“Most people want a diamond ring for their 50th anniversary. I chose a titanium knee,” begins a Community Health Network advertorial, sharing the story of patient “Pat G.”, whose sole purpose in undergoing a total knee replacement was to dance with her husband at their 50th anniversary party. “At age 75” the story continues, “her next goal is to outlive the 20 years warranty on that new titanium knee.”
“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller,” says Matthew Luhn, author of The Best Story Wins. But, if the story is not about the hearer, he will not listen, as John Steinbeck famously said. As a blog content writer, I realize that not everyone who sees that Community Health Network piece will be “shopping” for a new knee, but the story about Pat G. makes readers think about what might help them fulfill their own dream for a healthy, active retirement.
Story is passion, Luhn teaches. “The emotional juice in a story all comes back to the fears and/or deeply rooted passions that drive a character. Using the anecdote, rather than just touting the advantages of Community Health Network, is what gives the advertorial its impact. “People read, watch, and tell stories not because they are enthralled with the story structure, but because they are invested in what will happen to the characters in the story.”
In blogging for business, what’s going to have the greater likelihood of converting searchers to buyers: writing about the product or service, or writing about the business owners and service providers? I recommend including anecdotes about customers, employees, or friends who accomplished things against all odds. That shifts the focus to the people side of your business, highlighting the relationship aspects of your practice, plant, or shop.
Be sure your content includes not only HOW your product or service benefits users, but WHY. Tell the story behind the place, the products, and the people. Most people want a story with their blog!