Everyone loves a story. Some of my fondest memories are of times sitting cross-legged on the classroom mat as the teacher read out loud — Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Of Mice and Men are a couple of stories I can remember from back then. I still recall imagining what it would be like to inherit Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and feeling sad when Lenny, the gentle giant in Of Mice and Men, died.

It's been over 30 years since those heady school days, yet I still remember the stories. So I wonder, why does everything my accountant tell me go in one ear and out the other?

People only retain 5-10% of information conveyed in facts and figures.

According to a study by the London School of Economics, most people remember only 5-10% of what they're told if conveyed as facts and figures. On the other hand, if the information is framed in a story, they retain 65 to 70%. Why is this?

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A good story makes an emotional connection

Our brains are hard-wired for storytelling. Ever since our cave-dwelling days, we have used stories to convey information — think of The boy who cried wolf. A good story transports us to another time, situation or place and evokes emotion in order to communicate a message.  So, for a copywriter, storytelling is very powerful.

Storytelling in business

Any business wishing to convince a prospect to buy its product or service needs to show that they can

  1. ease the prospect's pain
  2. provide a benefit that the prospect really wants.

 

Therefore, in any sales copy, you must identify what's on your prospects' minds and demonstrate that you can meet their needs. Telling a story is a good way to do this.

 

A story

Brian is a business consultant.  He’s your typical one-man band, so he does pretty much everything himself.

Brian knows blogging is an effective form of marketing. He's very good at what he does, so he certainly has plenty to say. The problem, though, is that he never has time to write. As a result, his marketing suffers and he experiences the 'feasts and famines' that are common for small businesses — once he finishes one project, he then finds himself panicking about finding the next.

Anyway, six months ago Brian asked me to produce a fortnightly blog. This involves me talking to him for about 15 minutes every couple of weeks and then writing a post based on our conversation. We then promote the blog post on social media sites, like Linkedin and Facebook.

Brian discovers that regular blogging leads to a considerable increase in exposure of his business, which, in turn, generates more traffic to his website and, ultimately, results in a 50% increase in leads.

Needless to say, Brian is a happy chap.

A sales pitch

Use our content writer to write regular blog posts and improve your lead generation by 50%.

Which approach do you think is more effective?

 

How to apply storytelling

The most obvious ways to apply storytelling is through case studies and blogs. These forms of content are wonderful for showcasing problems that your clients have experienced and how you helped them. Case studies and blogs enable your prospects to visualise a situation, to feel emotion and get a clear understanding of the benefits your business offers.

You can include stories on your regular web pages, too. The About Us page is a great place to tell your business' story: why you started, what challenges you faced and how you have helped your customers.

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