Powerful Storytelling Techniques for Copywriters
Copywriters are the craftsmen that sculpt magic out of words! Storytelling is the art of weaving words that convey both information as well as emotion. Now, there are a ton of copywriting tips on the internet but at a fundamental level, a successful content creator is someone who directly connects with readers, simultaneously weaving a gripping tale.
The ability to take a business, service or product and then convert it into a powerful brand story takes practice, but it isn't rocket science. Storytelling is the easiest way to hook readers because our brains are hardwired to learn from stories and anecdotes. A good story creates a lasting emotional imprint. So, that begs the question, how do you create a powerful, informative, emotionally gripping piece of content? Here are our favourite copywriting ideas for improving your storytelling technique.
Start With The Heart
Before writing a story, ask yourself “why would people care about this topic or issue?”. As you already know, storytelling is not just about providing information. A good story comprises elements such as characters, details and sensory details. Most importantly, a story contains a human drive - to achieve more, to feel valued, to work for a special cause. Even if you do not particularly care about the topic you are discussing, you can tap into your own basic motivations to create a feeling of being driven by a deeper personal cause, regardless of the topic itself. This is because a story that comes from experience and imagination will draw readers and capture their attention in a unique way. Writing a good story is not just about using big words but gaining good faith with the reader and connecting to something deeper within their hearts and minds.
Plot Your Story
Once you know what ‘drives’ your story and hooks your readers, it's time to plot out a journey for the reader to follow. Storytelling is a primal method of communication. Novelists often enhance the power of storytelling by plotting the story arc or journey. Even if you aren't writing a novel, you could apply the same principle to successfully draw readers into your narrative. Make it a first step to hash out what you actually want to convey through your story:
How do you want the readers to think about your subject/issue?
How do you want them to feel after they finish reading?
What are the key takeaways you want to impart?
Convey the Raw Truth
Novice writers often resort to the use of jargon, flamboyant language and opinions that they think the readers will want to read. Keep your story real because without an authentic voice your readers will have a hard time trusting you. Your truth may not be the only truth but if your readers believe that you are writing from the heart, they will have an easier time believing you - regardless of whether they actually agree with you or not!
When your words convey your own unique sensibilities, your readers will feel a palpable connection to your work. Let me illustrate with an example.
Remember those bedtime stories that you heard from your grandmother when you were little? Remember a story you read somewhere that touched your heart? Ask yourself this:
What really made those stories so remarkable?
Which parts really tapped into your personal emotions?
What made the story so relevant and relatable?
The answer to all three of those questions is Authenticity. For a second you were able to glimpse the inner world of another - feel empathy for the characters in those stories. That’s the essence of powerful storytelling. That’s the reason why storytelling is not something that one can master by attending a writing workshop - because honest personal stories come from the heart - not something that can be neatly packaged into a lecture!
Convey a clear, consistent brand message
So, you’ve uncovered why readers should care about your story, you’ve plotted it out carefully, maybe you’ve even mastered the art of letting your truth shine through your words. Let’s go off on a tangent here. No matter how authentic your story is, you won't be able to use the story to ‘sell’ to your readers unless you have a clear brand message.
Even if you manage to change your readers’ minds on a particular issue, you don't want to leave relevant questions unanswered. Satisfy your reader’s curiosity by delivering information that you have ‘promised’ - through your headline, your hook or your introduction. When you have a clear, consistent message about what you want them to do ( e.g. read this book to change the way you think about food, buy this product to increase your sales), readers find it easier to navigate your brand. At the end of the day, you want to balance your story telling with a clear, practical brand message or call-to-action - especially if you want your ‘literature’ to translate into sales.