People don’t think in terms of information. They think in terms of narratives. But while people focus on the story itself, information comes along for the ride.” – ‘Contageous’, Jonah Berger
People don’t argue with stories. Particularly stories they feature in, that are true, and engaging. It’s interesting, then, that most website content writing throws out this premise in favor of–as I like to say–”basking in the majesty of self”.
So what’s the solution? How does having a story-driven “narrative” make websites perform better?
Step 1: Make it true (for them)
You know your widgets and how well they work. That’s not important: your visitors already have a story; they don’t need another. “Making it true” means telling a story with your website content writing that they’ll recognize: their own.
We like hearing our own story being told. Their story isn’t over yet. If your narrative understands both today’s pains and tomorrow’s dreams, it becomes much easier to engage and act upon.
Step 2: Easy to engage
Storybooks have pictures about the story you’re reading, to help immerse you. Movie renditions of books are popular because they’re visually stimulating. The easier it is for people to focus on the story itself, “information comes along for the ride.”
While you tell their story, the only job of your website’s visuals is to bring that story to life. Any visuals that are just for ‘aesthetics’ are just a distraction.
Step 3: Give them direction (with the website content writing)
The decision to progress happens in your visitor’s world, not in yours. At this stage, your story is their story, and they’re engaging ideologically and viscerally. Now it’s decision time. Unless alignment you share with your visitors turns into action, we’ve simply given them a good time. We won’t have changed them. That would be a huge disservice.
The best narratives give readers the resources needed to move forward, the ability to move further along in their story. In the Mission Narrative blueprint, we call this “easy-enrollment”.
The direction you give readers has one job: to move them forward with as little risk as possible. Your narrative should have a happy ending that the reader has control over; something easy to do to get them started on their way.
In summary, your website content writing should be true. It should be engaging. And it should give them direction. This is how your message joins To Kill A Mockingbird in the backlist of classics destined to be shared and re-shared.
Are you telling the right story?