A few days ago, I shared a checklist for creating a marketing story that hooks readers and holds them long enough for you to show the benefits of your product. The first two points were that your story should be unique and interesting.

Today, Troy White posted an article over at The Makepeace Total Package that showed how small changes can skyrocket sales by making your story more captivating:

A young couple from Canada had developed a very healthy cereal with a combination of chia, hulled hemp seeds, buckwheat, apples, cranberries, raisins and cinnamon.


They originally called their cereal HapiFoods ... As soon as people started receiving and trying their cereal, they noticed a trend that changed everything.

" ... people were calling and saying, "˜Holy crap, this is great"˜" ... [one of the partners] picked up on this and made a quick decision ... "let's change the name to Holy Crap for the summer and see what happens".

"We put it online and the first day it was Holy Crap, I sold over 100 bags,"...

1,000% increase in sales with changing the name.

And that was just the beginning of the story. They went on to grow so fast that at one point, they turned down an opportunity to appear on the Today Show, because they wouldn't have been able ramp up production fast enough to meet the demand.

The new name for their cereal was certainly unique and attention getting. Why would anybody want to eat "Holy Crap"? Are the ingredients harvested near the outhouse of the gods on Mount Olympus?

Hearing the name would certainly make you wonder what interesting story might be behind it. And the story would make you want to taste it for yourself.

Product names and catchy headlines are one way to grab attention and get people reading your story. Graphics are another. I'll illustrate with examples that speak to some of the other items on my checklist: a challenge and a specific, important goal that the customer can relate to.

Reader Comment:
Gary said:
Very straight-forward and enlightening Antone, Your messages are always informative. I'll continue taking great notes.
(join the conversation below)

For the last few months, I've been telling the story of how using SEO Content Factory has helped me go from twice-a-month blogger to five-times-a-week (how many bloggers have the same challenge of posting frequently?)

Notice how much quicker, easier, and more compelling is it to communicate this with an image:

I've also talked about how traffic to my blog has more than doubled (an important goal that any blogger can relate to). Again, a picture grabs attention better, and communicates the story faster and more powerfully:

With images, remember that their power comes largely from simplicity, and ensuring that they emphasize the information that's most likely to interest your customers. My first image above falls a little short on simplicity. The second image could hardly be simpler, but still drives the point home perfectly.

I hope these examples have sparked some ideas for how you might make your own marketing stories more captivating and compelling. Share your suggestions in the comments below.

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