There is power in telling a story. For your brand, your business and even to help educate your customer, sharing your story keeps readers engaged and interested.
Recently, I took some time away and for the first time in a very long time, got on a plane. While I was there, I had time to read and watch a movie or two (it was a long flight).
As I did, I noticed that no matter the genre of the work I was consuming, the story arch followed a continuous theme. Of course, this shouldn’t be a huge surprise as a SEO copywriter who has used story, and read and used Donald Miller’s Story Brand.
But it was a revelation.
From Iron Man to Romeo and Juliet to books by authors like Celeste Ng and beyond, all stories have similar paths. They have a beginning, a middle and an end.
So what does it take to craft a story? A story should:
Have a Hero. This is the main character (or often the narrator). In business, this might be your customer.
Have a Hero need. Having a hero is great, but the story moves forward when the Hero feels some sort of pain that they need to solve. Maybe they need to save the world, maybe they need love…or maybe they need printer ink (the consistency is in the needing). You might think of this as the pain point that is driving action.
Take the Hero on a journey or adventure. So, the Hero had a need…now they need to solve it. This is the fun part where you can move your Hero through all sorts of adventures. Maybe they try different solutions that don’t work, maybe they almost find it and lose it….but they learn throughout (hint: you are on the journey in this story right now).
Save the Hero. Ok, so maybe not exactly save them, but offer them a solution to the problem that is driving their journey. This is a great time to share your value proposition in a business story. Be sure not to sell to the Hero, but rather think of a Knight in Shining Armor. Be that.
Everyone lives happily ever after. In your story make sure that the ending is a good one. Of course there are tragedies out there that end with sadness…but in writing for your brand and business, that isn’t the result you need. Your story should end with yoru Hero having resolved their issue (with your help). The Hero should be riding into the sunset satisfied with the results.
Readers respond when they can see themselves in something that they read.
Consider that Realtors have long told potential buyers to picture themselves in a home during a showing because it radically increases the likelihood that an offer for purchase will be made.
Seth Godin (marketing guru) notes that the best marketing makes people feel accepted and is status building. People like to think that ”people like me do things like this.”
Use a version of story in every piece of content or copy that you create, no matter the length of the work. It will build engagement and eventually, conversions.