Statistics are essential for telling compelling stories and grounding data in reality.
As a content marketer, you’re responsible for effectively conveying ideas to help readers understand. You want your words to resonate with your audience, and in some cases, you want people to take action.
Stats serve as a guide in the storytelling journey. Here are five ways statistics can improve your content.
What is Storytelling?
Storytelling is the art of using words, images, and other media to tell a story. It’s used to convey ideas, inspire emotions, and engage audiences. At its core, storytelling is a way of communicating and connecting with others through shared experiences and emotions.
In marketing and branding, storytelling is often used to communicate the values, mission, and personality of a company or product. By crafting and sharing compelling stories, businesses can build trust and emotional connections with their customers.
Storytelling can take many forms, including written narratives, visual stories, and even live experiences. Regardless of the medium, effective storytelling requires a clear message, well-developed characters, and a compelling plot that engages and resonates with the audience. Storytelling can create meaningful and lasting connections with your audience.
5 Ways Statistics Improve Your Storytelling
1. Gain Credibility With Your Audience
Statistics make your stories more credible and trustworthy. By using data, you provide evidence to support your claims and arguments. This method overcomes any skepticism or doubts your audience may have about your opinions.
According to the Content Matters 2022 Report, 78% of organizations create content to build credibility/trust. These organizations recognize the importance of credibility to influence their audience.
By creating credible content organizations can establish themselves as a reliable source of information and build trust with their audience. Credibility matters when you’re trying to persuade others to adopt a particular point of view.
2. Tell Engaging Stories
Statistics also create more engaging stories. Rather than simply stating your point, you can use data to illustrate and reinforce it.
For example, if you want to tell a story about the impact of social media on political campaigns, you could use statistics to show the number of people who use social media to get their news, the amount of money spent on social media advertising, and the percentage of people who say social media influenced their vote.
Statistics make stories more realistic for your audience. But don’t feel the need to stuff your content with a bunch of statistics or provide every little detail. You’ll end up diluting the purpose of your content, so keep it simple. Carolyn O’Hara, a writer and editor based in New York City, says:
“Not every story you tell has to be a surprising, edge-of-your-seat epic. Some of the most successful and memorable stories are relatively simple and straightforward. Don’t let needless details to detract from your core message.”
3. Add Context Within the Bigger Picture
Statistics add depth and context to your content. By providing additional data, your audience will better understand the subject matter.
When you’re explaining complex or technical topics, statistics can make the information more accessible and easier for people to understand.
For instance, if you’re telling a story about the rise of renewable energy, you could use statistics to show the growth in renewable energy capacity, the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, and the cost savings from using renewable energy.
These statistics help your audience see the whole story. Here are some more suggestions to make your abstract story more vivid:
- Appeal to the senses.
- Create characters (they needn’t be human).
- If your story is about people, talk about people.
- Connect to the world of your audience.
- Put numbers on a human scale.
- Use analogies, comparisons, and metaphors.
4. Give Relevance to Your Topic
Statistics build relatable and relevant stories for your audience. By using data that is specific to your audience, you can show how your story relates to them and why it matters.
People pay attention and remember meaningful messages. When you present data that is relevant to their specific needs and interests, it shows that you have done your research and that you understand their perspective.
“Relevant information should either give some new insight to your audience or make your statement more credible/relatable…Remember that you write for your target audience and make sure you have answered all of their questions and doubts regarding the topic,” states Srdjan Stojadinovic, contributor at TextCortex.
For instance, if you’re telling a story about the economic impact of a new policy, you could use statistics to show how it will affect the unemployment rate, GDP, and household income in your audience’s region.
5. Motivate Action Through Persuasion
Statistics can also transform your stories into actionable and persuasive concepts. You can use data to show the potential impact of a situation or decision. Then, your audience sees the issue’s importance and motivates them to take action.
For example, suppose you’re telling a story about the need for more funding for cancer research. In that case, you could use statistics to show the number of people diagnosed with cancer each year, the survival rates for different types of cancer, and the potential benefits of new treatments. These statistics help your audience see the urgency and importance of the issue and will motivate them to support the cause.
Below are three ways to use statistics to make your stories more actionable:
- Use data to illustrate the magnitude of the problem: By presenting data on the scale of the problem you are addressing, you can help your audience understand the importance and urgency of the issue. This tactic is most effective if the data shows that the problem is widespread or has significant consequences.
- Use data to show the potential impact of a solution: The potential benefits of a particular solution can motivate your audience to take action and implement the solution. This data could include cost savings or increased profits from the solution.
- Use data to make a compelling case: Well-supported arguments use data to persuade audiences to take action. Data also can counter any objections or show the benefits of taking action versus not taking action.
Storytelling With Statistics
Statistics are the secret sauce to improving your storytelling. They make your stories more credible, engaging, and relatable. That way, you can effectively communicate your point and persuade your audience to take action.