Dec 29, 201410:02 AMIt's All About Content
with Thomas Marks
Why every good website should tell a story
(page 1 of 2)
“Every picture tells a story, don’t it?” Rod Stewart sang it, but bad grammar aside, I think every website better tell a story, shouldn’t it? In fact, when I write websites, I compartmentalize my stories into two groups — the first being the sales story and the second being the proof-point story.
For the sales story, I always think in terms of the sales motion, which is the process from introduction to close. If I look at the company’s product and services and see that there are repeat, incremental, and value-added sales opportunities, then I’ll probably try to tell a sales story along the lines of “the relationship close.” I’ll write my copy to build trust by offering insights into the challenges of the market space. In sales, no matter how hard you try to deliver something of value, if your prospect doesn’t like you, he or she probably won’t buy from you. It doesn’t matter if you’re communicating via a webpage or in a boardroom.
There are many types of sales closes, from the “Columbo” and “puppy dog” closes all the way to the “assumptive” and “backwards” closes. Some work better online than others, but the point is, sometimes if you hit a dead end with your Web text, you can try reformatting it into sales closes.
Proof-point stories build trust in a different way: They remove the company from the sales equation and let someone else do the selling. I try to use four different proof-point copy techniques in my Web writing: