When I was a kid, my grandma would tell my sister, my cousin, and me old stories about our family’s past.
Some were cautionary tales of what not to do and others were silly and just for fun.
We loved every single one.
But, our favorites were the “true” ghost stories from my grandma’s childhood growing up in the hills of Appalachia inEastern Kentucky, a.k.a., “The Holler.”
I remember her sitting in on her front porch in a metal, rusty lawn chair shucking corn husks or snapping the ends off fresh beans from her garden.
She would tell us about her grandfather’s ability to communicate with and control “The Rapping Spirit.” (As the story goes, the ghost would knock —i.e., rap—on tables and walls—hence the name—on my great-grandfather’s command. It took me years to figure out that “rapping” is another word for “knocking.”)
Grandma told us about the pale-faced man who mysteriously appeared in the hallway, causing her to drop a bucket full of hot, sudsy water she was supposed to use to wash clothes.
She described in eerie detail a shimmering, ghostly figure that walked in the cemetery that sat across the road from her childhood home.
We’d sit cross-legged in a semi-circle around her—shoulder-to-shoulder, eyes wide—listening to stories that thrilled and frightened us.
My grandma said many wise things to me that I’ve forgotten over the years, but I have never forgotten her stories.
Similarly, your readers will forget the boring facts and data you share in your posts, but they will remember the stories you tell. Here’s why:
Readers Remember Stories
- Stories add depth and texture to your content. They give readers a fuller experience and understanding of your ideas.
- Stories linger long after a storyteller ends the tale. That’s why they are great for teaching new ideas. They build bridges that connect your ideas to your audiences.
- Stories pull in readers and keep them engaged. No one wants to read half a story. Most people will stick with a story to the end to find out its resolution; we all love closure and tidy endings.
- Stories entertain, educate, and enlighten. They demonstrate ideas and explain complex concepts; they delight readers and inspire them to act. Client success stories are great for lending social proof to a blog post or content marketing piece.
- Stories highlight your unique perspective. Your stories become part of your brand’s identity. They give readers a peek at what shapes your views. The advice you and your competitors offer may overlap, but your personal stories will always be unique.
Stories have the power to make your messages unforgettable to readers. In fact, I bet you will forget the list I wrote above minutes after you click away from this post. But, you will probably remember my grandma’s story of The Rapping Spirit.
When you tell stories that resonate with readers, you give them a reason to care. And that’s when readers convert into customers.