Have you ever wondered how to use storytelling in a commercial setting? It seems like the non-profits of the world and do-gooders have an easy time getting their message across, while the rest of us struggle to craft authentic stories that don’t seem sleazy or contrived.
The one thing every business seeks is profits, and consumers are smart enough to realize this. The trick is telling stories in all the right ways and in all the right places. And one of the best places to tell stories is on the product pages on your site. It’s prime real estate for emotionally connecting with a customer, and nowadays it’s possible to customize Shopify stores to take the customer on a feel-good journey that ends with your sleek checkout.
In this post, I’ll show you seven different ways to start a story. For consistency and clarity, the example will be about a product for pet owners that helps remind them to feed the dog at the appropriate times. Use your imagination, but in my mind, it’s an alarm pod one can stick on the fridge. Maybe something like the one below…
1. Interesting Question Hook
Example: Have you ever fed your dog multiple times a day?
Your dog might be happy, but the vet’s not going to be smiling when poochy puts on the pounds. THEN start to introduce your product….
2. Strong Statement/ Declaration Hook
Example: Dog owners who use this “alarm pod for dogs” are 10X better at taking care of their dog. Here’s why.
Continue the story of what a busy pet parents day looks like… and why this product is so useful.
3. Fact/Statistic Hook
Example: At least ⅔ of pet parents say they’ve accidentally overfed their dogs.
The fact is, overfeeding can lead to dogs with heart disease and many other health issues. Again continue to introduce the product while weaving the tale of irresponsible owners.
4. Metaphor/Simile Hook
An alarm pod for dogs is the superpower every busy pet parent needs.
An alarm pod for dogs is like an extra brain that all busy pet parents need!
This one is self-explanatory, but using a simile or metaphor helps make boring concepts into a vivid and exciting experience.
5. Story/Anecdotal Hook
We woke up that day to a smell I’ll never forget. Our old dog had an accident right in the middle of our bedroom. The poo-apocalypse was the result of too much food and fido just couldn’t handle it. But within days of using the “Dog Alarm Pod” – he never had tummy trouble again. Who would have thought it was all because we were feeding him too much.
The story hook is longer than the other examples and may not work for every product or brand. But good stories even if they’re not true could be really entertaining especially if used across your entire store. Customers are held captive on your product pages and become emotionally invested in the product you’re selling. An amazing way to use this story hook is to gather UGC (User-generated content – aka real stories from customers and use them on your product pages!!
6. Description Hook
He curled up on the couch with a content smile on his sleepy face. The doggy alarm pod on the fridge had once again helped us feed fido at the perfect times.
In this type of hook, you describe a vivid scene in a way that draws your readers into your writing. A good description hook will keep your reader interested in what follows.
7. Quotatation Hook
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” Roger a Caras
A quotation hook is when a quote is used and explained that has relevance to the topic at hand. It’s a nice and interesting way to start a product description and creates a connection between the brand and the customer.
You are now ready to hook your customers with perfect story intros!
If you’ve only been focusing on product features, or been doing the old “ Have you been searching for a product to help you do X? You can end your search now intro – please STOP. Instead, try out any one of these seven storytelling hooks when you next write a product description. Alternatively, hire my team to take your brand storytelling to the next level.