Storytelling for copywriting: how to write impactful copy through stories

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According to recent studies, using any form of storytelling in copywriting can skyrocket the perceived value of a product by up to approximately 3,000%. Companies worldwide use stories as an essential part of their marketing campaign.

What is storytelling?

Storytelling is the skill of using a combination of words, visuals, sounds, and actions to convey a narrative that captivates an audience’s attention and stirs their emotions.

People have used stories for ages to share knowledge, culture, values, and experiences. This fundamental skill is the #1 technique used by companies to effectively communicate their brand messaging or product benefits.

The importance of storytelling in copywriting

Humanity has been telling stories since the Stone Age, from drawing their hunts in cave walls to writing down their adventures on paper to telling people that if they buy this foot cream, all their troubles will vanish.

The truth is that, as a copywriter or marketer, you aren’t selling the product itself but a lifestyle. Your purpose is to immerse the reader into the story, because people don’t fall for pushy marketing tactics anymore; they repulse them.

Our intention as storytellers and copywriters is to connect our prospects to our brands and make them realize that the only way for them to feel satisfaction is through our product.

Complementing copywriting with storytelling is crucial to catching people’s interest in this short-attention-span world we live in. Taking the reader through a scene where they can relate to the characters and message will be much more memorable than “Buy This Now!”

Studies have shown that 65-70% of information is more memorable in the form of a story, and 55% of customers are more likely to purchase from a business if they enjoy the brand’s story.

I’ll give you the step-by-step process to write a winning story that captivates your audience’s attention and makes them feel like they must have whatever you’re selling.

How can we use storytelling in copywriting?

Imagine you’re reading your favorite book. What do you feel? What’s the thing that gets your heart pumping or makes you think about that scene for days after reading?

That’s the goal: to cause a surge in emotion.

The main character in the story could be the reader dealing with a familiar problem. They’ll be sucked into the story like in a rollercoaster. The build-up will be when it goes higher and higher until it speeds down the hill. They’ll find themselves shouting and feeling like their heart might jump off their chest.

“Must” elements that leave an impact on the readers

Suspense in a story will cause the reader to feel that same excitement and anticipation. It’s about getting them on the edge of their seats and creating an air of mystery that will hook them in, encouraging them to keep reading.

Understanding is another element of fellowship in which the reader connects with the character’s hardships along the path. This empathy creates a bond between the writer and the reader.

Finally, longing and aspiration. All stories end with a message, an aim that the audience learns from and then longs to have and feel again.

Next, you’ll discover a framework of how you can create an unbreakable bond with your audience. Your potential clients won’t feel like they’re being sold to, but that your brand satisfies a strong desire or yearning.

Types of narratives to build your storytelling

Different narratives can affect the readers in peculiar ways if you know how to use the right words.

Linear

The story is written in chronological order. It’s the simplest way for you to write, and for the reader to understand the message portrayed throughout the story.

Nonlinear

As the name suggests, it’s a story that doesn’t flow in a chronological order. This amazing technique creates suspense, helping the reader better understand the character’s personality.

You can start the story from the middle, using flashbacks and revealing bits of information as you go. Such a crazy ride impacts the readers’ emotions and gets them thinking.

The Hero’s Quest

A brave young warrior travels through a dangerous land, facing peril along the way. But he keeps in mind why he is following such a path: to find the cave of gold that will save his village from extreme poverty.

The Hero’s framework inspires the reader and offers a solution to their problem. Start by presenting an obstacle the protagonist is facing. Then, take the reader on a journey until the solution (product) is discovered and the lead finds fulfillment.

The Viewpoint

A viewpoint narrative is all about allowing the reader to connect with the narrator’s feelings, thoughts, and experiences. It allows you to enter into the protagonist’s world from different points of view.

  • From a first-person perspective, you have the liberty to view the characters from a third standpoint while also understanding them on a personal level. It’s a marvelous way of creating empathy and forming a link between the reader and the narrator. For example: While I walked through the field at midnight, I heard a creek behind me. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and my breathing was cut off.
  • From a second viewpoint, you’re the one on the ride with zero control over what happens. As the narrator, you’re able to impact the readers’ emotions by taking them on a pleasant journey or stressing them out. For example: You feel a cold breath on your neck and turn around, only to find the room empty and the window wide open.
  • From the third point of view, the reader understands well the whole situation and has an inside view of more than one character. For example: Lara and Alex could tell something was wrong when they looked into their mother’s red eyes.

The journey of a story

The stages of a story journey

Source: https://images.app.goo.gl/FBqyz1EdkngoVnAk7

  1. The exposition is the story’s who, what, where, and when. What is the setting? How does the story begin? Who are the characters?
  2. The rising action and crisis are the parts in which we introduce the conflict and complicate the main character’s path to achieving their goal.
  3. The climax is the turning point, the “aha” moment of the story. This is the highest point of action in which the character witnesses or is the cause of a massive change.
  4. The falling action is the reaction the characters have to the climax. How are the main characters reacting to the climax? What are they doing to solve the problem or adapt to what has happened?
  5. The conclusion is the end of the story. How did things end? What solutions were presented? What was the lesson or message of the story?

The power of words

In today’s 3-second attention span world, the only way to cut through the noise and stand out is by using powerful words that can trigger people’s emotions, leave a mark, and push them to keep reading.

When writing unique copy, companies depend on vivid imagery and sensory language to capture their readers’ attention, keep them engaged, and lead them right to the landing page.

Here are some tips on how to use storytelling correctly:

  • Simple and clear language. Remember, you’re writing copy that the readers can understand and enjoy, not a university essay (depending on your audience).
  • The intensity secret. Use 3 descriptive words from least to most intense. This can trigger key feelings in the reader. You can use them in important scenes you want your audience to remember, for example, she was beautiful, radiant, and exceptional with people.
  • Sensory language. How can we teleport the reader into the story? By using descriptive language that evokes a sense of taste, smell, touch, sound, and/or sight. Our prospects will imagine what’s unfolding and feel like it is happening to them.
  • The right words for your audience. It’s essential to know your audience’s pain points and desires, because only then will you understand what kind of wording will catch their attention.

Storytelling examples – check them out!

Disney

Disney is known worldwide for its amazing storytelling. One of their heartwarming commercials for Disneyland Paris involves the journey of a little duck. His in love with Donald Duck’s comic book. The baby duck would read it constantly across the seasons and try imitating all of Donald’s poses. However, when a huge storm hits, he has to leave with his family and loses his favorite comic book. The story ends happily when the little duck arrives at Disneyland Paris and meets his idol.

This little duck’s journey and the ad’s beautiful visuals bring pure joy to the watchers, pulling on their heartstrings.

Lamborghini

Lamborghini prides itself on being one of the top sports car companies in the world. Most of their audience have been hardcore fans of this company’s brand and top-quality cars. Lamborghini has created its podcast, where they meet with extraordinary people who share their stories and their one-of-a-kind journeys.

In “Beyond,” a Lamborghini podcast, Bonita Norris, the youngest British woman to climb Mount Everest, talks with Umberto Tossino, Lamborghini’s Chief People, Culture & Organization Officer. They discuss how dreams and ambition can push people beyond their comfort zones, pointing out that Lamborghini began as a dream 61 years ago by a man named Ferruccio Lamborghini.

High Brew Coffee

example of storytelling

Source: https://www.highbrewcoffee.com/pages/our-process

High Brew Coffee reaches and connects with the masses by telling the story behind its creation. It all began with founder David Smith and his family. After he and his partner sold their iced tea business, David decided to live his dream and go on adventures in the open sea with his family. Their cold brewed coffee packed with natural caffeine kept him and his wife alert and awake on this journey. This shows how people fall in love with certain products not only because of their quality but also due to the story behind them.

Audi

The wedding day has arrived. Sun shining bright. The bride and groom look deep into each other’s eyes, ready to say the vows.

“Wait a minute!” said the bride’s mother-in-law, getting in between the soon-to-be-married. “Mom, mom?” questioned her son.

But she was on a mission. Examining the bride’s teeth and lips and pulling on her ears, the elderly woman finally walked away satisfied, nodding in approval.

Then, the slogan: “An important decision must be made carefully” appears with an Audi in the back.

That was an Audi ad made back in 2017. They were comparing women to cars! The company thought it would be a funny story to tell. However, the ad faced backlash throughout social media. People were deeply offended and outraged by it.

One important lesson can be taken from this though: The stories we tell have the power to take us to the top or annihilate us.

Grow your brand with storytelling

In conclusion, storytelling is the art of creating an appealing narrative using various elements to capture the interest and emotions of an audience. In copywriting, creating memorable and persuasive messages that resonate with readers is essential. By understanding the structure of a story and using powerful, sensory language, you can effectively communicate your brand message and product benefits, fostering a deeper connection with your audience.

Summary

  • Storytelling is a skill and tactic to create strong narratives for copy to attract our audience’s attention and convert them to loyal clients or followers.
  • Suspense, understanding, longing, and aspiration are elements that make storytelling more solid.
  • There are different types of narratives that you can use to elevate your stories in your copy.
  • The biggest companies in the world use the power of storytelling to create a trustworthy brand image and a loyal community around them.

If you want to acquire or grow your skills in copywriting, check out our personalized and practical Copywriting Course. Now, you can earn more money online with the help of Content Writer!

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Ananda Jaouhari

Ananda is a content writer and translator. She's also a Fintech student and has a passion for subjects about wellness, marketing, self-improvement, and business growth. In her free time, Ananda likes to exercise, listen to music, and read blogs and books about mysteries, philosophy, spirituality, and finance.

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