Storytelling is essential for forging relationships with your audience in today’s marketplace. You might understand the need for storytelling conceptually, but in terms of execution…well, you’re stuck at “once upon a time”. Starting is actually the hardest part for any writer whether they’re an old pro or a casual storyteller. Use this checklist of questions to ask yourself to find and to inspire your story.
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how to find your brand's story
Happy Friday Fix Day, fellow content marketers! Hopefully you’ve had a great week and a few laughs to boot; if not, we’ve got it on good authority that injecting your content marketing with humor can do your business some serious good. We also talk about when and why you should go global, how to think about content marketing in 2016, digital storytelling at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as tools and tips of the trade (such as what questions to ask to tell your story). So, grab an extra-large latte (because why not?) and kick back because it’s time to get your Friday Fix on.
As one who loves to laugh, I think we all want to be funny…not like a dad joke at Thanksgiving “funny” but genuinely funny. This is something that Travis Wright who, among many things is also a stand-up comedian, and I agree on. In this article, Jennifer Taylor interviews Wright and explores the role of comedy –and comedians—in content marketing. They cover everything from when humor is appropriate to how to amend a faux pas when humor goes wrong (how could you betray us like this, humor!).
There’s a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you’re approaching content marketing with the same mindset year after year and expecting results that you’re not getting, then well, you’re not insane, but you do need Andrew Schulkind’s article, which suggests new ways for thinking about content marketing. These include digging into your niche, really understanding your customer, and focusing on quality, not quantity (to name a few mindsets).
Going global has come up before in past Friday Fixes, but this week, Ruben Sanchez revisits the discussion with new insight as well as new research that points out that as many as 64% of global companies don’t have a global content strategy (eek!). What a global strategy does for your organization, as Ruben tells it, is it protects the business from disruption, and it reflects success (43% of top-performing teams have a global strategy in place). So, I guess what he’s saying is that there’s no time like the present to start thinking outside of the box and to instead start thinking around the world (or at least figure out when you’ll be ready to think round).
It’s a pretty exciting week for digital storytelling; this week, thanks to CEO of VMA Media Rick Parkhill. This week, digital storytelling will have representation at the Sundance Film Festival. In this article, James Cooper interviews Parkhill and gets his insight on everything from the mission of digital storytelling to its evolution to what marketers and agency executives are looking for (and more).
I love the quote at the beginning of Yoav Vilner’s article: “Promoting irrelevant content to your customer base is as useless as bringing a knife to a gunfight.” (Can I see that? Can someone set that up?) But seriously, per Yoav, there are four ways that winning companies are employing content marketing methods. They’re leveraging influencers; producing engaging, fluid digital stories; focusing on customer experience; and creating stories and content driven by the customer’s journey (this is a highly-intuitive step, so read Yoav’s article to fully grasp what he’s saying).
If you’re a fan of the Friday Fix, then you know we’ve been promoting having a content strategy since the Fix’s inception. In this piece, Fenja Villeumier provides not only additional insight (like that the challenge is now a focused, target-aimed strategy) but also an in-depth analysis and review of exactly how the classic Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Matrix can be customized to ensure long-term content marketing success.
There are times when something is presented in such a way that you have an epiphany and suddenly, so much more clarity. I find that Rebecca Lieb’s article on the three types of content marketing is one of those things. We talk about content marketing, storytelling, various components, strategies, ROI…the list goes on, but we don’t always talk about underlining the purpose of the content. In this piece, Rebecca breaks down the nuts and bolts for the three types of content marketing: content that entertains; content that informs / educates; and content that provides tools / resources.
I’m sorry, did you say ad blocking, author, Inti Tam? Take my money! I’m kidding…I don’t have any money, but seriously, as one who’s highly annoyed by popups, I’m all for being seduced into a company’s loyalty via content marketing. Of course, the prevalence of ad blocking as described by Tam means employing smart tactics for keeping the audience reading. Tam advises both breaking long content into “bite-sized” posts and embedding visual elements that tell the story.
In this piece, Ryan Young reveals that 64% of marketing professionals intend to amp up their content marketing efforts in 2016, which makes sense considering everything we know about content marketing in this day and age. Anyway, as Ryan points out, regardless of what your role is (agency or in-house), you need a well-organized proposal that includes all of the right bits and pieces.
That’s right folks, it’s 2016…time to tell great stories versus those mediocre yarns of 2015. I’m kidding. In this piece, Samantha Page talks about her experience as a storyteller and an editor and explains the little bit of insight that’s propelled her career, which is that “a great story will stay with your reader longer than any trend you’ll ever cover.” That’s something we’re all banking on, right? But how are we doing it? Before looking at content moments and the art of storytelling, Samantha revisits John Lewis’ Man on the Moon because it was that good and it fully exemplifies her point.
So, what’s your story? This is more than a pick-up line from the ‘80s, it’s something you should ask yourself about your organization. It’s easy to look at dynamic, inspiration stories and to conclude that you either don’t have one or that yours is boring, but the reality is that everyone has a story and yours is probably better than you think (especially if you tell it right). Hence, we’re bringing in the pros. This week, we pose five questions that can help you discover your story and why it’s special.
Amy Delcambre is a freelance content and travel writer from Mobile, Alabama with a Master's in Creative Writing. When she's not painting the page with nouns, verbs, and adverbs, she's slaying grammar beasts as a freelance editor and saving the world one sentence fragment at a time teaching university writing classes. In her free time, Amy enjoys cooking, traveling, and testing which plant species best survive prolonged neglect.
Connect with Amy: LinkedIn
What’s your story? This question may sound simple, but clients often have a hard time discovering and crafting the story that they want to share with their audience. Lucky for them, we’re here to guide them along the way, while proving to them that they do, indeed, have a story to tell. In fact, we all have countless stories to tell, and finding those stories is the key to evoking emotion and pulling your audience in. Sometimes, finding your story is as simple as asking yourself the right questions, in regards to your business or organization. So, while I have your attention, let’s talk about some of these questions and how they can help you find your story.
Who founded your company, and why?
Every story has a beginning, and so does your company. The foundation that your company was built on is a huge part of your story and what makes it unique. Allow yourself to travel back in time and get in touch with the story of your company’s beginning, and ask yourself, “How can I share this story with our audience?” If you don’t have the answer, we certainly do. There are so many micro-stories within a company’s beginning –
· Sources of inspiration for a company’s founder
· Obstacles of a company’s growth and success
· The story of a company’s first employee
What sets your brand apart from others?
In other words, what makes your brand unique? Take a good look at the competition in your area and ask yourself, “How are we different?” In order to set yourself apart from other businesses in your area, you have to bring something unique to the table. Once you figure out the answer to that question, share that story with your audience in a creative way.
What are the causes that your business supports?
In what ways does your business support and/or give back to the community? This alone tells a story about your business – it is part of the voice of your brand and it brings to light the causes that your business is passionate about.
· Tell a story about a recent volunteer opportunity that you participated in
· Tell a story about collaboration projects with local non-profit organizations
· Tell the story of a local child or family who is benefitting from a charity that your business supports
What is one thing that you want your audience to know about your business?
Storytelling is about thinking outside the box of standard marketing tactics – it’s about taking your business’s product or service out of the equation and making an emotional connection with your audience. So, outside of a specific product or service, what can your business offer to its audience? Maybe yours is a story of loyalty or compassion, or maybe it’s one of laughter. Regardless, when you evoke an emotional response from your audience, it will become forever linked to your brand.
What motivates your team to go to work each day?
What is the driving force behind your team’s will to wake up and go to work each day? There is a passion that lies behind the startup of a business, and that passion lays the foundation for its growth and sustainability. What is the mark that your business wants to make on this world (or your audience)? There is a powerful story behind the answer to those questions, and we can help you craft it.
Storytelling is NOT about your company
Contrary to popular belief, brand storytelling is not about your company. It is ultimately about your clients and the value that they get when engaging with your business. The most powerful brand stories are the ones that prioritize customers as the stars. You should think of your company as a supporting character in the stories that you tell. Have you found your story?
Are you ready to start telling your story? Reach out to us at The Storyteller Agency. Call us at 850.267.0931 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help you craft your brand's story and we have the resources necessary to allow you to share it via a multitude of creative outlets.