Using storytelling on product pages

Sue and John have a little baby. His name is Jack. Jack is 10 weeks old and cries a lot. Sue and John don’t know how to stop Jack’s crying. They get very nervous of his crying, they sleep poorly, they are agitated, tired and scared. One day, a good friend gives them a present. It is a baby carrier and it’s supposed to help calm their baby. John decides to give the baby carrier a try. Jack loves the carrier. He instantly relaxes, stops crying and falls asleep. From that moment on, Sue and John carried Jack in their baby carrier all day long.

Storytelling is a great strategy to use on your product pages. But why is storytelling such an effective tool to use on your product pages? And how could you use storytelling on your own e-commerce site yourself? In this blog post, I’ll explain why storytelling is effective on product and sales pages. I will also share some tips on how you could use storytelling on your product pages.

You’ll probably use storytelling without knowing it

Most of you will already be using storytelling on their product pages. You just don’t realize it yet. It’s actually rather hard to write product pages without telling a story. In your copy, you’ll probably already are describing why your product is so very awesome. Most of you will use examples to do that. Examples are stories.

You’ll probably have some reviews or testimonials on your site as well. These are stories too. Maybe you did not think about these things as stories, but that’s what they are. Treating examples, cases, reviews, and testimonials as little stories will help you improve your product pages for sure. Let’s look at some tips on how to effectively use storytelling on your product pages.

Why is storytelling such an effective strategy to use on product pages?

Show, don’t tell…

Storytelling is effective in product pages because it allows you to show people why your product is so very awesome, instead of just telling them that. I could tell you all about our fantastic SEO courses (they truly are amazing), but it would be much more convincing if I showed you why they are amazing.

A story about a client that did not understand SEO at first and made some major improvements (and a lot of money) would be much more convincing, than me telling you about it. A baby carrier company could tell you about their product and how it soothes and relaxes babies, but the story of baby Jack from the intro of this post is probably more convincing.

Focus on the problem instead of the product

Stories need a problem and focussing on the problem usually results in great sales copy. Remember the four elements of a good story I wrote about in my previous post? For a good story, you’ll need a character, a problem, action, and a solution. If you use stories on your product pages, you’ll automatically shift away from your product to the problem and the solution your product offers. Your sales copy will benefit from that!

How to use storytelling on product pages?

Stories are a great way to convince people to buy your product. Let’s look at three simple ways to use storytelling on your product pages.

Reviews and testimonials are little stories

Every review, every testimonial is a little story. You probably know that testimonials increase trust. Real customers, share real experiences. Those experiences increase trust.  

Treating testimonials and reviews as stories will allow you to make them more powerful! A good story requires a character, a problem, action, and a solution. If you ask people to write testimonials, ask them to use the four elements as well. That way, testimonials will read as little stories.

Ask people to tell a little bit about themselves. Make them human; make sure that people can relate to this person. A good story also needs a problem. Ask people to talk about their situation before using your product. Ask them why they purchased your product (that’s the action in the story) and how their situation changed after they started using your product (the solution).

Collect user stories

Collect success stories! You can ask people to write testimonials, but you can also ask for input and write the stories yourself.

Ask your customers to share their experiences with your products. Ask them how the product improved their lives. Use that feedback of your customers to write little stories. Add photos and details of these persons to show your audience that these are real people. Pictures or even video of people actually using your product would be even more impressive. Your customers’ success stories are a great way to show new users why your product is so very awesome.

The introduction of this blog post is an example of a short user story. Sue and John had a problem: Jack, their baby, wouldn’t stop crying. They tried a product: the baby carrier, and it solved their problem.

Write example stories

Explaining what your product does can be rather challenging. Often, this type of content can be a bit dry. Explaining all the features of the Yoast SEO plugin does not necessarily make for compelling copy. Using an example story could clarify a lot.

In an example story you could, for instance, introduce a persona that is facing a problem. Perhaps the persona wants to get more traffic to her site but does not know where to start. In the story, you’ll explain how your product solved the problem of the persona in your story. We could highlight our most important features of Yoast SEO in the story and show a remarkable increase in traffic after the persona started using these features. Another cool way to do this is by using Web Stories, a short series of images or other content that help you tell a story in a visual way.

Conclusion on storytelling and product pages

Stories are a great way to convince people to buy a product. Using stories will automatically shift the focus of your copy away from your product to the problem and your audience. That’s a good thing; it’ll make your sales copy much more engaging!

Stories are particularly powerful if people can relate to the characters in your stories. Always make sure your stories on your product pages are about real people. Add details to make the stories more real and lively. That’ll make it easier for people to relate to the characters in your stories. Add photos and videos to make the stories even more real.

In the final post in this series about storytelling, I’ll discuss why storytelling is good for SEO.

Read more: SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide »

Coming up next!

9 Responses to Using storytelling on product pages

  1. Rada Mocean
    Rada Mocean  • 5 years ago

    I love the Pixar technique for storytelling! I’ve implemented it many, many times as a fundraiser when working on capital campaigns and various philanthropic projects.

  2. shlok
    shlok  • 5 years ago

    Yes, you are right Stories are a great way to convince people to buy a product. But some time people don’t like to read long story can you tell me how to write and use storytelling on selling a product.

  3. Doug
    Doug  • 5 years ago

    I think storytelling can be similar to a sales man in a physical store who is explaining about all the features and for whom this can be suitable for, people are tend to buy easily from physical store because sales man there explains about the product in a story telling format.

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 5 years ago

      That’s a great comparison, Doug!

  4. Access Queens
    Access Queens  • 5 years ago

    Yoast is one of the most amazing plugin that I’ve ever used.

  5. Ajeet Singh Rawat
    Ajeet Singh Rawat  • 5 years ago

    Nice strategy! Seriously storytelling on product pages is an important part. the information you shared in this blog is so useful. Thanks For sharing this.

  6. Master Kamal
    Master Kamal  • 5 years ago

    Thank You for sharing such helpful information about story telling. It will be helpful. Keep sharing your thoughts.

  7. Al Nelson
    Al Nelson  • 5 years ago

    Thank you for this great article on storytelling to increase sales. You also made me think. By reading this I thought of a way to encourage customers to consider other similar products on our site as well which, of course, would lower the bounce rate. One of the most frequently asked questions we get on the phone is “Which of our lace curtains are the most popular?”. I have surveyed our past sales to find out. I am going to put a link to our “10 most popular lace curtain designs” on each product page to a page listing the top ten which in turn will have a link to each of the ten designs. I can’t help thinking this will work.

  8. Flyttebyrå Oslo
    Flyttebyrå Oslo  • 5 years ago

    Nice article. How important is cornerstone text for google ranking?