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Are you a product seller or a story teller?

These days the pace of our communication is shorter and faster than in previous times. It all relates to the pace of our world and the lack of time we seemingly have to consume information.

Everything is moving much faster than ever before.

Today’s media has changed our approach to content

Years ago, the art of copywriting was a revered and respected role in agencies. Effectve writing included content that appealed to the reader on a number of levels such as ratiional, emotional, or financial.

Good copywriters can write a story that answers all the buying questions while also allowing the reader to “feel” the story. Many of the best stories were a good balance of emotional and rational components and the story always led to the solution in which the product was presented.

The art of storytelling allows the reader to see themselves with the product as a solution, and/or playing a legitimate role within their life. Storytelling takes space and intention to ensure that it is done right

It’s a conversation. Not a pitch.

The writer introduces the product often only after making some type of connection. They also had a lot more space and time to tell their story. Often, they had a full-page, or a 30 or 60 second ad, much more than we have today.

But that was then. This is now.

Digital content introduced shorter copy and strategic links

As digital evolved, copy got shorter and more punchy. By its nature, it now had to accomplish a lot in a few paragraphs. Not much time to “romance” the reader.

Emails often features a structure something like this: Intro copy – link, body copy – link, offer/call to action and reminder copy – link, etc.

Longer copy is often discouraged and eliminated. Greater product focus and stronger selling language is incorporated. “Product selling” has become the norm.

Return to storytelling

How to bring back more storytelling? To tell a story you must have a story to tell.

It starts with a desire to capture what is either happening to motivate the purchase of your product/service; and/or what the outcome of the usage of your product and service (think “before and after”).

Newsletters: Many of our clients publish newsletters that are sent out to every account holder. These newsletters feature stories with a “feel good” result that supports both the mission of the institution and a collection of featured products.

Website: Add a section on the website that features testimonials, success stories, and “deeper dives” that generate interest and reinforces the core philosophies of the organization.

Staff Engagement: Featuring staff as problem solvers and knowledgeable resources helps in the collection of memorable stories.

Using more stories in your marketing will open up a softer, more approachable and relatable side of your business. If your “product” is a service, often the only way you have to differentiate from other similar providers is to show how that the outcome of your service is better than others.

Here’s to collecting many amazing stories to tell!