Storytelling is a vital tool for sustaining attention. Our brains are hardwired for narrative, so stories are one of the most powerful ways to engage an audience and show an advantage. Stories keep people interested because they contain mystery: the audience wants to know the outcome because they have a gap in their knowledge. They also usually have an emotional element: we care about the protagonist and want to know what will happen to them.
By sustaining interest through storytelling, you have the time and opportunity to put forward your arguments. You can show you audience a journey from A to B that outlines the advantages of getting to the destination and the steps they need to take to reach it.
Storytelling frameworks to use in B2B content
Good stories follow frameworks, and storytelling frameworks apply just as much to B2B content as they do to novels or cinema. Well-known examples include the Pixar framework (think Toy Story and most Disney movies) or the hero’s journey/monomyth framework (think Star Wars or Harry Potter).
These frameworks have their own characteristics but follow a similar trajectory, as shown here.
This framework works as well for B2B content as it does for Toy Story or Star Wars. Opposite is an example where the topic is sustainability and the audience (and hero) is CEOs of large organisations.
Following the arc of a story framework like this is a tried and tested way of sustaining your audience’s attention, getting your message across and ensuring it sticks. This helps you show the advantage, even when messages are quite nuanced and require time to explain.