I love social media! You know why? I love it because, ever since it came around, marketing has evolved and become so much more human-centric. The expectations on corporate communications are so much higher than they have ever been.
So many marketers are still clueless to why their messages are not resonating. And, yet, they are still pushing crappy ads or bombarding customers with “We’re the best”-type-of-messages.
I’m sorry, but that ship has sailed. You have to up your game to get results. Even though most brands are stuck in the nineties, there are some brands that give me hope. I am glad to see these brands learning to respect storytelling.
Storytelling is that older kid on the basketball court that can dominate the game with ease. Not only is he more versatile and older, but he has superior reach. What’s best, he has the ability to zone in and slam dunk like no other kid on the court. Where's the court? That's right - social media.
Make sure you get this storytelling-kid on your side. Feed it, learn it, nurture it. Be willing to try anything to get him to play for you. Because, if you know what makes this kid tick, you’ll rock all season long.
Why are stories so important?
I see storytelling as one of the most important skills because it’s a timeless skill. Stories have played a role since the beginning of time. Stories are a human need, just like shelter or food.
Also, because of social media, businesses and leaders have many more opportunities to stand out. They have a chance to spread their messages, and truly make a change through a compelling story.
How to tell a good story?
We, humans and marketers, tend to over-complicate things. This is the case with storytelling as well. There are only a few who would write “I’m a great storyteller” in their CV. And not many marketers consider this a required skill; Unfortunately so.
We are too focused on the other half; the metrics and goals. And the fact is, no one cares about your marketing goals. But everyone likes a good story.
So back to the original question: How to tell a good story? Katja Pantzar uses a simple formula with a long history. She, among other professional storytellers, call it the 5 W + 1 H -method. This formula uses a series of questions that you answer while writing your outline.
The questions are:
When you tell a story, you can use all the questions. Or you can do it the Simon Sinek’s way and only ask the why, the what, and the how. These questions will help you form a story that is compelling and comprehensive.
Remember that good stories have something that surprise us. Many times they have compelling or unique characters. And most importantly, they make us feel something. And once you start feeling something, you get emotionally invested. A good story sticks with you and helps you remember companies, ideas, or concepts. Stories have a way of sticking that numbers and text don’t.
I believe in being different and showing your uniqueness via a great story. I believe that the businesses who tell stories will have a thicker bottom line in the growing social web.
So, who's done it right? I’ve seen some good ones, but the one that stayed with me comes from Canon.
They made a series of mini-stories that say: Not everything should be stored digitally. And the stories are funny, surprising, and they have an element that many of us can relate to. Enjoy!
If you liked this blog, make sure to share it. Until the next time guys!