How stories add emotional appeal to your AI-assisted copy and content.

I use GPT-4 every day. I use it to brainstorm ideas, research topics, come up with content suggestions, and to outline longer-form content.

Once I’m done researching and outlining with GPT-4, I open up Nick-4 and look for ways to add Emotional Intelligence to whatever I’m writing. (Yup, Nick-4 is me.)

In other words, I’ll never just start writing based on the output of GPT-4 alone.

AI tools are great for improving our productivity, but they’re not good at genuine empathy, cultural sensitivity, or nuanced emotions.

They’re not human.

One of the best ways to add the human touch is to tell a story or two.

Here are just three of many types of story you can add to your copy and content.

Which ones you choose will depend on the business you’re writing for, and their audience.

Personal anecdotes

If you’re a freelancer or a small business founder, you can use your own stories to add authenticity to your messaging.

It could be an origin story, talking about how you came to launch the business, and the struggles you went through during the early years.

Or it could be about how you overcame difficulties and challenges as your business grew.

This is the Hero’s Journey story format. You have a goal, and struggle to achieve it. Then help arrives in an unexpected form. (Hello Yoda!) In your case that help may be one of the products or services you’re selling.

In the end, you prevail.

This kind of story is deeply personal, very engaging, and way beyond the capabilities of an AI to create.

User-generated stories

This is when you invite your audience to submit their own stories. You’ll want these stories to be about their experiences with your products or services.

A classic example of this is when a customer of Tilley wrote to the company and shared the story of how he was on safari when an elephant ate his Tilley Hat. Time passed, and the hat came out the other end of the elephant. After some serious washing, it turns out the hat was as good as new.

Wow! A powerful product story!

User-generated stories add tremendous credibility to a business. They prove that the company or publisher is actively listening and sharing. And active listening is a cornerstone of Emotional Intelligence.

Again, this is all beyond the capabilities of tools like ChatGPT.

Hypothetical scenarios

These are stories that evoke the imagination of your audience, in support of your products or services.

Let’s say – sticking with hats – I have a company selling hats with built-in mosquito nets. The net part can fold away when not needed, but drop down and tuck into your clothing when you encounter mosquitos.

As a writer I can now create a hypothetical scenario or story.

“Imagine you’re hiking through the woods, forgot to put on any mosquito repellent, when you suddenly encounter a huge swarm of mosquitos. Yikes!”

By evoking the reader’s imagination, I’m getting them to create their own stories, in their own minds.

The more realistic and credible the what-if scenarios you create, the more powerful they’ll be. And, once again, this is beyond what AI can reasonably achieve.

Wrapping up…

Stories are a great way to tap into people’s emotions. And by applying a high level of emotional intelligence, you’ll create stories that truly engage your readers and convert more of them into customers.

The future belongs to writers and copywriters who combine AI and Emotional Intelligence. And using stories is a powerful way to achieve this combination.

This is the topic and promise of my new course, Futureproof Copywriting. Check it out, and you’ll see what I mean.

Futureproof copywriting course

3 thoughts on “How stories add emotional appeal to your AI-assisted copy and content.”

  1. Hi Nick,
    Haven’t visited for awhile. Love the layout. Very clean and easy to follow.
    In a world where “everything has been written”, stories and anecdotes the reader can relate to are a definite must.
    They are more fun to write too.
    All the Best

  2. Hi Nick!
    The elephant eating the hat is one of those stories that will always stick…not with the elephant, obviously. I’m doing lots of value emails lately and stories are a great way to jump in when I’m not promoting.

  3. Nick, your post about the power of stories clarified your theme beautifully.
    Also, the story of the elephant and the hat made me laugh out loud.
    I doubt AI can do that!


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