Content marketers can learn about audience building & engagement from renowned author Robert Munsch. Improve your strategy with tips from a storytelling master!
Karen Dietz's insight:
When finessing your biz stories and creating content using stories, I love what both the author of the aritcle, Miranda Miller, and Robert Munsch say: "Let your audience love you first."
In other words, don't try to influence anyone to do anything until you have established a relationship and given something of value with your audience firstwithout expectation of an immeditate economic transaction.
A story can be a gift. So can other things. And the author provides some ideas here.
Overall, this is a nice piece with good reminders, and I really like the insights on ways to connect with your audience in order to build your business.
Content marketing is all the rage for 2013. I think it might have been the rage in 2012, too. It is a buzzword, for sure, but it is essentially focused on how to tell a story. More so, it is about how to engage with your customer or prospect.
Karen Dietz's insight:
For the last few years, storytelling for marketing, branding, business growth, organizational change, and leadership has been all the rage. And most of the talk has been focused on the need to tell stories, the neuroscience of storytelling, and simple how-to steps.
As time goes on, these discussions start maturing and I'm beginning to experience a shift in articles about biz storytelling -- to discussions of quality. Yeah!
Which is the point of this article. It is no longer enough to simply tell stories -- now we have to do it really well. Craft, quality, and substance are on the scene over slap-dash methods. As the author Brian Clark of Copyblogger says, "Create really good stuff."
Now in many ways this has always been true. Ever told a poorly crafted story and it fell flat? Yep -- because audiences will only engage with a well crafted story.
But now quality is showing up more and more in the articles I'm scanning.
There are some other points in this article that are important: info about Google Author Rank and listening to your audience.
I disagree with Seth Godin's quote at the end though:
“Most of all, great stories agree with our world view. The best stories don’t teach people anything new. Instead, the best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes the members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place.”
Well, that is certainly a condescending statement.
Of course stories teach people new things! For milenia stories have transmitted the wisdom, knowledge and values of groups and organizations. They are instrumental in making strangers friends, enlightening us to the ways of the world, and imparting 'oh' and 'aha' moments.
Instead of saying 'great stories agree with our world view' I'd say 'great stories connect us with the familiar and take us to new places'.In other words, when we hear a story it connects with the memories, archetypes, and mythological themes we've got running around in our heads, and opens doors into new worlds.
So what does all this mean for 2013? Keep practicing and honing your biz stories -- quality counts now more than ever.
Are you spellbinding? Let’s be honest. It’s a huuuuge challenge. Probably the biggest challenge each blogger faces.
Karen Dietz's insight:
What an interesting article this is for anyone in business!
As I read it, I could see that the triggers to fascination that they list are also emotions that are often part of business stories. So this is a twist on common articles that talk about emotional connection in marketing.
So which of the 7 psychological triggers to fascination do you gravitate toward? And which ones end up in your biz stories?
In this example, a single customer interview netted more than 38 pieces of content. And here are the essentials on how to get your customers to help you.
Love this very clear how-to article for gathering customer stories. The author provides very clear steps on how to get this done. Yeah!
Her best piece of advice is to not do the interviews yourself -- find someone else who is a good listener, maybe even someone outside your company. Excellent tip. Asking customers for their stories is sometimes hard to do. Maybe the story the business wants to hear is not the story your customer wants to tell -- and I don't mean that customers want to complain. I just mean that businesses need to be open to all kinds of stories a customer may want to share. Sometimes it is a lot easier for a neutral party to gather these stories for you.
My only other comment is that the author focuses on case studies. But case studies are not the only kind of customer narrative to write. Case studies are not the only effective kind of customer story to share. Better to just collect the stories and then determine what form to use.
It is fabulous that the author shares how a single story can parley into 38 pieces of content. That is a content creator's dream come true!
Read the article for the author's process, great tips, and a free downloadable book.
Thanks Giuseppe Mauriello @pinomauriello for suggesting this article to me!
Stories and the art of storytelling play a major role in content marketing today. Not all brands realize the importance of unearthing their core story and learning to tell stories in ways that endear new fans and motivate advocates. In case you need even more reason to learn to weave an effective narrative throughout your marketing efforts, here are seven reasons storytelling is important for branded content.
Thanks to fellow curator Giuseppe Mauriello for sending me this! It's perfect for a mid-week pick-me-up.
This post is quick and easy to digest -- because you can get all the messages by viewing the photos. What a great example of using visuals in a blog post to create easy to scan, more compelling and enjoyable content.
Brands are content publishers, and the Holy Grail of brand-produced content is magnetic content.
Read this article for 5 strategies that will help you create magnetic stories to share about your business, products, or services.
The 5 strategies include:
Make it relevant
Connect across time
Extend across media
Draw from the everyday
Each strategies has a video that illustrates the point the author is making.
I think 'Make it relevant' needs some work though. I get the point the author is making with the video that's included, but more could be said here -- like, "make sure your stories help customers find answers to the problem they are trying to solve." Can't get more relevant than that. Or "have your stories reflect the values, needs and desires of your customers." You get the idea.
I bet you'll gain several ideas from this article and videos that you'll be applying to your business storytelling.
Storytellers need to remember these personal writing tips and include them in every single story, whether we’re telling it orally, or writing it to share on our blogs or elsewhere.
The best business stories are our personal stories or the personal stories of customers, staff, and vendors. But how do you write these stories really well in order to make them memorable and share-able?
This author has great tips for doing just that. Here's the advice I love the most: “You’ll need to write something to discover what your story is. Then you’ll have to rewrite it to work out why your story’simportant, and rewrite it again to make the story clear to your readers. But put limits on rewrites. Don’t be a perfectionist and do quash your inner critic.” So true!
Read her other tips to write stories for great blog posts and website content!
Marketers can get tactically proficient and even scientific about SEO signals, social technologies or information distribution platforms, but in the end it’s an understanding of those customers and what influences them that helps most with the process of persuasion.
In figuring out which business stories to tell, a critical part of the equation is figuring out who your audience is. This article contains excellent questions and how-to steps to determine which stories to tell to whom.
Creating marketing personas is big in marketing these days. I've done it and it is very helpful. Consider them another tool in your marketing toolkit. As the author says, "Those stories that are tailored specifically for the personas for each major segment of the target audience can provide the information and inspiration needed to make fundamental changes in their awareness, perception, acceptance and transition to the desired outcome."
Read this excellent article on how to develop your customer personas and develop more profitable relationships with them through the stories you tell.
Image via Wikipedia In a few short years, our ability to forcibly interrupt consumers with our advertising is going to be greatly diminished. There will be more channels, more content across more screens, and many fewer interruptive ads. Yes, we...
What great insights this article has! We already know storytelling is key to successful marketing but the author goes even further when saying, "But the concept of branded content is fundamentally flawed. By definition, branded content doesn’t even need to be good content. As long as we remain focused on creating something“branded,” we are missing the entire reason consumers are watching in the first place. It is a very subtle idea that requires brand managers and CMOs to shake off some of their core beliefs about how we talk to our customers."
And, "It’s not logical to think that consumers will ever volunteer to watch or share our marketing, so let’s stop making marketing and instead start telling stories. We need to unshackle ourselves from old formats and embrace an idea that has existed since humans first began communicating."
Read the article for other great words of wisdom -- along with understanding the bleak future of marketing and advertising if we don't shift business efforts into becoming story-centric.
The only piece that's missing in this post is any discussion about the fundamental dynamic of storytelling: story sharing. It seems the author is still focused on broadcasting stories instead of engaging in swapping stories with customers (i.e. listening to their stories in return).
Creating compelling content is a theme running through the PRSA 2011 International Conference this year.
I like this quick article with its 5 bullet points. 4 out of the 5 are all about storytelling and is a quick checklist for developing content that is meaningful and memorable. There are links to videos to illustrate the author's points, making this article even more valuable. Enjoy!
Feast your brain on this excellent panel featuring Brian Clark, Doug Pray, and John Jacobsen.
Karen Dietz's insight:
This Google+ video is 1 hour and 13 minutes long and it does have some really good material.
I watched it while working on my emails and enjoyed many of the points being made here.
The video has Brian Clar, Doug Pray, and John Jacobsen talking about branding, storytelling, and business. They do definitely come from the new media/TV/Hollywood mold yet I definitely appreciated their comments on storytelling as an art/craft that takes time to develop, authenticity, and what branding really is and its connection to storytelling.
So carve out some time to listen this weekend, or do what I did and multi-task (it is easy to follow along).
Tweet I don’t care. I don’t care whether you are an author, marketer, mom, designer, biz owner or rebel leader – if you want to succeed in today’s environment, you have to be a grrreat storyteller first.
Karen Dietz's insight:
OK -- this should be a great lead into the weekend and tickle your funny bone.
Business storytelling encompasses both oral and written forms. So where do you get a group of podcasts that cross the spectrum of business storytelling that also promises to be entertaining?
Right here! Or at least that's the promise :). Hey, the author's post is funny enough as it is, so I'm inclined to believe him.
Go check out these 5 funny and entertaining podcasts that deal with various aspects of storytelling. And enjoy your upcoming weekend!
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!
So we have all heard time and time again, "to attract links you need to build great content". But very few actually talk about what good content looks like. That's because good content can come in many different forms.
Here's an article by Joe Hall that very clearly explains why content on a website gets ignored. And they are all story principles!
Keep this list handy and make sure when you are creating content -- any kind of content whether it be a blog post or a brochure -- that you include a well written title, has a unique voice, contrast, a focused key message, etc.
I had two occasions in the last couple of months to see the “About” pages of many Web sites and blogs. In the first, I had a few dozen story practitioners that I wanted to invite to participate in my Q&A series. In the second, I visited many sites and blogs to glean a short description of each so I could list them on my inside pages.
Both activities had maddening elements.
Topics I curate sometimes come in waves. It seems the current wave is "About" pages on websites. I've added several articles to the collection recently about how to craft them well using your stories.
And here is another one. But it is slightly different (and why I curated it). Colleague and fellow curator Kathy Hansen wrote this piece today about the lack of "About" pages on blogs -- and how frustrating it is.
She goes on to give examples of a blog with a great "About" page, and those that don't.
Take her advice -- make sure you have a well crafted "About" page on your blog, on your website, and in your other promo material.
Whether you're a professional copywriter or a business owner, read these 15 copywriting and content marketing blogs if you want to make your writing more effective and earn more money.
Well now -- here's a different article than what I typically curate. But once you craft your business stories, you've got to imbed them into your blog, website, other marketing content, and write a bunch of content around them. That's where these 15 copywriting blogs can help you!
It's not enough to simply write or tell your business stories. We all need to get better and smarter and writing not just great stories, but creating compelling copy.
I've check out the blogs on this list and will definitely keep up with several of these. Ben Settle's looks great, as does Harrison Amy Copywriting, Men with Pens, Success Works, and Works That Begin With You. And The Rant looks like it will provide the occasional much needed kick-in-the-pants!
I hope these blog writers really help you write great material.
Thank you Copyblogger for putting this list together!
When it comes to marketing, storytelling is the most powerful tool at your disposal.
That is so true! This article has great points to make in the beginning. Later in the article the author talks about using mini-sagas (50 word stories) and gives some examples. That I'm not too sure about, but thought it important enough to add to this collection.
The author also makes the assertion that PowerPoint and Keynote are great tools to use to start sharing stories. Well, since death by PowerPoint is the norm, I am leary of that statement. PowerPoint forces the brain to organize material in ways counter to narrative. The doesn't mean you can't use it for storytelling, just realize it is harder to do. Enough said.
Read the article and I'd love to hear your thoughts about the 'mini-sagas' stuff. You can always comment below, or send me Twitter/Facebook/Google+ note!
From curator Jan Gordon: This piece was written by Lauren Fisher for Simply Zesty - Lots of good insights and resources. I'm paraphrasing what caught my attention from the perspective of brand storytelling and how important narrative is in today's marketplace.
Fellow curator Jan Gordon found this article and wrote a great review below (she said it all, there's nothing more for me to add!) --
Social media now as an essential form of communication, another side we don't often consider is its role in the evolution of storytelling. Throughout nearly every society and stage in history, storytelling has had a crucial role to play.
How this applies to social media
**we are now all storytellers, telling a story about ourselves through social media that plays a crucial role in the way in which others perceive us, but also, interestingly, how our own lives are preserved.
Here's my takeaway:
**It's important for brands to tell stories that speak to their consumer's needs and core values. Stories that are constantly evolving and living in real time because of digital technology and social networking .
**Stories become conversations that can lead to transactions and brand loyalty
Those brands or individuals that are succeeding the most in social media are those that are able to tell the best stories through digital means, in the most interesting ways.
Some people understand this better than others. Some for example understand theneed to constantly create new ‘chapters’ in the story, to use social media constantly to share and create information so that our own personal timelines or stories consistently grow and provide entertainment.
Not only building up a more complete history of ourselves, but a more adept form of entertainment at the time. In just a few years we will have mastered the art of social media and that means we will have become masters of storytelling.
********The consequences of this for society are wide-reaching and most importantly, fundamental for connecting societies and individuals in a completely new way.