I recently read a quote from Lewis Schiff of the Inc. Business Owner’s Council who said: ”Facts get recorded; stories get remembered.”
Well, I couldn’t agree more, Mr. Schiff. And here’s why.
Let’s use this year’s Olympics as an example. I’m willing to bet that if I asked you what John Orozco scored on the pommel horse, you wouldn’t be able to tell me. However, if I asked you to tell me about his childhood in the Bronx, you’d probably respond without hesitation–facts get recorded; stories get remembered.
John Orozco isn’t the only Olympic athlete who we’ve come to know through story, though. The Olympics thrive off stories–the Blade Runner, Michael Phelps, the Fab Five, etc. That’s why people get so invested; they want to know how the story ends. So what does this mean for marketing?
Simply put, stories stick. As human beings, we’re hard-wired to remember stories much more easily than we remember facts. There’s a reason why most TV commercials are in story form. And there’s a reason why public speakers start with an anecdote–they lock us in.
Stories keep us engaged. They connect with us on an emotional level, which in marketing can make the difference between someone using your service and someone brushing you off.
Still not sold on the power of stories?
Let’s look at TOMS Shoes. This company’s story has been its driving force since day one. Owner Blake Mycoskie started the company after being inspired by a trip to Argentina where he saw extreme poverty and health conditions, as well as children walking around without shoes. This led him to reinvent the native Argentine alpargata shoe which he would sell to customers around the world, and for everyone one pair sold, he would donate a new pair to a child in need. Are there better shoes being sold online? Sure. But people want to buy from TOMS because they know their story. They want to be a part of the movement. It’s something real that they can connect with; it’s something emotional.
Of course, not every company has a story like TOMS to use. But every company does, in fact, have a story. It’s up to you to find that story and share it with the world. The content will literally market itself. Once you start doing that, you’ll find that customers don’t just record your name, they remember it.
Think you’ve figured that story out? Start sharing right here on our blog–we’re all ears.
This is my first blog post for WebiMax and I’d hate to start things off on the wrong foot. So, first and foremost, I’d like to apologize for misleading any Gene Simmons fans. As much as I’d love to tie The Demon and Starchild to SEO, I think I’ll save that for a later date.
I do want to talk about KISS, though: Keep it simple, stupid!
This is probably the best advice I can give to content creators. It’s the key to good, attractive web content. And as we know in SEO and business, in general, good web copy can be your biggest asset.
So what do I mean by writing clear copy and keeping it simple?
We’ve all been there. We’ve all started to read something only to feel completely lost after the first sentence. So what do we do? We go back and read it again. Once we think we’ve got it, we move onto the next sentence. Then, sure enough we come across another sentence that causes us to pause and re-read it. It’s exhausting.
In order to have good web copy it needs to be engaging. One sentence should flow into the next. Your readers should be able to get through the entire page without feeling they had to labor. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality, though. Sometimes the wisest words are found in the shortest sentences.
Brevity is Best
This should apply to all forms of writing but it is particularly true with the web. Simply put, people don’t read–they scan. This means you need to be strategic with your writing. Big, long chunks of text intimidate users. Common language, short sentences, short paragraphs, headings, and bullet points are your allies.
By doing so, you drastically increase the number of users who will actually read your content. After all, isn’t that the goal?
This is Nothing New
Clarity has always been instrumental in good writing. If you pick up any writing book, most harp on simplicity. Whether you prefer to read Strunk and White or Stephen King’s memoir, they all talk about being clear in your writing. When people label a piece as “a good read” it’s usually because it connects with them; it doesn’t soar over their heads. And that’s because the author kept things simple–they engaged and conversed with the reader.
In the words of W.B. Yeats: “Think like a wise man but express yourself like the common people.”
As a senior copywriter at WebiMax, I look forward to sharing more blog posts on content and how it can help your business. For more information, please feel free reach out to me at dheinkel(at)webimax.com