Demystifying brand storytelling for everyone
Once upon a time, there was a concept called brand storytelling.
Its popularity increased until it became something of a buzzword. People referenced it in their articles and assured all who would listen about the importance of using stories in their marketing.
But there were many who did not understand.
For them, the idea of telling a story in their marketing copy made little sense, and they were left to guess at how they might put stories to use…
Brand storytelling, or corporate storytelling, is all the rage. But every article I read on using stories to connect with prospects seems to be heavy on the why of storytelling (connect with your audience, hold their attention, build trust) and light on the how.
So how exactly do you use stories?
I'm a freelance copywriter and I work on brand stories every day. I thought I would share what I understand about storytelling to help you put it to use in your own marketing.
The way I see it, there are three key types of stories you can use in your branding.
I was speaking to a prospective client a few weeks ago.
He had created a new web app for plumbers and electricians that looked really cool. It would save them many hours finding jobs, and it had loads of useful features like project management, invoicing, etc.
It sounded great.
He was planning a cold email campaign to reach out to prospects. When I asked him about his plan, he explained how he would initially send out cold emails to plumbers telling them all about his new app and its free trial.
So far, so good.
While I tend to focus more on newsletters and marketing emails, I've enjoyed a lot of success with cold campaigns, so I was interested.
Here's a brief version of how the conversation went:
The problem is a common one: a shopper arrives on your website and browses your products, they see something they like, they add it to their basket …
… and then they disappear, never to return.
The phenomenon of cart abandonment is one you will be well aware of if you operate an online store.
In fact, 68.81% of shopping carts are abandoned online.
It happens because:
But while you won't know why they abandoned their carts, you can definitely do something about it.
This is where the cart abandonment email comes in.
There's no doubt that emails are one of the most effective ways to keep in touch with your customers (and potential customers) and encourage them to return to your website more often.
But sometimes subscribers lose interest. Sometimes they start ignoring your emails and deleting them without opening them.
It's frustrating, but they may have just had enough. They may not be interested in what you have to offer any more.
And that's fine.
If so, there's little point in keeping them on your list.
But what if you could tempt them back? What if you could encourage them to open a final email and turn them back and into an active member of your list?
Re-engagement emails are designed for that purpose. Here's how to write a good one.
With copywriting, less is often more. Choosing the right words usually means using one word instead of four.
And it's that practice of seeking out the right word that is so infuriating yet also so satisfying when you get it right.
Much easier is getting rid of words that have no place being there in the first place.
These are often short and simple words you use every time you write. They sneak their way into your copy because they are so natural.
First drafts are full of them.
But they don't belong there. They fatten the copy and bloat it. They are often called 'fluff' or 'fog' words, and they can reduce the impact of your landing pages and emails.
Over the years, I have built up a long list of words that can often be eradicated in my copy, and I'd like to share a few of them with you today.
Cutting these words out (where it makes sense to do so) is one of the quickest ways to improve any piece of writing.
There is one major problem when it comes to selling your skills as a freelance copywriter: everyone else is a writer too.
People hire a plumber because they don’t have the first idea about how to stop the pipe from leaking.
They hire a web designer because they don't have a clue about HTML or coding.
But writing is different.
After all, everyone learns how to write in school. It’s one of those basic life skills like riding a bike.
Why hire a freelance copywriter? There are plenty of good reasons (I would say that).
But over the years I’ve realised that there is one reason that just keeps on cropping up more than any other: people can’t find the time to write content themselves.
There are two reasons I know this:
1) Because it keeps cropping up when new clients ask me for content
2) Because I constantly fall behind on my own blog writing
Yes, even though I spend the vast majority of my day writing copy, very little of that is actually for my own marketing purposes.
I just don't have the time.
I don't know about you, but when I land on a new website, I'm always tempted to the About page.
It comes down to intrigue. I want to know more about this person or company and to hear their story in their own words. You can also tell a lot about a business by how they present their About page through the tone of voice and the words they choose.
And I'm not alone.
The About page is one of the most trafficked page of any website, for the exact reasons I've included above. It's an essential element of your site. A website without an About page is incomplete.
And because so many of your visitors will check out your About page, this makes is a great opportunity for you to present your brand and tell your story … and to convert visitors into leads.
Here's what you should be doing in 10 simple steps.
I provide professional copywriting services, so it won’t come as a surprise to you that I consider copywriting to be a good investment for your business. But if you’re not convinced by my words alone, check out these key benefits of hiring a copywriter:
1. Increase Your Conversion Rates
Copywriting is all about using persuasive writing to garner a response. Just because something is well written, it doesn’t mean it will persuade the reader to take action. If you want to attract new customers and get old ones excited again, copywriting has a huge role to play in the process.
2. Impress Your Customers
No one is impressed by mundane writing, clichéd descriptions spelling mistakes. A copywriter will add the spark to your writing that sets it apart. As a result, your customers will see you as a good communicator who speaks on their level.
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