If you’re interested in attracting more readers to your blog, it may be time to consider incorporating elements of storytelling into your writing.
Weaving storytelling elements into business blogs can serve the important purpose of driving reader interaction, promoting your product or service in a more positive light or increasing customer connection to your platform.
Fortunately, fitting storytelling into your blogs is as simple as mastering a few new tricks.
Try these easy tips to bring a little bit of magic into your business’s blogs:
1) Appeal to Your Customer’s Emotions
A great example of this trick being applied to today’s marketing is Subaru’s 2015 Impreza commercial, which features a 30-second cameo of a man and his dog taking a road trip and crossing off bucket list items to celebrate the dog’s 14th birthday. In the commercial, the man and dog lounge together on the beach, poach a hotel swimming pool, purchase an entire shopping cart of tennis balls and eat take-out steaks together from Styrofoam boxes – none of which would be possible without their efficient, spacious and classy 2015 Subaru Impreza, of course.
Although this may seem like cutesy advertising, it’s actually a very smart ad. Subaru knows its customers well and the company has always excelled at appealing to the emotions of their clients. The commercial is tender and funny and, almost without exception, it brings to mind the old dog most of Subaru’s customers have had and lost. Because it evokes an emotional response within the customer and creates a memorable dialogue, new clients are likely to be drawn in and existing clients are more likely to keep coming back for future purchases.
Although comparing a television commercial to blog writing may seem like apples to oranges, we can learn a lot from the Subaru ad. By creating a great storyline that tugs at a customer’s heartstrings, companies can launch themselves to the forefront of a client’s mind and help ensure high acquisition and retention rates.
Businesses can easily weave an element of emotional appeal into their blogs by featuring salt-of-the earth stories that center around the business or product. Maybe the business was able to change someone’s life by offering a specific service or maybe someone with an incredible story has endorsed the company. Featuring heartfelt client testimonials and backstories is a great way to include some emotional appeal and storytelling in your business blogs.
2) Say Less
When you were in high school writing class, chances were you heard the refrain “show, don’t tell” countless time. As it turns out, that tenant holds true today. When seeking to incorporate storytelling into business blogs, it is important to remember that saying less is often more powerful than attempting to line out every detail and shove your message down a client’s throat.
Rather than telling clients what you want them to know, help them see it through captivating images or video testimonials. A great option for businesses to capitalize upon the “show, don’t tell” idea is to utilize a powerful client testimonial video for a blog. Include the video and then use the written transcript and some high-quality photos to flesh out the body of the blog. By taking this route, you avoid the risk of hard selling and coming off as forceful or ego-inflated. If you let your customer tutorials do the talking for you, chances are good that you’ll notice an uptick in business.
3) Shoot for Suspense
Think about every great page-turner you’ve ever read. Chances are, they all had one thing in common: suspense. Suspense is a powerful force that keeps readers (read: clients) engaged and assures that they will come back for more. Historically, suspense marketing has been used successfully by major companies like Apple and continues to be effective today.
To incorporate some elements of suspense into your business blogs, consider structuring your blogs so that they fulfill the basic structure of a good novel: a problem and a solution. When crafting your blogs, consider opening with an anecdotal story about a difficulty your client base faces. Get inside their heads to illustrate their fears and troubles and then leave them hanging with a question like: “Where does that leave you?”
After you’ve posed the question, it’s your job to give your customers an answer. Virtually nobody is going to stop reading after you’ve pulled him or her in emotionally, presented an issue they can identify with and then asked them a direct question about the solution. Formatting blogs this way ensures that you have the reader’s attention and also utilizes the power of suspense to create maximum engagement.
4) Create a Relatable Protagonist
Every great book offers audiences a protagonist they feel they can relate to. It’s Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit and Guy Montag in Fahrenheit 451. Readers love these characters because they can see themselves in the outline. They understand the protagonist’s issues and struggles and develop a deep emotional connection to him or her.
The importance of a relatable protagonist is not limited to literature, however, and can do wonders for business blogs. By creating a relatable protagonist within your blogs, you promote increased customer connection with your brand and increase the probability that you’ll be remembered once the customer leaves your site.
To do this within your blogs, consider running bi-weekly stories about other customers who have benefited from your product or services or provide detailed stories about how the business helped improve the life of a said customer, being sure to explicitly outline the challenges the customer was facing before your business came along. By doing this, you bring an element of successful storytelling into your blogs and ensure that they will be something your clients will want to keep reading.
5) Use a Storytelling Opening
When a potential customer visits your site, he or she makes a decision within a matter of seconds about whether or not your content is something worth reading. By using a storytelling opening to begin your blogs, you increase the chance that a reader will stay.
To ensure that you are using storytelling openings, think about the difference between a story and an article. In order to capture the client’s attention, you aren’t necessarily aiming for objectivity. Customers need to feel a personal connection with your content and the best way to ensure that happens is to insert yourself (or someone a lot like you) into the content.
Ask yourself why your customers should care about what you’re writing and then take a moment to consider what you’re trying to do for them. Think about the personality traits your customers embody and take the time to weave those considerations into opening paragraphs that detail the customer’s fears, concerns and joys. By doing this, you ensure your content will be appealing to your customers and that you will have a higher level of reader engagement than would be possible if you were simply writing articles.
The Case for Storytelling
Dry, uninspired blogs are a dime a dozen and, in order to stand out in today’s market, you need to ensure that your blog offers readers something special. Whether you’re marketing a product, promoting a service or just offering information, readers are more likely to get engaged and stay that way if you incorporate storytelling elements into your business writing.
By taking a tip from the novel writers of the world, you also allow yourself to connect on a deeper level with your clients. By taking the time to consider who they are, where they come from, what they care about and what they want, you allow yourself deeper insight into everything from their purchasing habits to the things that will help facilitate a brand bond.
Fortunately, incorporating storytelling elements into business blogging is easy. By employing tricks like suspense and relatable protagonists, being especially careful to “show, not tell” and appealing to the customer’s emotions, you can easily elevate your business’s blog content to the next level. Incorporating storytelling elements into your blog writing is more than just a marketing tactic, though. Storytelling elements afford for a real connection between your brand and your clients and serve to make your company more relatable, more desirable and more approachable.
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