February 13, 2020

Why first person narratives work best for storytelling

First-Person Narrative

To connect with users, effectively. At least, that’s why we at Scatter use the first-person narrative so extensively. Today’s content marketing is all about telling stories. A brand that is able to come up with the best story is the one to get rewarded in the form of a lead or sale.

If you think of it, storytelling has always been prevalent. Remember your childhood days when you would be hooked on your grandma’s bedtime stories? While listening with rapt attention, you would get so immersed in the tale that you transformed yourself from being a listener to being a part of the story in your dreams. You went to sleep but the story remained in your mind all through the next day.

Why was it so? Because the story captured your attention and ‘pulled you in’, so to speak. Much like a brand whose tag line or advertisement you still remember after many years or even decades.

Whether one is a child or a college student or an office worker, the human mind has always loved stories. As a content marketer, you should know that storytelling is the best way to hold the attention of a potential customer, and it’s up to you to decide how well you can harness it for your benefit.

To make your storytelling more effective, you need to use the first-person narrative more often. It has various benefits, but one needs to be cautious too. Let’s take a closer look.

It’s more engaging

Engaging Storytelling

The first thing you would want a user to do is to read your content before taking any decisions. You need interesting stories to keep your user with you till the end. First-person narratives help establish that connection with readers. Moreover, the interactive language makes users visualise the scene or character through your eyes.

First person narrative imparts authority

Authority in First Person Narrative

Use of ‘I’ or ‘me’ in your content marketing stories will help strengthen the authority of your brand. The users look towards you as a person who has experienced the things that they loved to do or can imagine doing. Simply put, they consider it their own voice.

It’s immersive in nature

Cognitive

If rightly framed, first-person stories can be immersive in nature. According to a 2016 study by PLoS (Public Library of Science), it was found that readers felt more immersed in fictional pieces that used first-person pronouns, compared to those scripted in the third person. Scientific experiments have proved that stories drive the brain. A 2011 study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience reveals that readers’ primary motor cortices were more strongly activated when reading action verbs in the first person when compared to the third person.

But don’t overdo it!

Keep a balance

Writing in the first person does not mean you have to keep bombing readers with the I-word. Remember, you’re using the first-person narrative to make your content more focused, compelling, and immersive. Its excessive usage may kill the concept and put your readers off. The best idea to avoid repetition is to copy-edit your content piece and cut down on unnecessary usage of ‘I’, which is often used just for the sake of it.

In a nutshell, the first-person narrative in content marketing tends to be authoritative and a decision-enabler. Unnecessary usage of it will not help your story, let alone compel a user to read further. So create a persuasive story with optimum usage of ‘I’ and ‘me’ in your copy and see the magic happen!

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