience feel. But, there’s more to it than that… 

While not every viral post can be explained (anyone remember the dancing baby meme?), the common denominator for most viral stories is that they invoke our emotions.

1. Emotional Transmission 

When we feel an emotion from a piece of content, we want others to feel it, too. We tell other people about it, right? This is what I like to call emotional transmission. It’s experiencing something and wanting others to experience the same thing, so we can talk about it together and share the emotional response. This is often why we hit the “Share” button, why we copy a link and text it to our friends and family. We liked that article or video or social media post, and we think others will, too.  

Start thinking about how you can spark this emotional transfer. What stories can you tell that will invoke this kind of response?  

 

2. Positive Emotions have More Impact 

When you make your audience or clients feel a positive emotion, they’re more likely to share your content. If you think about it for a second, it makes sense. If your content makes them angry or frustrated, why would they want to share that? So, as you work on your marketing content, make sure it invokes positive feelings, such as empowered, happy, or funny.  

 

3. Relevance 

In order to elicit emotion, your message also has to be relevant to your audience. It has to hit them in such a way that they feel you know and understand them. In order to do this, you have to truly know and understand your audience. This may require research or surveys, or it might be based on your experience with your current clients. What do they all have in common? What are some similar trends you see in them? One helpful idea here may be client testimonials. Are there impactful stories that your clients can tell that invoke emotion and promote your business at the same time? If so, use that.  

 

4. Surprise Me! 

Information that is new, surprising, and unexpected can also help drive immediate sharing. If the audience is surprised, they will also assume their friends will be as well, and they will want to be the one to do the surprising. Do you have some breaking, important news to share? Then surprise your audience and watch the impact.  

 

5. Infographics and Animation Work Best 

We’re visual. Sometimes, our brain can understand concepts and ideas better when it’s presented in a new way. So, any time you can present your content in graphic form, do it. Most likely, your viewers are going to be scrolling and skimming, so make it easy for them. Visualizing the data that you’re sharing is the ideal way to generate likes, shares, and impact. It’s generally more effective than just plain text, and it’s a good way to explain complex topics in a compelling way. 

 

6. The Story has to be Good and Clear 

Here’s the hard part: You can’t just share any story and be done. The story has to be powerful, strong, and good. It has to make your audience think and want to take action. It has to invoke emotion. This requires some in-depth thought and strategy, and can definitely take some time to think of the right story. Dig deep. Maybe you have a powerful story about why you got into the industry, or there’s that one client story that you just need to share.  

In order for a story to be good, it has to have some of the trademark qualities. I’m talking about a clear beginning, middle, and end. In the beginning, we’re introduced to the main character or protagonist, and he/she has a problem (usually in a form of an antagonist) that needs to be solved. Then, in the middle, they meet someone who helps them and provides a solution to their problem. The ending resolves everything, and shows how the protagonist either succeeds or fails.  

Think about any hardships or challenges that you’ve had to go through. How did you overcome them? How did you continue on despite what was happening? If you can draw anything from that, do it. 

You can’t just share any story and be done. The story has to be powerful, strong, and good. It has to make your audience think and want to take action. It has to invoke emotion.

While there is sometimes no predicting what goes viral, you can increase your chances and overall marketing impact by telling stories that go beyond the normal. When you use emotion and clarity to share a great story about your business or about your clients that’s relevant and surprising, and do it in a clear and visual way, you can invoke something in your audience that shows that you’re real, different, and caring. It’s a boost to your brand and your business to market yourself this way. So, share your story, and see what happens! 

 

For Financial Professional use only, not for use with the general public. #19-0119-030720 

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Written By

Scott Wright

Chief Marketing Officer

Scott Wright is the Chief Marketing Officer of Brokers International. Scott has more than 25 years of experience in building equity and accelerating profit growth across multiple categories and brands, including Crest toothpaste, Pantene Pro-V, Old Spice, Valvoline and VISA. Scott and his team are focused on developing innovative marketing programs and tools that will deliver growth for our partner agencies and their financial professionals.

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