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Why does storytelling work in sales copy?

Man Reading on Tablet

Why does storytelling work in sales copy?

All businesses exist to address a need and solve a problem. A barber solves the problem of people having too much hair, a greengrocer solves the problem of having no fruit or vegetables, and a web design and internet marketing company solves the problem of people having poor-performing websites, or no website at all.

This means almost all companies have a story behind them, and many like to share it on the “About Us” page of their website (you can read ours here). This brings an interesting human element to your business, and it’s a good way of getting your mission statement across and explaining what unique need you fulfil. Storytelling needn’t begin and end with the origins of your company though – there are all kinds of day-to-day events within your business that, if told well, can make for compelling and relatable stories.

Why do we like stories?

Stories are something we carry with us from the womb to the tomb. Paedologists recommend mothers should get into the habit of reading stories out loud during pregnancy to help the baby familiarise itself with their voice. When children get a little older and start to understand the words they’re hearing, stories help them shape the world around them, transporting them to unfamiliar situations and helping them learn about new people and places.

As we age, this love of stories stays with us. Scientists note that hearing stories releases oxytocin, a hormone that increases our feelings of trust and empathy – two important emotions in business. Sharing stories about our business therefore puts potential customers in relatable positions. It shows them we were once in their situation and had the same need as them, so we set up a company that can provide the solution for them.

Finding fresh stories

Every week in business is all about problem solving to some extent. We always face challenges and must find ways to overcome them, and this is a framework of a sharable story.

One example that comes to mind occurred last year, when we were asked to produce hundreds of web copy pieces about ways to entertain yourself in various towns all over the UK. It was something we had to come up with a strategy for quickly, so I mentioned how we solved the problem in a blog. I realised there were all kinds of other tips we could offer on geographical content at the same time too. Don’t be embarrassed to admit that you got something wrong, as long as you can say how you addressed this and what you learned from the mistake.

Another example was when one of our writers was having trouble reporting on foreign currencies, including typing the symbols and making sense of various amounts. I thought that was worth a blog as well. Bear in mind that if you’re facing a problem and have found a solution, it’s highly unlikely you’re the only person to have found themselves in that position. A lot of people Google their problems, and if you’ve written a blog on it, there’s every chance they will find it. This is the essence of search engine optimisation (SEO) – understanding what people are searching for and creating content that answers it.

For help in extracting the stories your business holds and converting them into engaging content, the Engage Web team is only an email or phone call away.

John Murray

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