How to attract investors: The role of emotional storytelling in longevity investment

Why science-led companies shouldn’t lead with science.

Longevity.Technology: Understanding how to attract investors can be challenging and competition for investment is increasing. Longevity organizations need to find new ways to compete. This contribution from Antlerzz, a digital marketing agency specializing in the longevity industry, explains why storytelling is so important for content to stand out and attract new investments.

It is an accepted truth that science is the driving force behind innovation and progress. Yet, many successful companies owe their triumphs not to cold, hard data. Instead, their success is down to emotional storytelling. In an age of information overload, it is the power of storytelling in research that can capture the attention of investors. Longevity companies need to sit up and take notice.

Strong correlation between storytelling, how to attract investors and revenue

Longevity organizations often disregard marketing’s influence on investments. When addressing the question, how to attract investors, they rely on relationships and networking instead. Yet, several studies show that a different approach is necessary. A six-year study of more than 200,000 tweets and stock prices, revealed a strong correlation [1]. Other studies have shown it is the sentiment of the content that affects the value of a company [2]. Thus, firms need to consider the tone and messaging of their content marketing. This can significantly impact their investments and increase organic traffic to their digital assets. By ignoring the power of marketing, you limit your opportunities.

Steve Jobs once said: “The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller.” For Silicon Valley behemoths, storytelling has emerged as a powerful tool. They use it to shape the sentiment of their marketing content to attract new investors. The impact is well demonstrated. Consider the beauty brand, Dove. Its iconic ‘beauty sketches’ campaign resonated with women around the world, highlighting women’s self-worth [3]. In response, Dove saw a surge in sales, which jumped from $2.5bn to $4bn in ten years. Dove bars became Unilever’s best-selling product company wide.

Antlerzz Founders Indi Kalirai (L) and Line Wegner Hausken (R)

Storytelling in research is an underappreciated asset in the longevity industry to attract investors

Yet, storytelling in research and marketing remains underused in the longevity industry. But, some companies, like Insilico Medicine, are starting to leverage its impact. Insilico recently launched a documentary project to share how artificial intelligence can create new medicines, which aims to showcase the company’s work in a compelling way [4]. Dr Alex Zhavoronkov, Insilico’s founder, has invited filmmakers to partake in a competition called Docuthon. The filmmakers will have the task of telling the world about Insilico’s work. He hopes the competition will kindle new curiosity and passion in the field through storytelling in research.

Juvenescence, who are developing longevity-enhancing therapeutics, have also used storytelling. Their articles are not just about their research. For example, they wrote about the health impact of ageism. To help highlight the importance of their work, they used a personal story. It focused on a 53-year-old Big Four executive who felt marginalized due to her age. This type of content helps bring color, emotion and a raison d’être to their research, helping to attract investors.

Yet storytelling can come in many different forms. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) company, Levels use stories in a more subtle way. For example, they wrote an article about how to talk to friends and family about health habits. Littered throughout the article are short anecdotes. The stories empathize with the issues facing their customers. This could increase organic traffic to their website.

Storytelling in research creates positive emotions that attract investors

To illustrate how this works we ran our social listening analytics. We used it on the popular longevity testing company InsideTracker. We found the company has a 44.2% positive sentiment and only 2.3% negative. Upon closer inspection of the data, we found the root cause. Much of the positive sentiment is down to influencer marketing. Popular social media influencers like Dr Mark Hyman created positive stories about the company. These stories are powerful as they help to drown out negative sentiments and attract investors.

Conversely, our analytics showed significant negative sentiment toward the pharmaceutical industry, which had a whopping 57.5% negative sentiment. This was down to a widely held belief of ‘collusion’ with the media and government. For example, one commentator remarked the health system in the US ‘is broken’. This is because “the pharmaceutical industry alone has over 1,800 lobbyists on Capitol Hill [5].”

The industry underuses storytelling, according to our analysis. This is evident by glancing at the websites of the top five pharmaceutical companies. For example, Johnson & Johnson effectively employs storytelling to showcase their social responsibility efforts. Yet, when it comes to their core business, storytelling is absent. Their pharmaceutical arm Janssen has deep expertise in oncology. But the content shared on their website is largely designed for trade media. The stringent regulations surrounding pharmaceutical companies are undeniable. But, sharing stories of oncology patients could raise awareness of their invaluable work.

Storytelling is more than marketing. It’s biology The reason storytelling is so powerful is because it’s a thread woven into the very fabric of being human. A study in Nature found that storytelling has been an essential part of human evolution [6]. Furthermore, scientists believe that when we hear stories, our brains release chemicals [7]. This includes oxytocin, contributing to better memory formation and empathy. Famed cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner supports this [8]. He discovered that the human mind is 22 times more likely to remember facts if they are part of a story. This is why storytelling is so important when a company is looking to attract investors.

Remember, when considering how to attract investors listing scientific facts is not memorable

The science is, of course, important. Yet, simply listing data and scientific facts is not memorable. It will not capture the imagination of investors or the wider public. While turning science into stories may seem challenging, it is possible. Focus on the outcomes, the users, and the patients. At Antlerzz, we take this to heart. We use storytelling to share the latest research on longevity. Subsequently, our Instagram page is amongst the top-performing health accounts for engagement. The benefits of this approach are profound. Dr David Sinclair says: “Social media can be used as a first step to disseminate scientific messages well beyond the ivory tower [9].” By using storytelling you have the potential to increase organic traffic to new audiences. This helps to attract investors whilst democratizing longevity research and products. In return, you can make the biggest difference of all. Inspiring generations of people to take control of how they age. However, it is important to be careful when constructing a content marketing strategy. Studies have shown creating hype through marketing can generate temporary buzz [10]. This can lead to short-lived fluctuations in stock prices, creating uncertainty among investors. Therefore, it’s important to be consistent in your messaging.

Outsourcing content creation can also be risky if your strategy isn’t clear. The people responsible need careful training. At Antlerzz, we mitigate this risk by working alongside our clients. We provide data insights into how they can grow their online visibility. This is especially important in regulated industries like pharma. Our experience shows you need to be very clear on how your employees manage and engage with your content. The more regulated you are, the more measures you need to put in place.

How to attract investors when 75% of brands could disappear and nobody would care

Yet, this should not stop you. Rather you should look to engage experienced professionals. Studies show that 75% of brands could disappear overnight and people wouldn’t care [11]. Companies must explain their mission and impact in a simple, compelling way. Research shows that if people love a brand’s story, they are 55% more likely to buy the product in the future [12]. Moreover, 44% will share the story. This will increase organic traffic and attract investors.

Storytelling is an integral part of the human condition. Thus, you should incorporate storytelling into your marketing strategies. As Rudyard Kipling once said: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”

Content marketing can impact a company’s reputation. In return, it can increase organic traffic, influence share prices and attract investors. Yet, content marketing for the sake of it, does not work. You need to engage, delight and add value to your target audience. By harnessing the power of storytelling in research, companies can leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of investors.