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How To Tell A Story In Your Copy – Learn the Skill of Storytelling In Your Marketing!


All good marketing tells a story. It’s this story even more than the products and their benefits that loyal customers love. Like a thriller novel where you can’t stop turning the page to get to the conclusion, your audience stays tuned in and your message hits them hard.

Marketing tells a story, but how? Let’s take a closer look at how it works so that you can use it to your advantage.

The Plot Arc

Think of any movie or book that you really enjoyed. It probably went something like this:

– The main characters have a conflict, difficult situation, or mission.

– They work toward its resolution but obstacles are in their way.

– They reach the solution to their problem and change along the way.

This is the basic arc of any fictional story. It follows a structure:

Setting -> Conflict -> Climax -> Resolution

In marketing, we use the same story arc. In this case, the conflict is some problem your customer needs to overcome. Instead of a murder case or a wicked evil wizard, they have to face relationship problems, debt, belly flab that won’t go away, anxiety attacks, or a content management system for their business that’s clunky and expensive.

The text of your marketing materials (or videos, audios, etc.) identifies this enemy for them. When they read that, it resonates. They’ve been fighting it for years. Then, the text leads them to the conclusion – your product or service.

Your Persona

The above structure is only the simplest version. There’s also a back-story. That back-story is the story of you, the marketer.

People rarely understand how important persona is in marketing. Your persona is the person you present to the world. Many customers will buy from you solely because they like you or your story resonates with them.

Examples of personas are:

– The single parent who lost their job but figured out a way to make money online that anyone can replicate

– The guy or gal that screwed up relationship after relationship until they figured out a simple system for keeping couples together

– The lonely retiree who decided to open their home up to every stray cat in the neighbourhood and now wants to tell others about caring for kitties

Personas are powerful. People especially love recovery stories. They love to hear about people who were once down and out or at rock bottom but worked their way up. For one thing, this is a great story. It has all of the above elements – a terrible conflict and a dramatic resolution. It’s also a story many people can relate to.

Know Your Enemy

Stories resonate because we identify with the main character, but also because we share their hate for the enemy. Think of the enemies you’ve known from movies and books. There’s just plain nothing good about them. You’re dislike of the enemy is one of the things that keeps you reading and rooting for the hero.

The same goes for marketing. Identify the enemy – fad diets, financial problems, the lousy day job, depression, and the rat race – and paint that enemy in the most menacing, ugly colours possible. Your customers will join your fight to destroy them.

There are many ways to tell a story but these are the most powerful elements. Think of your marketing as a movie or novel and approach it as if you were creating a story for your audience to enjoy. This is how you create a good marketing story.

Toby & Sam Russell

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