Would you rather read a statistic or a story?
Updated: Mar 6, 2020
When you sit down to blog about your business, do you ever catch yourself wondering “Is anyone going to be interested in reading this?”
If so, then good for you. Whether you’re writing your fiftieth blog post or your first, it’s worth asking this every time you’re about to hit ‘publish’.
There’s plenty you can do to make sure your message is going to catch people’s eye, but one particularly useful tool is by turning your message into a story.
You can apply this method to bring even the driest of statistics to life, plus it’s a super effective way of creating a whole post from a shred of information.
From abstract data to a must-read
Let’s look at an example... An architect wants to communicate that for some home-owners, the value of their property can increase by up to 20% when a conservatory extension is installed.
Fine, but it’s not exactly setting the world alight. So how do we spin this into a tale worth tweeting about?
Someone to root for and relate to; we need our protagonist. Let’s make the home-owners the heroes. We can embellish their characters and flesh out their motivations, like why they want to improve the value of their property and their budget concerns.
This is our chance to draw the reader in and introduce them to our little world, whether it’s a physical place or the context in which we’re telling the story. For our story, the house is the physical setting, but a “buyers market” or “tough financial times” also sets the scene for the reader.
Basically, we want a beginning, middle and an end. In blog terms, that’s (1) identifying a premise, (2) introducing a problem-to-be-solved, (3) resolving it, and (4) leaving the reader with “food for thought”. For our story, that might look like: (1) Homeowners want to increase property value → (2) Struggling to do so without breaking the bank → (3) Architect offers solution of trendy conservatory extension; property value increases → (4) Conservatory extensions are reasonable and boost property value.
Put simply, “telling a story” is just giving the reader an engaging example to better understand what you’re trying to tell them. You know your message is important; the reader just needs convincing.
Don’t be afraid to use your imagination; the story is just the tool you’re using to amplify your message
Apart from showing the reader the value of the service provided, you’ve also offered them something of inherent value; entertainment.
Reading a two minute blog post about a plucky homeowner who defeats the odds thanks to a bit of architectural wizardry is fun.
A reader doesn’t need to be in the midst of renovating a house to get value from reading a story like this and by entertaining people, you’re boosting your brand.
So next time you sit down to write, try transforming your statistic into a story and see how many people come along for the journey.