Fiddle-dee-dee…the first Friday Fix of February and all during National Storytelling Week! As I’m sure you can guess, this tickles us fifty shades of pink. In the interest of National Storytelling Week, we reveal qualities of a great brand storyteller as well as what content marketers can learn from David Bowie, how humor helps us build emotional connections with audiences, and the importance of selecting the right medium for the message (among many other things). So, get comfy and get ready for story time, Friday Fix-style!
I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t love to laugh; in fact, Taylor Mallory Holland reveals that for 37% of men and 58% of women, it’s a “must-have” in a relationship (I’m definitely one of those women.). If it’s a must-have in a relationship, then one can logically assume that it’s also a must-have in a relationship between individuals and a company with which they form a relationship. In this article, Taylor explores the psychology behind humor and relationship building; the reveals that laughter creates a positive connection, that it’s more memorable, that it’s social, and that it makes brands more relatable. As one who loves humor, comedy, and laughter, I agree with Ms. Holland on all forefronts. So, come on brands, lure me through my funny bone.
Speaking of humor, Eric Su takes a closer look at how (sometimes polarizing) comedic storyteller Tucker Max managed a meteoric $600K in a mere 6 months. After a series of professional setbacks, Max more or less got the ball rolling by being his own brand. Then, after publishing a few humor books, he started channeling his talents into consulting with others wishing to publish. A closer look at some of Max’s strategies like being authentic, being open about some of his mistakes, and how his $600K accidental brainchild, Book in a Box, came to fruition.
Lizzie McQuillan’s article focuses on the importance of ritual in media consumption. Remember when eBooks first came out? It was pretty darn polarizing with some being delighted to go paperless with others like me swearing you could have my paperbacks when you pried them from my cold, dead hands. Consequently, I still feel that way; though, I do have eBooks (mostly just electronic copies of my favorites) and an Audible subscription. There’s just something about a real book…. Well, when it comes to other communication styles and vehicles, the success largely hinges on whether or not they enhance the story and thus the experience.
As we’ve demonstrated in past Fixes, stories are uniquely suited to have powerful emotional impacts on audiences; stories are memorable and connect brands and audiences in ways that traditional advertising (or anything else for that matter) can’t do. In this article, Swati Joshi enumerates the advantages of storytelling concluding with examples of how sharing stories (like those on one’s “About Me” page) has benefited businesses including computing industry giants Apple and Microsoft.
Given the many varied mediums for distributing content, we should realize that not every medium is the best vehicle for every message; however, that adds a layer of critical thinking to the whole communication process, as one must also recognize that “the medium is the message”. In this article, Keith MacKenzie further analyzes how the right medium can improve the right message and the subsequent possibilities.
In today’s consumer market, traditional ads are about as sexy as spam or junk mail. People (myself included) avoid them like the plague; thus, Jonathan Crowl explores the important transition of transforming advertising into content marketing. While some have argued that content is fundamentally the same ad ads (and there are some similarities), the distinction is that quality content, unlike ads, is something consumers don’t want to avoid. So, check out this read to see how you can create quality content that folks won’t want to avoid.
The beginning of 2016 has tragically been distinguished by the untimely deaths of many talented musicians and actors including the notorious David Bowie. A man of as many talents as he had Lycra pants, Bowie is one who can actually teach content marketers quiet a lot. Mary Wallace takes an in-depth look at Bowie’s life for some key takeaways, which include: telling stories, embracing change, and managing one’s business.
As a child, I drove my straight-forward father insane with the perpetual need to question why about everything. Why vacuum the rug in straight lines? Why clean my room if I’m going to take it out again later? To my teachers, why do we need to know this? (Sorry math teachers, I’m still trying to find a practical application for trigonometry as a writer, and I’m sure I’d be much smarter if the Pythagorean Theorem and I were BFFs, but…). Anyway, as it turns out, being inquisitive has many benefits as Nicole Brown extrapolates on in this piece. Relative to content marketing, Nicola discusses the question-behavior effect, what cognitive processes occur when we ask questions, and how questions can help make the most of a content strategy.
Just like traditional advertising changed shape and form over the years, content marketing has also changed shape since its inception. The thing about content marketing is that you have to be current to be effective. Nicole Fallon Taylor’s article looks at some of the major shifts, which helps content marketers determine if they’re with the times. Five things Nicole highlights are: the shift from text to visual, personalizing the experience, quality over quantity (no, really), relatable rather than rigidly informative, and data-driven versus trial-and-error.
Lead nurturing has been part of the rhetoric as of the start of 2016, and in this article, Dean Keipert explores how to tell a cohesive, continuous story in an e-mail marketing strategy. Most importantly, Dean explains is that there’s a beginning, middle, and end. He then begs the question as to how one nurtures leads along the way highlighting that it depends on where the audience is engaged in the story as to how they’re “nurtured.”
While not everyone is a natural storyteller, it’s possible to become a great storyteller. The principles of excellent storytelling directly translate into great brand storytelling. You want to write stories that audiences will remember…that will help them escape. Read amazing stories and look for what works. We find that great stories will transport the audience into the story’s character and that they’ll take an emotional journey. They’ll be left with something valuable and will be able to relate to the story. This piece talks about how to accomplish those goals. One hint is to be able to answer those questions about the story (ex: what’s my audience relating to in this story?).
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.
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