In copywriting, nothing works better to keep your reader interested than by means of a story.
Storytelling is the new marketing, and it’s here to stay.
Owing to people’s short attention span, relating a good story is an ideal way to keep your readers hooked.
When you can’t get your audience absorbed within the first few seconds, you’ll lose them. These are your potential buyers and you can’t afford to lose any.
Many are those who love a good story, and I’m one of them, but how do you go about writing one which will be good enough to keep fans gripped?
What do you write about?
How will you structure it?
What kind will it be?
Is the end important?
I won’t be going into story structure here, but only to make you aware of the importance of stories in copywriting.
While facts dictate facts and nothing else, stories are what sells.
This is paramount in copywriting.
Whatever business you are in, you can change a story to suit your needs.
When you manage to bring stories into your writing, you will keep your audience wanting more. This is a very powerful way of increasing your personal brand.
Storytelling is more important in sales than you could ever imagine.
Stories touch people in different ways, but the purpose of your creativity is to touch their EMOTION!
Your tale could be a funny one, which will get a laugh. (Laughter is an emotion)
It could be one of horror, which will scare the living daylights out of them. (Fear is another emotion)
It could be a fairy tale, and since these always have a happy ending, your fans will end up being happy. (Happiness is yet another emotion)
The one thing all the above types of stories have in common is that they are all stories. The more powerful and touching they are, the more your readers will remember them.
Reading about how good Product A is when compared to Product B…well, that is boring.
Stories have been with us forever, well before humans could read and write.
The handing down of information, from generation to generation, was only done through storytelling since no other way existed.
Enjoying stories is something which is a part of us, rooting back to pre-history, and beyond. It’s something which became ingrained in us.
Bringing stories into your copywriting
If, say, you’re in the business of writing copy to sell mattresses, you certainly won’t write an adventure about somebody jumping out of a plane to escape torture and certain death. Nobody really cares how white and reliable the parachute is, why the torture and death, or how sleek and steady is the plane.
Thinking twice about it, you can actually use the above to write about ‘mattresses’.
It might go something like this:
“Even jumping out of a plane, was better than waiting for Dr Heinous to start using his torture-tools.
Known by the Syndicate as the most brutal man to walk this Earth, his deformed spine, long dirty hair, an eye-patch covering his left eye, and wearing a laboratory coat which once must have been white, his appearance on its own was enough to scare anybody.
This monster was a master in his field. He knew of every part of the body that’s extremely sensitive to pain.
Jason was aware that none of the previous agents lived after the doctor’s intervention. He knew full well that even if he managed to endure all the pain inflicted, the end was sure to follow.
To avoid the inevitable, Jason waited for the opportune moment. Once the plane was airborne, he took his guards by surprise, opened one of its doors, and jumped out.
A parachute would have come in handy, but there was no time for that, so he took his chances with the Grim Reaper instead.
Few would have taken such a decision lightly, but Jason had nothing to lose, apart from his life, but Dr Heinous was sure to see to that.
As he fell at a terrifying speed, a red pickup truck appeared out of nowhere, right below him.
The agent bounced off the pickup’s cargo…
MATTRESSES! “So guardian angels do exist!” said Jason.
The excitement of the chase, getting caught, the drop, death coming up to him at more than 120 mph, and the lack of sleep, proved to be an exhausting experience even for Jason.
Thankful of the mattresses that cushioned his fall and saved his life, he closed his eyes, and drifted off to sleep as the truck carried on with its journey.“
Use your storytelling creativity to the utmost
As stories go it is somewhat extreme, and out-dated, but you get the idea. Use your creativity to come up with a suitable one for an enjoyable read.
Imagine how comfortable sleeping on such a mattress would be.
All you have to do is climb into bed, cover yourself up, and close your eyes.
Oh, and you can kiss your sleepless nights away, for good.
P.S. Jumping out of an airplane isn’t necessary.
Your story evolves about the benefits of your product.
1 – You have to write one which is relatable to your product.
2 – It doesn’t have to be 30 thousand words long, but long enough to get your followers immersed in it, slowly nudging them towards making a sale. You might have to create a couple of characters to help it flow better, but DO NOT create FIFTY characters over the span of a two-thousand-word story. All that will do is confuse the blazes out of whoever is reading it.
If you have many stories in the pipeline, why not create a special character and make him the star. People get attached to a character, more so if the character is a charming type. You’ll find that readers will be eager to see what he gets up to next.
You’ll also get your audience to feel for your character, which is always good as this solidifies the bond with your followers.
3 – You don’t have to write a story which is so far-fetched, it puts people off. Like, how the ten-headed monster invaded your school and gobbled up all your teachers, just in time before your exam started.
I don’t think that would stick.
Try and keep within the realms of reality, unless you’re so creative going overboard is second nature to you.
In that case, go for it!
4 – Will your tale be text, audio, or a video (Think about the medium)
For the sake of practicality, see if you can use more than one medium for your same story. You never know what new opportunity might arise to showcase your work.
You can, for example, send a chapter each time you send an email during your marketing campaign.
5 – The more stories you tell, the better you will become at it.
Aim to write each one around one product at a time, and focus on it.
You don’t need to mention the product in every sentence as this will only end up annoying people.
What the moral of your story has to include is a way to solve your reader’s problem and to generate a desire for your product.
Jason found the mattresses so comfortable, that instead of carrying on with his escape, he couldn’t resist making use of them to get some sleep.
Instilling desire by means of mental images into your story is tricky, and perhaps the most difficult part of the process.
These images might be enough to trigger an “I want THAT mattress” message into your reader’s mind, and you’ll be on the right track towards making a sale.
A good sleep on that mattress worked for Jason. Why shouldn’t it also get your audience thinking the same? Your fans will relate to the character you created, and this generates trust in that product.
Your story must present something which your reader must have at all costs.
Your fans don’t really need THAT mattress, but your aim is to trigger an emotion into their mind, which will then convert into a sale.
What your audience wants is a good sleep this mattress promises.
You’re selling the core value of the mattress, so nobody is actually buying a mattress, but buying “a good sleep”.
When you craft your story, you have to ask yourself what kind of benefit your customer is actually seeking, and which problem needs solving.
Once you’ve got your reader’s attention, made him interested, induced desire for your product, the final step is the action…the purchasing stage.
Don’t hype up your product with exaggerated superlatives as your followers might regard your copy as being spam.
Be honest, be genuine…and offer your product in a legitimate and clear way that people will readily trust, and go for.