Jump for joy, it’s Friday! As we say around here, if it’s Friday, Fix it! Welcome to the Friday Fix! This week, we explore narrative storytelling strategies that can make your content more emotionally appealing and compelling than ever before. We tackle 10 types of conflict, how Snapchats “short” stories are the bee’s knees, and why grandma would make a great star for your brand’s video. There’s lots more covered as well, so grab a cup of coffee, kick back, and dig in!
Meg Cannistra is right on the money when she says that content marketer’s jobs are similar to filmmakers and that it’s useful to be able to leverage Hollywood filmmakers’ narrative techniques in brand storytelling. The requisite ingredients are structure, setting, voice, theme, and tone; here, Meg discusses to what measure and recalls some Hollywood hits to illustrate how best to leverage them.
Call it conflict; call it tension; call it what you must, but all good storytellers know that without conflict, your story doesn’t have anything to hook and hold the reader. So, if coming up with a hook is your downfall or you just want a little inspiration, check out Keith MacKenzie’s piece for 10 types of conflict. Think person versus fate, person versus person, person versus society, person versus technology…you get the idea, now, see how they work in action.
So, you’ve reached the point that it’s time to use a content marketing platform (CMP), but there are a ton of them out there and you’re not sure how to vet them to pick the right one (because yes, there are better choices for your brand than others). Enter Jonathan Crowl’s guide of five steps you should take before settling on a CMP. He advises you assess your workflow, sell marketers on a story-centric outlook, and more before picking a CMP. Check out the article for the details and the other three steps.
There are lots of things that Snapchat does right as highlighted by Sarah Jones in this article. They enable short bursts of content in an intimate and personable fashion, which opens the door for very “real” story sharing moments. In this piece, Sarah looks at how fashion icons Burberry and Gucci have used Snapchat for short stories (short as in their only available for 24 hours) that give inside access into the brands.
It’s not as catchy as “video killed the radio star”, but the question posited by Luc Benyon in the title of this article is one worth asking. Luc starts by bringing up the dress (you know, #thedress) as a point of reference. In this article, Luc focuses on exploring how the Internet and shared content have played a role in creating shared experiences and in “flattening” the world culturally. Just as nothing is black and white (or should I say black and blue or gold and white?), this phenomenon isn’t inherently good or bad; it’s interesting and is a shift worth watching.
Andrew C. Wheeler starts this article with a nod to storytelling (and then a shoulder shrug in that it’s not that easy for everyone) before exploring something else storytellers have to decide upon: publish on a stand-alone destination or publish to the brand’s site? Decisions…decisions. To help you make said decision, Andrew evaluates the pros and cons of each. Once you’ve got that figured out, all you have to do is nail storytelling (luckily, some of our pundits this week have advice for that).
In this piece, Patricia Odell brings us the wisdom of head of creative business partnerships at Google, Seth Baron. The four best practices Seth highlights are those that help your content overcome digital distractors; thus, it’s no surprise that Seth leads with great stories that help you form emotional connections (how about that!). Check out the article for what else Seth advises to win the Internet (okay, that might be stretching it since “the dress” already did that, but you get the idea).
Ooh, this is a tough one, isn’t it…making sponsored content trustworthy because usually when the audience things that content is paid for, they get skeptical. Of course, the reality is that a bulk if content is sponsored; however, there are a few strategies highlighted in this article by Amy Callahan that you can apply that will help your audience view you as genuine, credible, and trustworthy.
Though small business can’t always play on the same level as their larger counterparts, they can still apply some of the same strategies that work for the bigger fish. Here, Cindy Bates looks at five things that content storytellers need to do that are critical for marketing success. Be goal oriented, know your audience, and be consistent are three of the five tips; it just goes to show that size doesn’t matter when it comes to great storytelling practices.
There’s a reason we say that a picture is worth a thousand words…it’s because images do the work of a thousand words (sometimes more). Hence, picking the right images is a pretty big deal. Ellen Desmarais explores five strategies for picking the right pic. Find something that matches your mood, that catches the right feeling, and that isn’t cheesy for starters. What else? Check out Ellen’s article for image insight.
Okay, so you know that video is key for your content marketing strategy, but you’re drawing a blank on what to do in your video…what do you do? As you know, a critical feature of content marketing is forming an audience connection (read, you want to make them feel something), which is what Kathryn Jones taps into in this piece on why pets, babies, and grandparents are natural stars for your brand’s video.
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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