How to Use Storytelling to Create Stronger Copy

green-typewriter-300x300Are Storytelling and Copywriting related?

At first glance, it might not seem as though storytelling and copywriting have much in common. I mean, storytelling is all about entertainment, while copywriting is widely used for branding, marketing, and sales.

But, did you know that a lot of famous storytellers got their starts as copywriters? That’s right, authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Sayers, and Joseph Heller all started off their writing careers as copywriters. Not only could they write great novels, but you better believe they found a way to incorporate the art of storytelling into copywriting.

Do you use storytelling and copywriting interchangeably? Here are a few reasons why you should:

Stories are Powerful

Think of the last story you read. Now think of the last blog post you read. Which one is more memorable? I’m going to guess it was the story.

Words are powerful, but words arranged and aligned into stories are even stronger. Why? Because stories have the ability to captivate an audience, pulling readers into a new world and keeping their attention focused on the plot and characters.

Well-told stories have the ability to teach us things, help us grow, expand our minds and increase our understanding of the world around us.

So, with all that being said, why wouldn’t you want to use stories within your sales copy? If you can effectively gain a readers’ attention and keep them focused on the words you are saying, there’s no reason not to at least try it. I’d say the chances are good that you’ll create a memorable piece of content that converts readers into customers in no time.

Grab Your Readers’ Attention

Stories grab the attention of your readers. When they are invested in the outcome of the story you are telling, don’t you think they’ll want to keep on reading straight through until the end?

And when people read a great story on your website, they’ll be more likely to talk about it and share it with their friends. They’ll be more likely to commit to you and your product.

notebook-300x300Uses of Stories in Copy

But how? That’s the golden question. If storytelling doesn’t come naturally to you, here are some easy ideas for incorporating stories seamlessly into your blog posts or articles.

1. Use Case Studies. Have you ever tried something related to your blog post personally or know of someone who did? Great, you can use a case study. Detail exactly what you did (or what your friend did) and take the project all the way through to the results.

By weaving an actual case study into your copy, you’re telling the full story, complete with all of the ups and downs. Use rich details and don’t leave anything out. Readers will want to see how everything turned out, so they’ll be more likely to read to the end of the article. You might even convince them to try it for themselves if you were successful!

2. Examples from Real Life (or Imaginary Life). Have a funny story related to your blog post, or just something that illustrates the point you are trying to make? Take that imagery and turn it into words. Or, you can always just make something up, that works too.

Introduce the story in the hook/lead of your blog post, reference it throughout the body, and then wrap it up in the conclusion. People are going to want to know what happens. They’re going to keep reading. And that’s the whole point of copywriting anyway – to keep people reading further and further down the page.

3. Make Your About Section Work for You. Use your about section to tell your own personal story. Make it real and be sure to reference it often throughout your website in various capacities.

Your goal with this is to show people who you are and how you can help, build and establish trust with them, and then convince them to partner with you through becoming a regular reader/customer/whatever you are going for. Just remember to be authentic and consistent.

4. Incorporate Tone throughout Your Website. Going along with the about section, incorporating a familiar tone throughout all the copy on your site can help establish trust. Why? Because people start to become comfortable with you.

They might not be able to meet you in person, but if they can recognize your writing style and they associate that with quality service/products, they’ll be more likely to trust you in the long run.

Incorporating the Elements

All stories have certain elements within them that make them what they are – stories. Without the essential elements, they wouldn’t be interesting, and no one would read them.

Some important elements to incorporate include:

  • Use a solid hook at the beginning to capture the readers’ attention and keep them reading.
  • Focus on the small details, but make sure the details are researched well so they can go even deeper into the storyline.
  • Utilize plot and make people care about what happens to the characters.
  • Touch on readers’ emotions.
  • Incorporate a beginning, middle and end to the story so readers can easily follow along.

There are so many other ways to incorporate stories and many other methods for doing so, but the most important thing is to have fun with it! If you’re enjoying what you write and you’re telling a story that is both entertaining and relevant, I guarantee you’ll grab your readers’ attention. Give it a try and see how it works for you!

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