Storytelling Copywriting: How To Use It + Top Formulas

Copywriting is all about convincing your target audience to buy. 

But, (un)surprisingly, the best way to grab your target audience’s attention *isn’t* to list the features of your service or product over and over again…

…but to tell a good story. 

Research shows that infusing your copy with storytelling can help you to: 

So, what makes storytelling so powerful? 

And most importantly, how can you use it to grow a stronger connection with your audience, increase conversions, and grow your business? 

Grab your favorite beverage and get comfortable. In this post, I’ll explain the science behind storytelling and share five tips on how to use it in your digital marketing.  

How To Use Storytelling in Copywriting: 5 Tips

Copywriting and Storytelling: The Science Behind Why It Works

Storytelling’s power is not random — 

It’s actually pure science. 

When you’re told a story, your brain releases dopamine, cortisol, and oxytocin. These chemicals make you feel pleasure and form an emotional connection with the narrative. 

Here’s a breakdown of what happens inside your brain. 

Dopamine makes you feel invested in the story and respond to emotionally-charged events. This is why we remember stories up to 22x more than facts or figures alone. 

Cortisol makes you focus and pay attention to the story. It’s commonly known as the “stress hormone,” but there’s nothing negative about cortisol’s role in storytelling. Its job is to grab your attention and get you hooked on the narrative! 

Oxytocin makes you feel empathy and builds your connection with the story. It’s the reason why we relate and connect with narratives that are not actually about us. 

Storytelling has been done for literally thousands of years. 

But instead of gathering around the fire or making cave art, we now have Instagram (have you noticed the “stories” in IG stories ), Kindle, and texting. 

Consumers crave storytelling, too. 

(In fact, 92% of customers want ad campaigns to feel more like a story.) 

If you’re ready to infuse your digital marketing with storytelling copywriting, here are five tips on how to do it. 

1. Create a Storytelling Bank

Your stories need to be consistent, whether you’re using them on your social media or writing landing page copy. 

A great way to ensure consistency is to create a brand storytelling bank that you can refer to whenever you’re writing copy. 

A mistake some business owners make is believing that you need to create ONE brand story that’ll encompass everything from why you started your business to your brand personality. 

The truth is, your brand can have MULTIPLE stories — with each of them serving a different purpose. 

For example, you can have: 

→ an origin story to relate to your audience

→ client success stories to establish authority

→ real-life personal stories to build trust and personal connection 

Organizing all of your brand stories in one place will make it easy for you to pull from them whenever you need to write something. So, start an empty Google Doc! 

2. Make Your Audience the Hero

People respond to storytelling because they naturally use their imagination to make stories relatable to them. 

The truth is, your brand is NOT the hero of your story — 

Your customers are. 

The goal of story-driven copywriting is to put your reader at the center of the narrative. 

(This is how a strong customer journey is created ) 

Here’s an example of how Harry’s, a personal care company for men, makes their audience feel like they’re the hero of the brand story. 

Brand story of the about page describes why Jeff and Andy created Harry's. In the world of confusing razors, they wanted a simple product at a great cost.

At first glance, this is a story about why Jeff and Andy, the founders of Harry’s, decided to start the company. 

But on a deeper level, this story is actually about YOU, the consumer, who’s tired of overpaying for overdesigned razors and wants a simple product at a fair price. 

It’s how Jeff and Andy felt…but it’s actually how YOU feel, too. 

When telling the story of your brand, focus on what it means for your customers and how it solves the problem they have. 

Ask yourself — 

Does it make them imagine what THEIR life would be like if they had your product or service? Or does it only go on and on about YOU?

3. Be Specific

Vague words and abstract concepts are the not-so-silent killers of engaging storytelling. 

To connect with your audience, be as specific as possible in your copy. 

One good way to do this is to use all senses when telling a story. 

Instead of just saying that you were upset or nervous, explain how it FELT. Did your head hurt? Was your heart racing? Any nail-biting? 

Incorporating specific sense-focused details into your copy is a great way to make it more story-driven. 

4. Turn Your Testimonials Into Stories

Social proof — such as testimonials and case studies — is one of the most effective ways to convert your leads into clients or customers. 


Because a good testimonial tells the story of your client or customer having a problem and of your brand solving it. 

So, instead of defaulting to generic “[Brand name] was great!” testimonials…

…go deeper and create a solid testimonial collection process that’ll allow you to craft truly memorable customer success transformations. 

5. Infuse Your Story With Emotion

There’s no *one* way to write a good story. 

Storytelling techniques are helpful, but the best way to create a story that deeply resonates with your audience is to make it genuine and emotional…

…and there’s no storytelling formula for that. 

→ And if you’re just not good with words, consider working with a copywriter

Did you know that emotional responses to stories activate several parts of the frontal lobe, and the effects can last SEVERAL DAYS? 

Ultimately, storytelling is the art of creating emotion. 

And the better you get at it, the faster your business will grow. 

Elements of Storytelling in Copywriting

So, how do you create a compelling narrative for your brand that’ll help it resonate with your target audience? There are a couple of storytelling techniques you can use to unleash your brand’s story.

Make a Lasting Impression With Strong Characters

You may think that creating characters is only relevant when you’re writing fiction, but you can also use the concept of a character when writing copy for your business.

Depending on the nature of your brand, you, your clients, or even employees can become the main character of your brand story.

For example, you can create a case study telling the story of a client who reached amazing results after investing in your service or product.

Instead of simply sharing the facts and dry data, tell your audience a memorable and great story about how your client felt before they started working with you, how you solved the problem they were struggling with, and the real impact your work together had on their business and life.

Using this storytelling technique, you position your client as a character in your company’s history and story.

Capture Attention With a Strong Plot

Every great story should have a clear beginning, conflict, and resolution. It may appear as if I’m talking about a fiction story, but the same proven method applies to storytelling in copywriting!

To write a compelling story for your brand, you need to set the scene of how it all started, what kinds of problems you had to overcome to get where you are, and what you were able to achieve as a result of your struggles.

Panda as example of storytelling copywriting.

Panda London is a great example of how a successful company can use storytelling in its brand copywriting. In this example, Panda writes their own story with a strong plot.

They set up a clear beginning “back in 2015” when “manufacturing luxury homeware products often involved animals and damaging the environment.”

There’s a clear conflict: the challenge of finding a new material “as soft as Egyptian cotton” and “craft revolutionary new products that feel incredible without costing the earth.”

And, as Panda solves this challenge, there’s a celebratory resolution: finding bamboo and realizing that it can be used to create “sensuously soft, anti-bacterial, and hypoallergenic” homeware without harming the environment.

Reading this brand story makes the readers feel emotions and resonate with the brand’s verbal storytelling. This helps them sell more of their products and retain more customers.

How To Write Good Stories

Writing better copy using storytelling copywriting means that you have to balance creativity and empathy, always focusing on the needs and desires of your target audience.

You need to remember that you’re writing your copy, whether it’s your about page or landing pages, for your audience and not just for yourself.

To do this, you need to immerse yourself in your readers’ minds and understand their problems, desires, and fears.

You should always think about how your audience personas can see themselves in your brand narrative. Ultimately, your brand story is not about you. It’s about your readers and their point of view.

Top Storytelling Formulas

Here are some concrete examples of storytelling formulas you can use to craft compelling stories for your readers.

The Hero’s (or Heroine’s) Journey

This classic formula, popularized by Joseph Campbell, follows a protagonist who embarks on an adventure, faces trials and challenges, undergoes transformation, and ultimately returns home changed.

For example, it can be a story about an entrepreneur who decided to quit their 9-5 to travel the world and build a life of freedom.

Maureen Murdock created an alternative to Campbell’s Hero’s Journey that she believed was more appropriate to women’s journeys and called it The Heroine’s Journey.

The Problem-Solution Formula

In this formula, the story begins with the introduction of a problem or challenge faced by the protagonist.

Throughout the narrative, the protagonist seeks solutions, encounters obstacles, and eventually overcomes the problem, often with the help of a product or service. You can use this formula for case studies or client testimonials.

The Three-Act Structure

This formula divides a story into three parts: setup, confrontation, and resolution.

The setup introduces characters and their world, the confrontation presents obstacles and conflicts, and the resolution resolves the main conflict. Many Hollywood movies follow this structure, such as The Dark Knight and Titanic.

Storytelling Copywriting Examples

Recently, Slade Copy House wrote copy for a beauty product website that resulted in a $14,800+ launch and fast-paced business growth. Our secret? You guessed it, storytelling copywriting.

Here’s an example of copy that we wrote for the brand’s About page.

Example of copywriting storytelling.
Example of copywriting storytelling.

In these sections, we told the story of the founder of the brand, who used to feel frustrated with her beauty routine and wanted to have beauty tools that magnified her God-given beauty instead of masking it.

The results? A strong launch and continued business growth.


Are All Copywriters Storytellers?

Not all copywriters are inherently good storytellers. Storytelling copywriting can help you communicate complex ideas in a much more memorable way and forge an emotional connection with your target audience.

It’s important for your copywriter to have this unique ability. A smart way to check if the copywriter you’re considering working with has storytelling skills is to look at their portfolio and see if they use storytelling in the copy they’ve previously written.

Is Storytelling a Skill?

Absolutely! Moreover, storytelling in copywriting is a skill that can take multiple years to master.

When you can create a compelling narrative for your brand, you can connect with your audience on a deeper level and leave a lasting impression. It’s going to improve your brand awareness and recognition, and, of course, it’s going to skyrocket your conversion rates!

How Can I Make Storytelling Easier?

Writing stories for your audience can be challenging, even for experienced copywriters. Words are hard!

However, creating a storytelling bank for your business, focusing on specific emotions, and using storytelling formulas like The Hero’s Journey or The Three-Act Structure can help you make the process of writing story-driven copy easier.

Ready To Dive Into Conversion Storytelling?

Storytelling copywriting is essential to brand success…

…but it can also be hard and confusing to figure out where to start. 

Discover your unique storytelling style by taking this quiz

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Go ahead, treat yourself 

We created this piece to be a reminder that, no matter what we're doing: our words matter. We can’t live a meaningful life or run a successful business without positive words. And the words we use can make or break us. So, grab a piece and allow yourself to be inspired and reminded that...your words matter.


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