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When Fact Meets Fiction: The Value of a Good Story Goes Beyond the Page

    The Value of a Good Story Goes Beyond the Page

    I was fortunate to start the year with quite a few things. My health most of all! A new novel, the third book together with Bridget Willard, a video, and a podcast. It’s only January 11th but I feel this is going to be a great year! As long as I don’t run out of gas!

    Content is All Around Us – Sometimes it’s Hard to Grasp

    I hear from a lot of my clients and my students, that they find it difficult to create content. Content is all around us. Even if you are working in a train station convenience store.

    I’m reading (very late) Convenience Store Woman by Suraka Murata. A brilliant little book! I thought it might be like Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, but it is much simpler – and much more suited to our time. If you haven’t read it, you should.

    I think we often stumble in our creative endeavours because our expectations are high. We get hung up on the jargon. We get hung up on what content should do when what we should really only be focusing on is the “why” behind the content.

    Stories versus Case Studies

    Traditional stories are often replaced in marketing by case studies. I think people want more than case studies. People are smarter than case studies give them credit for. Both terms are too clean. Too arid. Case. Studies. Argh! “Do you want me to tell you a case study?” Probably not. A story on the other hand contains the potential for magic. Honestly, that’s what we are looking for when we open any door, purchase any product, watch any show, go on any date. We are looking for something that will change our life.

    We buy things because we expect them to solve a problem. It’s always that. If we are honest with ourselves. Think about the last time you were unhappy. You ate, you shopped, possibly you took someone home from a bar for the night. No one ever showed you a case study, and if they had you probably wouldn’t have been interested in reading it.

    Okay, I mean if you look at the Netflix numbers that will tell you that people want stories over case studies.

    A Good Story is Worth its Weight in Case Studies

    Story telling is an integral part of all marketing. From free samples to the design of wine labels. Even those six-second bumper ads you see on YouTube. Stories get our juices flowing. They aren’t called teasers for nothing. Stories are empathetic. They connect us to the values and traditions of a given product. People don’t want facts – they want to be delighted!

    Honestly, do you go to Starbucks for their great coffee? Do Nikes really make you a better basketball player? Did you really meet your wife or husband after fighting off hundreds of salivating people running after you in the street the day you wore that perfume or cologne? I don’t think so. You do but … that’s the important thing.

    Whether it be learning, selling, or simply getting the kids to sleep at night, story telling is one of the most effective and oldest ways we share information, continue traditions, and connect with life’s intangibles. Like Don Draper said – What you call love was invented by guys like me, to sell nylons.

    Check out the podcast right here:

    Storytelling forges connections among people, and between people and ideas. Stories convey the culture, history, and values that unite people. When it comes to our countries, our communities, and our families, we understand intuitively that the stories we hold in common are an important part of the ties that bind.


    — Bridget Willard —

    Launch With Words is a podcast that supplements the WordPress Plugin of the same name. As small business owners, we sometimes forget how important it is to focus on the content on our websites. What’s content? Well, it’s the words. So, let’s talk about business marketing that centers around words. Get the Launch With Words Plugin for free on WordPress: