Numbers, data, and stats are great, but do you know what really sells? Copy with a story. Some people like knowing the torque, horsepower, and length of your truck bed. Statistics work well in B2B copy, but when you’re trying to attract customers, go for the story. Talk about that time you moved all of Aunt Edie’s furniture – including her couch – in one trip, and you never got stuck in the mud, so you made it on time to her move-in party. Stories paint pictures, which help people visualize the effectiveness of your product.
Telling a compelling story, however, is more difficult than most people think. If you want your promo story to grab your audience’s attention (and tug at their wallets), make sure it includes these key elements:
- Structure: Beginning, middle, and end – people write micro-fiction in 100 words, so you can do it in a short, promotional piece. Bring your reader into the story, show her what happens, then wrap it up.
- Focus: Your story is a laser, not a spotlight. If you’re selling tapioca, don’t talk about how bad jello is – talk about how amazing tapioca is! Avoid the temptation to ramble about peripheral issues.
- Action: “I was inspired by the bird.” Bleh. “The bird inspired me.” Better! Avoid the to-be verbs where ever possible to keep the story moving. This is your story, so keep yourself in the action.
- K.I.S.S.: Keep It Short, Silly. Eliminate wordiness. Don’t tell people that you logged onto your computer, opened a web browser, then checked your email on the world wide web. Say you checked your email, and trust your reader to understand how that works.
- Read It Out Loud: When you’re done, read it to yourself. Out loud. You’ll notice the awkward moments you missed the first time you edited it.
Incorporating these elements and applying these techniques will help you create a compelling tale that captures the readers’ attention and puts it right where you want it – on your business.