Content writers who use a variety of storytelling techniques free themselves from business writing practices frozen in predictability. The result is lively content that gets noticed, nudges action, and nullifies any thought of your company being boring.
When writers can describe their content piece in three words they have achieved focus. These words usually come in the form of noun, verb and object. Take a cue from Hollywood screenwriters: boy meets girl or David versus Goliath. These words also insinuate what the protagonist (company or client) wants.
Set up a choice
Who is the decision maker and what choice will he or she be making? Introduce some conflict or tension. Identify an unexpected consequence and fill in the details. For example: John Smith began searching for more backhoes after realizing he underestimated the scale of a long-term construction project. A question kept racing through his mind – Should I rent or buy? After visiting ABC dealership he got the answer he needed, both – through a rent to buy agreement.
Products can be people too through personification. Establish character traits. Not just physical appearance, benefits or features, but something they/it hates. Speech patterns, sounds, smells, and textures will make your customer, employee or product unique to the reader.
Point of View
When you want to get personal, use “I”. It can be very powerful. A lot of customer-focused content emphasizes “you” putting the reader in the setting so they can see the possibilities. The know it all, omniscient point of view puts the reader at a distance but is good for overview or summary types of content.
Capture the real words your audience uses. On a page or screen, the eye is drawn to quotation marks. Use them. Speaking about writing tight for video, Al Tompkins says: “Tell only what the viewer can’t see. The words and pictures shouldn’t match. When writing for the ear use the most powerful phrase at the end of each dialogue.” Good information succinctly expressed.
Resolve the Conflict
When writing business content the best way to resolve conflict may be stating a clear-cut outcome. Most business people don’t want the conclusion to be left to interpretation. Offering a parallel to the beginning of a piece is a favorite technique of mine. It brings the reader full circle.
Using storytelling techniques writers can move away from the predictable towards the lively and unexpected. The world becomes a better place. Would you be more likely to read a David versus Goliath story, What David Lost or Goliath Wins! ?