How to use stories in your copy
Now let’s see how this affects your copy. In copywriting, the drama doesn’t have to be this intense. In fact, we rarely tell stories that have such consequences.
But we can spin a good yarn when we want to, especially when it’s true. Like adman Bill Bernbach once said, “The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.”
Anyway. Say you’ve interviewed a founder, who tells you how they decided to launch their company. The whole backstory. Turns out, it wasn’t as easy as, “Hey, let’s launch a company.”
David, the founder, was running out of money. His bank had screwed him, and he couldn’t bear to explain it to his wife, let alone his employees.
He was facing an impossible choice: Invest everything he had left into ads or rebrand the company… but he didn’t have money to do both.
What if we upped the stakes?
David happens to mention that he chose to remortgage his house and risk it all to do both. Did his gamble pay off? We want to know. What did he do different? What saved him? Did he have a Eureka! moment?
(Note: We already know there’s a happy ending. People don’t go watch a Disney movie because they don’t know the ending. They want to know what decisions the characters make that get them there.)
You can even make up a story, obviously, so long as it’s evident that it’s fiction.
Me, personally? I like injecting some humor and dark satirical tones into my writing, especially when it comes to storytelling in content writing.
That’s because it’s easier to stretch these stories when it comes to content versus copy.
Let me write an example off the top of my head:
“Joe scrolled through his feed mindlessly and stopped. His eye started twitching as a bead of sweat lingered above his arched brow. He couldn’t resist. He had to click it.
He sensed immediate regret once he did. Nothing matched the original ad. The color palette was all wrong, and it sent him writhing in pain, vomiting all over his Boston terrier, as she yelped and scurried away in a panic.
If you’ve ever felt like Joe, you know you’ve been the victim of a heinous crime: Relevancy in advertising. Creating a seamless experience is not only critical, it can be bad for your audience’s health when performed incorrectly.”