“When facts become so widely available and instantly accessible, each one becomes less valuable. What begins to matter more is the ability to place these facts in context and to deliver them with emotional impact.”
This quote comes from the chapter on story in Daniel Pink’s book “A Whole New Mind.”
Stop and think about it in terms of your content strategy. Nobody’s going to remember that your product is 58 percent more effective. What they may remember is a story that highlights the importance of your business or industry.
Facts are no longer scarce. If you want to memorize all of the presidents of the United States, you no longer need to make a trip to the public library. If you want to buy a new stove, you no longer have to wait until the Sunday sales ads are published.
The features are easily accessible anywhere. They’re what your competitors will highlight. Your job in marketing your business is to tell a better story.
Here are some things to consider:
- What kind of history does your business have? Does it go back several generations? Did you buy it from someone, or did you start it yourself?
- What is your customer service philosophy?
- How does your product/service help the customer, and make their life better?
- Can you use a case study to make your customer the hero of a story?
Stories create context and establish an emotional tie. They make it easier to recall whatever larger point it is that you are trying to make. Here are some immediate things that you can do to start writing or improve the stories you’re telling on your blog:
- Write more conversationally. Pretend you’re telling your reader whatever it is you have to say over a cup of coffee. Eliminate the geek-speak industry vocabulary. It doesn’t make you sound smart. It causes readers to leave and not come back.
- Tell anecdotes within your posts. Let your audience in on what your favorite hobbies are , how much you enjoy spending time with your kids and what your favorite sports teams or music is. It establishes you as a business owner with a human side, which is crucial to building your readership and your bottom line. It allows them to walk away with something memorable.
- Develop your writing voice. Increase the punchiness of your writing. Deliberate over your word choice, and stay true to your personality. If you do business in shorts and a tee shirt, there’s no reason to write blog posts that read like doctoral dissertations.
This is about becoming a friendlier more accessible business. This is about creating a message that your audience will remember after they walk away from the computer, or put their phone back in their pocket. It’s about differentiation.
The Internet’s not short on the same old industry tips. What it lacks is your personality. So…what makes you you?
Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.