We all love stories. It catches our attention and stays with us for a long time. The power of storytelling in content writing cannot be overlooked.
An old Native American proverb reads: “Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”
In today’s world, connecting with customers is becoming increasingly difficult. There is enormous information online that is distracting them on a daily basis. People’s attention span is really decreasing more and more by the day. In fact, it was revealed that the human attention span has reduced from an average of 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds today.
In order to win customers, you must use storytelling in content writing for your business.
Your brand story is about how your products or services exist in the first place. It is what you do to solve people’s problems or meet their needs. An authentic brand story will enable you to connect with your audience, one on one.
When you tell your readers a story, three things happen to them:
- Their emotions are triggered
- They experience your story through their own memories
- They will read your content and take action
When you share your authentic story with your target audience, they will be drawn to you, leading to brand awareness and business growth.
What is storytelling?
Storytelling is simply the art of using words, images, and sounds to communicate your idea, message or event.
This implies that when you are creating content for your blog or as a guest writer, you can employ the use of stories to connect with your readers.
Characteristics of an authentic story
Before you start creating stories for your business, you need to know the following things:
- The unique thing about your business
- The interesting thing about how it was founded
- The problem your product/service is created to solve
- The “aha” moments you have had
- Business evolvement
Using the elements above, you can create a story with the following characteristics:
- It must be true. Your story should feature real people, situations, emotions, and data.
- It must be human – it must focus on how your products or services touch people’s lives
- It must be original – It must tell people interesting things about your company
- It must serve your customers
Now that you know what a good storytelling in content writing is, below are 5 steps you can follow to create awesome stories that your customers will truly love.
1. Weave your story into your content
Every brand has an ‘aha’ moments. There are powerful stories you can build around specific moments of change, growth or challenge. When visitors come to your web page, what stories do you tell them? Do you fling your product/service in their faces, even before they get to know who you are?
You need to, first of all, create a connection with your target audience before you start selling to them. If you do otherwise, they will find it difficult to trust you, knowing you don’t care about their problems.
Here, you can use your past experiences, case studies, and research you have conducted in the past to tell them stories. Neil Patel uses the art of storytelling in content writing very well:
He created a storytelling post about his experience – the title of the post is “How spending $162,301.42 on clothes made me $692,500″.
In the post, he narrated his experience on how he started spending more on clothes as it helps him to grow his consulting rate from $100 to over $1,000. This is the kind of stories that draw readers in and drives business growth – this post generated 100 comments, 2,000 Facebook, and Twitter shares. That is brand awareness!
2. Weave your personality into the content
Humans are created to share and listen to stories. We all love it! Incorporating storytelling in content writing is a natural way to grow your business. It has the capacity to spice up your content.
A good example of a blogger that uses this strategy very well is Jon Morrow. He is one of the top bloggers I respect so much. He wrote a post titled “How to quit your job, move to paradise and Get paid to change the world.”
In the post, he narrated how he was hit by a car while driving. His legs were broken in 14 places and for the next 3 months, he endured the pain and thought about his life, dreams and career. That experience led him to quit his job and start his blog – the post generated 72,000 visitors.
Jon Morrow today runs one of the most popular blogs on the internet – Boost blog traffic – and he makes over $100,000 per month.
This is the kind of personal story that can generate enormous brand awareness and sales.
3. Show your story, don’t tell
Have you ever heard Lisa Nichols tell a story? She is a master when it comes to the art of storytelling.
She uses the art of storytelling to take her audience on a ride. In one of her coaching classes, she said, “Your stories are the vibration that brings any and everything else to life.”
There is a whole lot of difference between showing your story and telling your story. Showing your story takes your audience on a ride with you as you write your content.
Let your target audience know and feel your brand’s story. Every brand has a story to tell. It can be about the way you start your struggles when you start your business. Get your audience connected with you by telling them all about your company.
A good example of a company that does this well is TOMS shoes.
The brand thrives on making their philanthropic story the heart of the company. The company was founded on the ethos that for every product purchased, one product is donated to a child in need.
4. Create stories around the “Why” of your Company
I read an article by Joe Pullizi recently and it was so timely. He titled it “Content marketers: Your what doesn’t matter if your WHY is lacking“.
The summary of the post is that your content should not be about your product or services, but rather on how to add value to your audience’s lives. What most companies do is to create contents around their products and services. This action leads to creating self-serving content that does not enrich the lives of your audience and also wastes your time and resources.
He gave an outstanding example of a large enterprise called 3M. The company has a lot of products in the offing.
If they decide to create contents on all their products, it will be an impossible task. Instead of that, they focused on their mission which is about helping people to live a better life through advancements in science. This is a good mission to target for content creation.
You need to use the art of storytelling in content writing for your business by taking off the “what” to the “why”. That is where great connection with your audience lies.
Your “Why” will help your audience knows if they are a good fit for you.
5. Leverage on other people’s success stories
Apart from creating your own stories, you can leverage on other people’s success stories. There are thousands if not millions of stories around the web. All you have to do is to reach out for them, create a tailored content that suits your audience around the stories and reference the original content.
What you are doing here is simply creating a unique content based on other people’s stories.
When you are creating the story, make sure it has a beginning, the middle and a good ending. Let your readers know how the same story can change their life for the better.
It is time to start using Storytelling in content writing to build connection with your audience. This will enable them to connect effectively with your brand, broaden your awareness and eventually increase your sales. You can do that by weaving your story and your personality into your content, showing your story, creating stories around the “Why” of your company and leveraging on other people’s success stories.
This article was written by Hephzy Asaolu from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
Originally published on Feb 29, 2016 11:00 AM