Content as Story Telling

I found my way into copywriting through a love of writing, first as a teenager with angsty poetry and furtive diary entries, and then later at university with my MA in Creative Writing. I landed my first copywriting job two weeks out of uni and I haven’t looked back. I recently tried to get a friend who I went to uni with into copywriting as well, putting him in touch with a company I had done some freelance work for. He turned it down, telling me it wasn’t his cup of tea because he only wants to write fiction.

Content Story Telling copywriting

It got me thinking about copywriting and why I find it so enjoyable. Creating content that is compelling and engaging is a form of storytelling. You have to make sure that you use the right words, get people’s attention by creating a realistic narrative that they want to listen to and keep them reading by getting them to want more from the story. You need to be able to connect with visitors as soon as they reach your website, article or blog post and if you put dry boring information in front of them, they are going to be turned off. It’s a basic tenet of marketing, add a human element to your work. Even if it’s just a quote from a satisfied customer, the moment you add a voice, it becomes a narrative; a story, and you get the reader’s attention.

Digital marketing has opened doors into better ways of reaching people that will want to use your product or services. Social media, for example, creates a way into people’s lives by engaging with customers on a one to one basis. But it has also lead to a proliferation in competition, and without good content, you can become lost in the fog of other companies.

What is good content?

There is more to good content than just having the right words, however. You need to utilise every tool in the box when it comes to content. Video, infographics, and great design all add to your market value when content is involved. The list goes on. You must constantly create relevant information that people want to read and share. Blog posts that are updated constantly, discussing pertinent information or the latest news stories in your sector. Ebooks and thought leadership that demonstrate that when it comes to the service or product that you are selling, you know exactly what you’re on about.

Good content moves people. Take this video PSA, From One Second to the Next, from director Werner Herzog, part of the It Can Wait campaign. The content was shared over one million times in five days because it is not just informative, but it draws people in and makes them want to watch and share.

SEO and Content

SEO copywriting has moved on from keyword stuffing and black hat techniques. The best way to appear higher up the rankings on Google is to write lots of great content, content that will work well as a piece to be shared around the web on Facebook, Twitter and for blogs. By creating content that people want to read, you create natural links to your site which boost it up the rankings.

How do you create good content?

Good content starts with a story. Whether you are going to write a blog post, make a video or design an infographic, you need to have a definite idea of what you want to say, who this information is going to appeal to and how to reach them.

Your understanding of your audience is key. Once you have identified exactly who you are communicating with, you can create content that is appropriate to them in style, tone and design. What appeals to twenty somethings who spend a lot of time on Facebook might be different to a managing director who is looking for ways to enhance their business proposition. If you try and aim at everyone you’ll end up reaching no one.

Analytics is an easy way to identify who is viewing your content, so you can then build up a customer profile and start creating content that these people want to see. Creating a narrative for people suddenly becomes much easier when you know who you’re talking to.

Digital storytelling is an essential part of your content strategy. Once you have a clearly defined narrative, you can come up with creative ways of driving users through this story, using images, videos and text to enhance this, driving traffic to your site and converting clicks to sales. For more information on how your digital story can attract clients, contact us at Parallax. We’d love to discuss this with you and help you understand your digital narrative.

(This post first appeared on the Parallax blog.)

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