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For B2B Marketers, Building Relationships Trumps Blanket Approach - Story & Marketing

For B2B Marketers, Building Relationships Trumps Blanket Approach - Story & Marketing | Current Updates | Scoop.it
Content marketing is moving up the chain in importance for marketers, and that holds especially true for those in the B2B space.

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Karen Dietz's curator insight, January 16, 2013 12:15 PM

OK -- here's another back-end approach to why storytelling is critical in business2business (B2B) sales and where companies can leverage stories for maximum value.


Yes, we know that sharing stories is the best process a business can use for creating relationships.


This study show how to use those stories (see the second chart):

Creating content based on specific business needs and solutions comes out on top. 74% of respondents say they create content based on these. So focus your storytelling here!


The rest of the chart is just as helpful. Here are a few:

  1. Craft your stories specific to industries or company types you are targeting.
  2. Create product descriptions in the form of stories.
  3. Develop buyer personas and then tailor your stories to them.


The third chart explains the respondents long-term online marketing strategy -- and this mirrors the points above.


Now here is the kicker: over 50% of B2B marketers said they didn't really know who they were targeting, or who they could sell to. LOL -- some days I feel the same! If you find yourself in that place, you are in good company. 


The take away is to keep figuring these 2 pieces out as you fine-tune your marketing and your stories -- they do inform each other.


Overall, there is great information here to help you market better with stories in 2013.


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling atwww.scoop.it/t/just-story-it

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Consumer Storytelling on Facebook: An Untapped Branding Opportunity

Consumer Storytelling on Facebook: An Untapped Branding Opportunity | Current Updates | Scoop.it
Do people still care about longer-form blog posts and narratives to tell stories in the era of Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter? The answer is yes.

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Karen Dietz's curator insight, December 21, 2012 6:10 PM

Hooray! Social media storytelling is not limited to 140 characters or short quips. 


This article discusses how popular 1,000+ word stories are on Facebook and how important the stories your customers share will be in 2013.


Story on!


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling atwww.scoop.it/t/just-story-it

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How to Keep Your Audience Interested by Writing Long-Term Story Arcs

How to Keep Your Audience Interested by Writing Long-Term Story Arcs | Current Updates | Scoop.it
You know it, I know it, and even if you're as cynical as I am about shiny marketing fads, you probably realize that our lives ultimately revolve around stor

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Karen Dietz's curator insight, December 16, 2012 7:36 PM

This article goes hand-in-hand with another post I curated a few days about about sequencing content.


The author here, Georgina Laidlaw, talks about creating long-term story arcs for your content.


Yes! Great idea! Basically, Laidlaw talks about how a story arc works, and then how to generate content along a story arc over a period of time. Think a long period of time.


She also gives plenty of examples and links to other articles. So there are lots of resources here to dig into.


Laidlaw also mentions how to leverage this kind of content with cross-promotion and spin-offs -- which is different from sequencing stories. Between the two articles I've curated there is lots of food for thought.


As we all get ready for 2013, planning your content around long-term story arcs, along with sequencing your stories will help drive engagement.

Margaret Doyle's curator insight, December 17, 2012 5:45 PM

I've been telling my clients this for a long time, nicely explained here why the long story format works in digital media and why it's important to invest in it. 

Karen Dietz's comment, January 16, 2013 1:15 PM
I agree Margaret! Long form storytelling definitely has a place in the marketing/storytelling mix. My apologies for not responding sooner! I didn't receive a notice about your comment. Have a great day.
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What kinds of local stories drive engagement? The results of an NPR Facebook experiment

What kinds of local stories drive engagement? The results of an NPR Facebook experiment | Current Updates | Scoop.it
Not every story has the same capacity to connect with an audience on social media. Enter the land of Topical Buzzers, Curiosity Stimulators, and Feel-Good Smilers.

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Karen Dietz's curator insight, December 14, 2012 5:27 PM

If part of your branding is connected to your local place, then are there additional kinds of stories you should be adding to your biz story mix?


Absoslutely! And here's the list based on an National Public Radio Facebook experiment. 


Now this may not be the most sophisticated research ever conducted, but frankly, we need all the help we can get generating ideas for stories for blogs, articles, presentations, and the like. So I'll take ideas where I can get them!


And before we go much further, let's ask this question: who wouldn't benefit from stories about your local geographic area into the mix???


My answer? no one. That means everyone could benefit from this post!


So can you add stories that explain more about your 'place'? How about 'curiosity stimulators' regarding your location? Or 'topical buzzers'?


There are 9 types of stories explained here in this article and I know you will get ideas from reading it.


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling atwww.scoop.it/t/just-story-it

Jeff Domansky's curator insight, December 14, 2012 9:19 PM

Karen Dietz shares in excellent analysis and the NPR experiment is well worth reading.

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7 Ways to Fascinate Your Readers and Build a Hugely Loyal Following

7 Ways to Fascinate Your Readers and Build a Hugely Loyal Following | Current Updates | Scoop.it

Are you spellbinding?
Let’s be honest.
It’s a huuuuge challenge.
Probably the biggest challenge each blogger faces.


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Hélène Brevet's comment, December 10, 2012 10:03 AM
Very insightful. Thanks for sharing Karen!
Karen Dietz's comment, December 11, 2012 12:39 PM
My pleasure Helene and glad you liked it! Have an awesome week :)
Markose Abraham's curator insight, December 11, 2012 7:54 PM

Loyal following required

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Visual Storytelling Can Bring Out a Company’s Humanity

Visual Storytelling Can Bring Out a Company’s Humanity | Current Updates | Scoop.it

In any given sector, the sites all look the same. As a result, a little courage and showing your humanity can actually help to differentiate your company.


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Product Storytelling – Don’t Forget the Context « A Random Jog

Product Storytelling – Don’t Forget the Context « A Random Jog | Current Updates | Scoop.it

"When launching a new product, it is important that customers understand what problems your product is solving. You don’t have time to tell a long story so you need to make sure your message is effective in creating a desire to learn more. This is where context can help. If you are trying to tell a story about your product, context is the background information that helps the scene make sense. Without this context, you leave it up to the customer to figure it out on their own."


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Karen Dietz's curator insight, November 28, 2012 6:17 PM

Truer words couldn't be said! The author has great advice for how to create context around a product that allows the business to share its product story more effectively.


And I love that the author, Joshua Duncan uses the latest Microsoft commercial to make his point. I enjoy watching the commercial. But I agree with Joshua -- as a sales piece it doesn't work. And it is certainly not a story.


As you read what Joshua has written, don't forget to click through to his earlier post on how context does work to make a sale. The example he uses is Box.com. You can see context is provided. But I still think Box.com could do better in sharing its story.


Read both and let me know what you think! Do the examples work? Does Box.com really tell it's story? Love to hear your thoughts :)


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it

Laurence Roelants's curator insight, November 29, 2012 3:10 AM

This is almost a tautology - product storytelling  is not conceptual art but is designed to sell....so don't forget the context!

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Five Ways to Be a (Social Media) Clutter-Buster & Better Biz Storyteller

Five Ways to Be a (Social Media) Clutter-Buster & Better Biz Storyteller | Current Updates | Scoop.it

What a great article that is related to business storytelling! Biz storytelling is all about finding and sharing stories that create engagement. The steps below give tips for how to do this: listening, conversations, etc. I particularly like the last point: go offline -- because that is when storytelling REALLY starts happening, and where relationships are cemented.

Thanks to fellow curator Brian Yanish for finding and posting this article! His review is below:

So if you’re not engaging on social media because you think “everyone else is doing it, so why bother,” or you just don’t think people are going to notice your content, that’s a cop out. If you have something interesting to say, then SAY IT. You never know when your tweet, post, blog or video will be exactly what someone was hoping to find on any particular day.

 

Wait. Let’s back this train up.

Before I go further, let me say first that you really have to buy in to the importance of even showing up. I mean, why talk about breaking through clutter if you don’t believe there’s value in adding your 2 cents to social conversations. You have to know who you want to talk to and where they play. What’s your objective and what’s your message? No need to figure out how to get people’s attention if you don’t know WHY you want their attention.

Once you have that all squared away, then by all means, start breaking through and turning heads. Here’s how.

1) Develop a noticeable social presence. This is the bare minimum, but you’d be surprised how many brands and businesses don’t have completed profiles. So here’s the starting point—make your profiles interesting. Social media is fun, so have fun with your profiles! Post funny pictures. Have a sense of humor. And engage. Don’t talk at—talk with. Social media is a two-way street, not a commercial.

2) Listen to the conversations. You know how when you’re at a party and you walk up to a group of people, you wait a moment before you jump in? You don’t want to be rude, so you listen first to see what they’re talking about. You can learn a lot by listening. Figure out who your customers are talking to in their social circles, and listen. This will help you craft your message to be more targeted. More interesting, if you will. And your message will rise to the top.

3) Be an equal-opportunity player. I almost deleted that because it sounds bad—but it’s interesting, so I’m going with it. What I mean is, it’s impossible to engage with your entire audience and drive your message through if you aren’t playing on several social networks. This may mean your social promotion campaign lives in various forms on several networks in order to be relevant. Not everyone tweets. Not everyone posts. Not everyone pins. But you, my friend, are a marketer, which means you speak the language of the people, wherever they are. You know. When in Rome.

4) Create a conversation, not just a campaign.  A campaign is a good place to start—but don’t end there. If you take away nothing else but this today, fine. Just get this: Marketing on social media is NOT about advertising and promotion. If you’re on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to just sell your stuff and promote the heck out of it, you don’t stand a chance of breaking through the clutter. People will turn a blind eye. Consumers are advertised to all day long, in so many ways. But a brand who actually engages with them? Listens to them? Asks questions and responds back to theirs? Now that is something they’ll notice. Trust me.


5) Go offline. Crazy, right? So crazy this just might work. Start the conversation online, but then try taking it out of the social media sphere. Last I checked most of our cell phones could still make calls. What if you reached out with something more personal than a tweet? Or mailed something to follow up after an online interaction? Social is just a means to building an introduction. But the magic happens when you carry the connection beyond the online world and into the real world.



Key Takeaway: You want to turn heads in social media? Be interesting. Engage with your networks. Create conversation. Respond to your audience. Care about them as much (if not more) than your campaign. These things will get you noticed and help you bust through the clutter.


Great article from by Bryan Kramer


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Elizabeth Cora Hayes's curator insight, July 31, 2014 7:53 AM

5 tips on how to cut through the social media clutter and turn audience's heads, i think these tips are valid because nearly everyone is using social media as a marketing tool so naturally, the clutter is forever growing. The tip i agreed with the most was number 4 (create a conversation, not just a campaign). This rang true with me as i tend to ignore advertising messages on social media, however i am more likely to pay attention to an active conversation between a brand and its customers. 

Malee Van Den Berg's curator insight, September 15, 2014 8:53 PM

This article provides tips on how to cut through the clutter in social media. Can be very useful and relevant for many businesses since the use of social media as an advertising and marketing platform is growing rapidly. The article encourages businesses to be interesting and engage with networks by using social media in an effective not careless way. 

Duy Long Dang's curator insight, October 1, 2014 2:49 AM

there are five ways to beat the clutter and the most interesting way for me is the number 2, which is listern to the conversation

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Improve your Targeting and Tell a Story By Creating Buyer Personas

Improve your Targeting and Tell a Story By Creating Buyer Personas | Current Updates | Scoop.it
Tips on creating buyer personas to improve your marketing strategy and content marketing development.

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Karen Dietz's curator insight, December 27, 2012 1:53 PM

Here is a niftly how-to article on creating Personas by Dayna Rothman in order to target your marketing efforts and be more successful.


What is the connection to storytelling? Well.....Personas are not stories. But they are the characters for your stories. Personas are the research you do to create compelling characters -- for your stories. They are who your stories are about, and who they are targeted to.


Personas clearly help you identify your audience. Effective storytelling relies on knowing who your audience is in order for the stories to connect with them.


At some point in your business, creating Personas is both helpful and an important activity to do.


I like the suggestions in this article for how to do the research to create your Personas, the number to build (no more than 3 please), and the #1 mistake people make when generating their Personas.


This article is not very long, but it does have lots of good tips. What I like to do when creating Personas, or updating mine, is to create a collage for each. It is much more fun and creates a visual record of each that my website and graphic design folks can use.


Enjoy!


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling atwww.scoop.it/t/just-story-it

Mercor's curator insight, December 28, 2012 3:30 AM

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A Brand Shift for 2013: From Aspiration To Inspiration--The Role of Story

A Brand Shift for 2013: From Aspiration To Inspiration--The Role of Story | Current Updates | Scoop.it
It’s tempting to look at pop culture for insight into the zeitgeist, and it’s hard to look at pop culture without seeing a lot of Zombies. This may well not be a coincidence.

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Karen Dietz's curator insight, December 19, 2012 2:51 PM

This article by Alan Snitow goes right along with the other article I curated today on Anthrocapitalism. 


Here Snitow talks about the massive shifts in consumer attitudes/behaviors that are creating shifts in marketing and branding.


The author suggests that one of these huge shifts is away from 'aspiration' marketing, where consumers aspire to buy their way into a better life, to 'inspiration' marketing. Inspiration marketing is focused less on what companies can give, and more on what consumers themselves can achieve. In other words, making customers the hero of the story.


But there is more here to the discussion and I encourage you to read the article. It's not that long and makes great points.


Even better, Snitow shares short videos of companies who have moved from aspirational to inspirational marketing. Perhaps this is what your business needs to do.


And once again, I wonder about the influence of storytelling. Of course stories fit exceedingly well into inspirational marketing.


Yet how much has the awareness, education in, and experiences with stories shaping the conversation and this movement? Maybe it is more of a chicken-and-egg syndrome.


In any event, I find it fascinating that this article and the one on anthrocapitalism show up on the same day but from different sources. And on the same day I received an email newsletter talking about how businesses are now in a post-Demming-process era and now in the era of valueing people in business. And the business was re-defining all of its work to meet this new direction. 


Well, certainly these discussions about the value of people over profits in business have been around for years. Only time will tell if trend watchers are actually seeing shifts that will stick, or if we are all just spitting into the wind again.


How will you show up in 2013? Your thoughts?


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling atwww.scoop.it/t/just-story-it

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The Power of Sequenced Content & Social Media for B2B Lead Generation -- Think Stories!

The Power of Sequenced Content & Social Media for B2B Lead Generation -- Think Stories! | Current Updates | Scoop.it
As a business journalist, I looked forward to information from a handful of specific sources each quarter. In fact, my quarterly e-commerce reports would wait

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Karen Dietz's curator insight, December 14, 2012 5:46 PM

Yeah -- what a great reminder! Craft your biz stories as sequenced content!


Better yet, plan a content campaign of sequential articles with a narrative arc.


Or serialize a narrative over several posts!


That is where my mind went after reading this article. Now the author here is really just talking about creating a series of posts over time all on the same topic that work together.


But my storytelling mind said "Woah! There is a lot more here that could be done." 


So this article presents a great idea -- but doesn't go quite far enough for all us biz storytellers. Yet it is still worth curating and reading because of all the tips and points it does make.


Dig in (it's not long), get the interesting stats showing how sequenced content gets results, and start connecting the stories together in a series of articles/blog posts, etc!


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling atwww.scoop.it/t/just-story-it

Karen Dietz's comment, December 15, 2012 1:52 PM
Thank you Beth for re-scooping this! And LOL, I see we both scooped the local stories piece from NPR. Great minds think alike!
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98 Magazine Secrets for Keeping Your Blog & Content Fresh--Story Ideas!

98 Magazine Secrets for Keeping Your Blog & Content Fresh--Story Ideas! | Current Updates | Scoop.it
Tweet One of the best methods of content marketing is to publish valuable content on your business blog. But how do you write about the same topic over and over again while keeping your articles  f...

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Karen Dietz's curator insight, December 12, 2012 7:56 PM

Hey folks -- need some new ideas for biz stories? Well here is a whopper of a list. Surely you wil find some gems here that you haven't thought of before.


Not all 96 will work for stories. Like polls, horoscopes, trend watching, and shopping steals. But the outcomes could be stories!


Anyway, as we are all planning our content and biz storytelling for the next year, this is a treasure trove of possibilities for you. 


Have fun exploring and getting inspired!


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling atwww.scoop.it/t/just-story-it

Oakville Deals's curator insight, December 14, 2012 12:55 PM

Tell a story

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Add Visual Humor To Your Website With A Cartoon Subscription Service

Add Visual Humor To Your Website With A Cartoon Subscription Service | Current Updates | Scoop.it

Click here to edit the content...


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Karen Dietz's curator insight, December 7, 2012 7:23 PM

Hey -- this isn't about storytelling per se. But it is about spicing up your website with a little bit of humor. Perfect for a Friday afternoon! Let a little bit of humor be part of your business narrative :))


Enjoy the article and the ideas shared here. I hope it brings a smile to your face, and smiles within your community!


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it 

CESSON's curator insight, August 4, 2014 9:41 PM

Great idea!

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Distill Your Message to as Few Words as Possible | Inc

Distill Your Message to as Few Words as Possible | Inc | Current Updates | Scoop.it
Your customers are constantly being bombarded with new information. Simplicity has never been more powerful.

 

[Sage advice ~ Jeff]


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Karen Dietz's curator insight, November 28, 2012 6:00 PM

I love this piece! Thank you fellow curator Jeff Domansky @PR Coach for finding and sharing this. 


Why do I like it so much? Because even with biz stories we often get too wordy, complicated, and detailed.


So this article is a reminder to Keep It Simple Sweetie (KISS). Here's what the author, Jim Hoffman says at the end of the article: "There is an elegance in simplicity.  Simplicity does not mean removing features, benefits, or services from your product.  It means distilling what's most important about those features, and explaining them in the fewest words possible.  Go ahead, write yours down, and get busy crossing things out." 


That's the essence of great biz storytelling -- finding your key message / most pimportant point that is short, sweet and to the the point. Once you have your key message, extraneous details fall away and you are left with a crisp elegant story.


Read more about how to go for simplicity.


Link to the original article: http://www.inc.com/jeff-hoffman/distill-your-company-message-to-as-few-words-as-possible.html 


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it 

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Storytelling Tip: Use the calendar to tell your story | JerryBrownPR

Storytelling Tip: Use the calendar to tell your story | JerryBrownPR | Current Updates | Scoop.it
The calendar contains a wealth of opportunities to tell your story.

 

Now here is a real nifty reminder -- use your calendar to help you figure out what kinds of business stories you want to tell.

 

It's all part of an integrated content strategy plan. This is a quick article with some really good ideas/reminders. Hope this sparks some creative thinking!


Link to the original article: http://jerrybrownpr.com/2012/11/20/storytelling-tip-use-the-calendar-to-tell-your-story/ ;

 

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it ;


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