The Art of Storytelling

Everyone loves a good story, right? Whether it’s a TV drama, film, book or an interesting article on social media, we are all drawn to a great story. Real, human stories create intrigue and emotion, especially if we have experienced a similar life story of our own. On a psychological level, when a story resonates with us, it starts to forge a connection between us and the storyteller.

The same applies to your ‘business story’. The most powerful motivation for a customer to buy from you is when they feel a connection to you and/or your business. In our previous blogs, we have looked at consumer psychology and ways to understand your customer’s mindset – in this article, we look at ways you can engage your audience by writing inspiring content.

Storytelling is an essential part of marketing and it starts with your brand. Your own ‘brand story’ should convey what your business is about from a human perspective:

• Where did you come from?
• Who or where are you now?
• Who do you want to be?
• How do you connect with others?
• Why should they care about you or what you offer?

Why are you relevant to your customers’ way of seeing the world? People will begin to take interest in your business when you tell them a story that resonates with them, whether this is aesthetical, intellectual or emotional. For more information on branding, please see All About Branding articles by brand specialist, Siyuan Ren.

Compelling human stories

It’s never a surprise when a web developer tells me that a client’s ‘About us’ page is attracting the most web traffic across their website. As human beings, it’s our innate nature to find out about others, so it is obvious that the first page people are going to explore at any length is the ‘About us’ page. I’ve also been advised that when ‘About us’ pages include a ‘Meet the Team’ section containing high quality photographs, the page performs better too – this is because we like to see the people we are reading about. Imagine a celebrity story without a picture of the celebrity?

When you are writing about your own business, don’t be afraid to tell your real story (unless it involves a scandal!) and use images of yourself (only professional ones!). Due to social media, the world has changed. Nowadays in business, the focus is firmly on relationship building, rather than direct selling. You need to win someone’s trust before they will buy from you. However, many businesses still shy away from revealing too much of their ‘personality’. Check whether the style of your marketing content is too generic or ‘clinical’.

Embrace the ‘human’ within your business and share this ‘person’ with your potential customers. What elements of your business story will appeal to others? When you are writing about your own business, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What’s your background/history?
  2. Why did you start your business?
  3. Do you have a vision/mission?
  4. What inspires/motivates you?
  5. What is your business ethos?

People buy on emotion

Once you have successfully connected to your audience, they are much more likely to be interested in your products and services, and will be happy to share your content on social media. If you have customers who have directly benefited because of your business offering, then ask them whether they wouldn’t mind you writing a blog article about their experience. Would they mind sharing their experience in the form of a case study? This doesn’t need to be lengthy – a simple snapshot will suffice, but don’t forget to inject emotion into your story. People buy on emotion – it’s the biggest motivator behind someone making a purchase.

Write your blog articles from the perspective of someone’s emotional response to buying your products and services. Take extracts from real customer stories and expand upon the benefits.

Depending on the nature of your business and audience, you will need to adjust your language, style and tone accordingly.

You’re not just selling to your audience, you’re connecting with them. If you know what your customers want, you’ll know how to sell to them.
Bright Owl article on Consumer Psychology

If you are struggling to tell your story and would like help with your content writing, then please get in touch or call 01455 444731

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What does Features vs. Benefits mean?

When it comes to writing for sales and business, you’ve probably heard people talk about the importance of ‘Features vs. Benefits’ – but, what do people mean by this? And why is it so important?

Features describe what you do as a business. Benefits SELL. There’s a famous saying in marketing you’ve probably heard before: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want to buy a way of making a quarter-inch hole” Theodore Levitt, Professor – Harvard Business School.

Features vs benefits

A ‘feature’ is a specific detail of what you actually provide to your customers in terms of your services or physical products. It’s the nitty-gritty of your offering. For example, the features of a hand car washing company would include a) they wash your car by hand instead of a machine, b) they use specialised car washing soap and c) they use high-pressure hot water.

A ‘benefit’ is the solution you are providing to your customer. For example, the benefits of the above hand car washing company could be a) because people are washing your car by hand, dirty marks can be easily identified and cleaned off, b) the specialised soap removes oil and grease, and protects your bodywork from erosion and c) the pressurised hot water is targeted at specific parts of your car and penetrates dirt from the road much more easily.

Sometimes, it can prove tricky pulling out the benefits from the features…

features vs benefits Bright Owl Copywriting | Marketing, Sales and Business Writing