Marketing Best Practices

How to Become a Storyteller

Nick Mirkin By Nick Mirkin September 11, 2014

Humans are naturally drawn to stories. From cave-paintings to HBO, we gravitate toward compelling, well told stories.

Apple, without doubt one of the greatest brands in existence, has a great story. We all know it; it’s the one about ‘thinking different.’ Apple has been thinking differently for 38 years, reminding us of the story, bit by bit, without ever really losing the thread. In fact, sometimes the story has been more powerful than the products themselves.

Apple’s story has reached millions on a very basic level. Their, and many others’, success has raised storytelling from a nice pet project to a must-have in any modern marketing department.

You don’t have to be Apple to harness the power of stories; every brand has a story to tell, tell it! By building a Brand Newsroom you empower your content to tell your brand’s story.

Why Stories?

Stories are interesting, being sold to isn’t. Utilize your customers’ love of stories. If your marketing campaign behaves like a story, your customers will naturally gravitate toward it, and, most importantly, want to re-tell it.

People don’t associate themselves with products per se. A brand on the other hand, is something else entirely. A brand is a product with a story. And if its a great story, it’s a great brand.

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Each Piece of Content Is an Episode

In isolation, pieces of content are simply disconnected parts of a whole.  Content has to be interconnected.  Instead of little bits of content, think of your content campaign as a TV series. Each piece is an episode within that series. These little bits must come together to form a meaningful whole in the mind of your audience.

Your Customers Are a Part of Your Story

You want your customers engaged and entertained, so you have to ask yourself: is our content more interesting than the galaxy of other content out there?

Your stories have to engage and influence your customers, but your customers should also influence and engage your stories. The one thing people like more than hearing a good story is being the one telling it. Empower your customers to amplify your voice with theirs.

Create content that empowers your customer to interact. This way your customer will be an active participant in your brand’s story not just a passive consumer. Check out these 13 Tips for Successful Interactive Storytelling to help you get started interacting with your customers.

Also, check out the cool way Mashable built this interactive map with Ceros to make their latest blog post more interactive and engaging.

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Your Brand Newsroom

Great content helps express a brand’s story in a way that truly captivates the consumer, and does so again and again. But great content alone isn’t enough.

A content publisher needs to create a Brand Newsroom: a place in which all the content surrounding their brand can mesh in the customers mind as a single brand story.  This space must, as Steve Rubel Chief Content Strategist for Edelman says, “inform, surprise, inspire, and delight.”

All of your content should be crafted with this goal in mind. If not, you are simply submitting chapters of a book that will never be completely whole. A Brand Newsroom is your brand’s completed masterpiece.

Epilogue

A Brand Newsroom requires an always-on attitude toward content creation. Being timely is as important as being relevant. Constantly update your Newsroom with concise, germane, and entertaining content that inspires your audience to interact.

When the stories told in your Newsroom encourage customers to interact, your customers begin to influence the way you tell your stories. Your audience becomes active participants in your brand story, creating momentum and amplifying your message tenfold.

Find out how Contently builds a brand newsroom in this eBook.

Brand Newsroom eBook


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