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Want To Make Money Online In 2016? Tell Stories

Want To Make Money Online In 2016? Tell Stories | Marketing Revolution |

2016 Year of the Story
Telling e-commerce stories is HARD. When we tested narrative on the e-commerce site I managed conversions tanked. Conversons tanked because we did it wrong (lol).

This post riffs a video game developer post from Gamasutra. What does e-commerce and video games have to do with one another? Read our Curagami post to find out:

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Social Media Marketing: Do You Have A Tin Ear? via @Curagami

Social Media Marketing: Do You Have A Tin Ear? via @Curagami | Marketing Revolution |

Social Media: It’s The conversation, stupid Are You Listening? Why is it so hard for institutions and companies to listen? Here is a sequence of social marketing I created to support the James Cancer Hospital that underscores how listening creates opportunity in a social / mobile / connected time. 

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How Sampling Transforms Music, Content Curation & Marketing

Sampling isn't about "hijacking nostalgia wholesale," says Mark Ronson. It's about inserting yourself into the narrative of a song.

Marty Note
You may want to jump to time code 3:00 as Ron's first mix goes on a tad long, but stay with this TED talk. What Mark shares about music is true for marketing and content curation - we (content curators) don't "hijack" content wholesale either.

Content curation is about inserting ourselves into the narrative of a piece of content just as I am doing here with Mark's TED talk. I'm "sampling" Mark's thoughts, video and intellectual "property" to cross the Rubicon between music and marketing, listening and creating, consuming and collaborating.

Yes, there are revolutionary original works such as Mark Schaefer on Content Shock ( ), David Amerland on our new value system ( and Curagami's co-founder Phil Buckley on Fear, Shame and Asking For Help ( ).

Even these fiercely original works are woven from memes, ideas and threads sampled from others. Just as we can hear Bowie in Vanilla Ice we hear Seth Godin, Chris Brogan and Brian Solis in Mark, David and Phil's thinking and ideas. We sample, remix and mesh because we can.

We sample remix and mes because its fun and challenging too. The most important marketing idea today may be finding new methods and applications for making your products, thoughts and ideas be "sample worthy".

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

add your insight...

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The Story Of Being Great Business Storyteller | Infographic List

The Story Of Being Great Business Storyteller | Infographic List | Marketing Revolution |

Step by step storytelling instructions.

Via Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose), massimo facchinetti, Jack Varnell
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I like this presentation as it seems more engaging, but it bears little relation to crafting stories in a business setting. I hear several problems over and over including:

* What we do is boring, no one will care.
* We don't have writers or storytellers on staff.
* We are too busy doing our jobs making widgets.
* No one does this in our space.

Excuses go on from there. Stories are how we learn best. Why then do we resist telling stories in a business setting. Do we really need to make things boring and uninteresting in order to make them "fit" in a business setting?

These "objections" are FALSE because:

* Everything is exciting when you explain it in story form.
* You may not have writers but you have storytellers. FIND THEM, grab a video camera or a phone with a video camera create a video diary.
* Your biggest job, no matter who you are, is to win hearts and minds, Stories, storytelling and online engagement is your job whether you realize it or not.
* No one is doing this in your space YET.

Great Scoop by Jack. Marty

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5 Tips for Mastering the Art of Brand Storytelling | Business 2 Community

5 Tips for Mastering the Art of Brand Storytelling | Business 2 Community | Marketing Revolution |

"One thing that many business owners and newcomers to social media have a difficult time grasping is the importance of a powerful story behind your brand. This isn’t just flouncy language and big words; it’s finding a legitimate, interesting and engaging way to put a personal spin on your brand’s conception, creation and journey to what your customers know it as today. Bringing your brand to the masses through a relatable and well-written story is one of the quickest avenues to capturing customer and fan loyalty."

Read the full article to find out more about these tips to provide a relatable and personalized story for your customers:

  1. Understand the art of fiction writing
  2. Know your story
  3. Create characters
  4. Create tension
  5. Give your customers the room to interpret

Via Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose), massimo facchinetti
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Love these writing tips applied to Internet marketing. Perfect. 

Lori Wilk's curator insight, December 26, 2013 10:23 PM

Having spent time working the for Walt Disney Company I know storytelling and characters help capture customers and a loyal fan base.

Alisha Shibli's curator insight, December 28, 2013 8:12 AM

A lot has been written and spoken about this. So may articles and paper and stories about how to tell a story. It is indeed one of the most crucial part of brand building and getting this right is most essential.

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Imagine The New Story - Why Stories Create Change

Imagine The New Story - Why Stories Create Change | Marketing Revolution |

"We are vehemently faithful to our own view of the world, our story. We want to know what new story we’re stepping into before we exit the old one. We don’t want an exit if we don’t know exactly where it is going to take us, even – or perhaps especially – in an emergency. This is so, I hasten to add, whether we are patients or psychoanalysts."

Via Gregg Morris, massimo facchinetti
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Is Your Internet Marketing Telling A Great Story?
Wow, this is GREAT. I love this sentence,

"I think it is because change requires loss. And the prospect of loss is far more powerful than potential gain. It’s difficult to imagine what a change will do to us. This is why we need stories so desperately."

The implication, stories are the key to change, rings true and so the right question is how can we tell better stories, stories that promote the change we want :).

Buying anything anytime is a form of "change". We want the security of knowing our money will be well spent and the excitement of new experience. When in doubt, as this great post points out, we stand pat. We hesitate because we can't imagine the new story.

Here is another implication. Our jobs as Internet marketers is really to help our visitors imagine the new story :). M

Esther Coronel De Iberkleid's comment, August 10, 2013 8:59 PM
Great article SHAWN COYNE! Thank you very much. Even though it is difficult for anyone to say what he would have done in an emergency situation like 9/11 since the emotions have to be felt to fire the engine and take any action, it is very interesting to still reflect and think about these type of situations for sure. What I believe is the most important thing for us human beings is to understand the value of life more than the value of things. Wealth is related with that fact, because wealth is related to freedom, love, compassion and understanding of the purpose of our own life
Karen Dietz's curator insight, September 4, 2013 4:27 PM

Many thanks to fellow curator Gregg Morris for finding and sharing this article! 

I'm working with an organizaiton right  now in the throws of huge change on multiple levels. It is a wild time and helping them find, frame, and share their stories is just beginning.

This article is a terrific place to start for thinking about the stories people need to hear when facing change. And the story shared in the post is powerful indeed.

In fact, this article fits very nicely into another recent article I posted by Rafe Martin on the importance of folklore and stories. Stories -- specifically folk tales -- help us respond to change, providing mental structures and pathways for us to follow when change happens.

As we all know, change is constant. Storytelling is a huge help. I hope you gain lots of great insights from this article and it gets you thinking about your next steps.

This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at

Krista Finstad-Milion's curator insight, October 6, 2013 9:21 AM

The Kübler-Ross Change curve is a tool you can store in your back pocket and pull our to help others get on with what is essential. You can also use it to coach yourself through the challenges of dealing with changes beyond your control.  In the ICN Executive MBA change management module, we combine this tool with others such as story-telling in a co-learning approach.

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Storytelling Is The New SEO - Almost 14,000 Views

Google Panda and Penguin algorithm changes have a secret implication - that content is truly and finally KING. Not all content is equal. Some content has higher
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Storytelling is the new SEO is rocking on with a mention in @AmyStark's Slideshare about customer engagement caught by using @Scoopit as an Online Reputation Management tools ( ), 101 downloads and almost 80 Facebook likes.

Now at 14,100 views.

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Why Storytelling = Future of Web Copy & Why We Write In Present Tense

Why Storytelling = Future of Web Copy & Why We Write In Present Tense | Marketing Revolution |

The Problem of Web Copy
Today a friend shared copy that fought itself. He was trying to tell two stories at once. You can't tell two stories at once without reader confusion. I suggested combining the two very cool elements he wanted to mash together into a single story.

"Think of each element as a character in the story, in a story where difference between them will become zero at resolution," I suggested. The conversation reminded me of why storytelling is the future of web copy and why storytelling online is different than writing novels.

Online NOW is the only time that matters, so even historical reference needs to be shared in present tense. Wandering down a historical path is a sure prescription for readers wandering off. Find more online storytelling tips in the G+ post.

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Why TIME Is Money Online: How Story Works As Setting Not Narrative

Why TIME Is Money Online: How Story Works As Setting Not Narrative | Marketing Revolution |

Story Online
Find I'm using this post about how storytelling works different online. Creating content online is like composing music. We need an introduction, a chorus, bridge and conclusion.

When we share too much our customers can't build on our stories. When we share too little trust can't develop. This delicate balancing beam is where time becomes money and stories become community.  

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Tripping Over The New SEO's 3 Legged Stool via @CrowdFunde

Tripping Over The New SEO's 3 Legged Stool via @CrowdFunde | Marketing Revolution |

“There it is,” I said to myself but aloud. As everyone at Triangle Startup Factory turned to look at me I waved them off. How was I going to explain that the 3 word mnemonic we’d been looking for was there sitting there in front of me. Truth be told I tripped over it:

* Story.

* Authority.

* User Generated Content (UGC).

This startup journey is a strange one. Equal parts hard work and CHANCE we throw dice and see how they roll. What about you? You in?

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Toy Story's Creator Shares Magical Storytelling Tips [TED Talk Video]

Toy Story's Creator Shares Magical Storytelling Tips [TED Talk Video] | Marketing Revolution |
Filmmaker Andrew Stanton ("Toy Story," "WALL-E") shares what he knows about storytelling -- starting at the end and working back to the beginning. Contains graphic language ... (Note: this talk is not available for download.)
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

We are entering a time when STORY is paramount. Anyone and everyone can share content. Few can tell great stories. Fewer websites will tell great stories. 

Andrew Stanton shares great tips every Internet marketer and web designer should take to heart as we enter "the time of online stories". Loved this explanation of why stories are so important for humans:

"We all love stories. We're born for them. Stories affirm who we are. We all want affirmations that our lives have meaning. And nothing does a greater affirmation than when we connect through stories. It can cross the barriers of time, past, present and future, and allow us to experience the similarities between ourselves and through others, real and imagined."

and ...

"In 1998, I had finished writing "Toy Story" and "A Bug's Life" and I was completely hooked on screenwriting. So I wanted to become much better at it and learn anything I could. So I researched everything I possibly could. And I finally came across this fantastic quote by a British playwright, William Archer: "Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty." It's an incredibly insightful definition. "|

I love the idea of Story as affirmation. Reviews are affirming stories. Comments and other forms of User Generated Content (social shares) also feel like "affirming signals".

Affirmation goes in two directions as my friends at Bazaar Voice taught me years ago. I asked, "Why would someone write the 251st review of a product?" "To join the tribe," was their simple and beautiful explanation.

One VERY important role for User Generated Content (UGC) is to confirm the contributor as a member of the tribe. The other is to confirm the content being reviewed or commented on. More than affirmation UGC can help reset a company's branding and positioning.

As marketers we have our own language and the "curse of knowledge". We know too much about the stories we tell. UGC helps confirm our story is consistent with the experience our products create.  

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Hero Stories - 7 Stories Every Website Should Tell

Hero Stories - 7 Stories Every Website Should Tell | Marketing Revolution |

Hero Stories Are CSFs
Critical Success Factors in a post Google Panda and Penguin time begin and end with engagement. 

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

There are 7 Hero Stories every website should tell. Which kinds of hero stories your website should be telling is locked inside your personas, segments and metrics.
Here are the 7 types of Hero Stories:

* Enlighted.

* Vicarious.
* Altruistic.
* Rescue.

* Stranger (stranger in a strange land).
* Heroes Like Us.

* Heroes Together.

Created a Google Doc with examples of each hero type with URL links: 

If you have favorite examples of hero websites, pages or copy share them here:  

malek's comment, August 31, 2013 8:05 AM
Thanks for sharing the Google Doc
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SEVEN STEPS TO THE PERFECT STORY [Fun Infographic] | Marketing Revolution |

Via The Digital Rocking Chair, Rogério Rocha
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Love the 2 plus 2 rule. M 

Excellent summary from @RobinGood:

Robin Good

Thanks to the Content Marketing Association for having created and published this useful visual poster which highlights the key elements, needed to develop your own stories.

The poster covers seven key areas, but offers the greatest value in:

1) defining for you seven popular type of plots.

2) identifying seven types of heros present in story plots

3) listing the main type of characters that can be used in an effective story

My comment: By reading through this visual poster you can definitely familiarize yourself more with key variables a play in any great plot, have some references of classic novels, plays and films that represent the different type of plots that you can use, and get a much better grip with the variables you can utilize to create an effective story plot.

Educational. Useful. 8/10

Full visual poster:

(Thanks to the Digital Rocking Chair for having found this gem)


Elena Savina's curator insight, December 2, 2015 5:33 AM

инфографика, как сделать хорошую историю.

Mary Westcott's curator insight, March 1, 2016 10:14 AM

Maybe a tad too complex for our young students, but still a nice way of understanding the foundations of storytelling!!

Marisa d's curator insight, March 11, 2016 12:22 AM

Maybe a tad too complex for our young students, but still a nice way of understanding the foundations of storytelling!!

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Using Storytelling Techniques In Your Corporate Blog — Expert Series Part 3

Using Storytelling Techniques In Your Corporate Blog — Expert Series Part 3 | Marketing Revolution |
Corporate Blogging — Expert Series: Interview with Lou Hoffman. Part 3 Series Overview While many companies have corporate blogs, few do them well. My goal is to share conversations with those doin...
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great interview between my friend Steve Farnsworth (@Steveology) and Kew Hoffman, CEO of the Hoffman Agency. I love how Lew correclty identifies that the world is social and a company's social accceptance starts at the top. 

Great tips from Lew here. If you don't follow or read Steve you should.  

Jeff Domansky's curator insight, February 25, 2013 3:04 PM

Still relevant 2011 interview with business storyteller Lou Hoffman.

Martin (Marty) Smith's comment, February 25, 2013 3:43 PM
Thanks for the Scoop Jeff. Hope you follow Steve. He is smart and a good guy. Marty
Jeff Domansky's comment, February 25, 2013 5:08 PM
Steve is indeed a good guy and Lou is a favorite storyteller.