Storytelling I – Good Stories Get Retold…
My friends are all having children and building houses, and are spread out around the country. In our early 30’s it really is a big event when we manage to meet up and reminisce about the old days.
It only takes a couple of anecdotes about common experiences (and maybe a glass of good chardonnay) and I am 18 again, singing along at concerts at the top of my lungs, or jumping shrieking into a lake on some after-hours moonlight outing.
Storytelling can work according to this exact same principle. A reader gets pulled into a story that speaks to him, and in doing so, allows him to understand and experience the story, almost as if he were part of it. This method of storytelling is used in many areas today. In marketing or advertising, and in the fields of education or journalism, information and facts are imparted by way of telling stories.
Several of our current text creation projects at clickworker are also capitalizing on storytelling. For example product descriptions using little stories are meant to win over future customers, and encourage them to make a purchase.
Advantages and Benefits of Storytelling
You could now ask yourself, what’s the point of all this hype about stories?
Every day we are bombarded with information. Advertising posters are on every street corner, and tweets, messages, emails and news flood our smartphone screens every moment. We filter them unconsciously and often stop for content that touches us emotionally. That works especially well with appealing stories. Facts that are packaged in story form integrate the reader, and bestow topics with a deeper meaning. In addition, in this information glut, stories are easier to remember than simple facts. They remain in the memory longer, awaken emotions in the reader, and are more likely to be shared with others.
To make choosing a topic for storytelling in product descriptions a somewhat easier task, we have gathered a couple of small tips to help you find your way to the perfect story.
1. The How Before the What
Before you construct the content of your story, you should think about exactly how you want to tell it. It can often be helpful to take a closer look at your target audience. Who do you want to reach with your text? What interests and desires do your readers have? Who will read the text later?
You will certainly appeal to a group of heavy metal fans with a different story than you would a lover of decorative garden plants. Next you should ask yourself what you want to achieve with your story. Do you want to arouse sympathy and emotion in the reader, sell a product, or impart information?
2. Where is the Story Hiding?
Storytelling doesn’t necessarily mean that you should just make up any old story. It is much more about finding the story in the thing you are describing, addressing the reader emotionally, and in that way achieving the desired effect.
For example, let’s take the product description for a decorative solar light fixture. What kind of story could you find in this item? Which target group would be interested in it? In this example the audience would be owners of balconies or gardens, who are looking for appropriate lighting that doesn’t require electricity. The story here is just as easy to find then…
Maybe you write about warm summer evenings spent outdoors with friends, or about a romantic picnic under a starry sky. In doing so the benefits of the product, keywords and additional facts are incorporated into the text. An additional narrative thread presents itself when you link the fact that the light works without electricity, with the positive effect that has on the environment.
So is that everything then? No, of course not. The next tips are available in the second part of this blogpost “Storytelling II – Emotion is King.”