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:
- Boost your conversion rates by up to 30%, according to Search Engine Watch.
- Make people 55% more likely to buy from you in the future, according to a study by Headstream.
- Increase the value of your product or service by a whopping 2,706%, according to the Significant Objects experiment.
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 5 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.
If you’re ready to infuse your digital marketing with storytelling copywriting, here are 5 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.
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 customer 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 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.
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!