Storytelling for Modern Content Marketing
“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” And there we have one of the main messages in today’s Listen. A lot of truth bombs being dropped in this one, so grab a helmet and take action.
Tech and tactics come and go, but storytelling lasts forever. In this episode, Shane Snow and Joe Lazauskas of Contently share their favorite techniques for great storytelling—the kind that create and foster emotional connections.
Their book, The Storytelling Edge: How to Transform Your Business, Stop Screaming Into the Void, and Make People Love You is all about this. So, if you’re interested in learning more, this should be your next step.
All right, let’s dive in. Here are the show notes from today’s Listen:
- (05:10) What happens in our brains when we hear a good story
- (05:50) “Our brains are hardwired for stories” – Why we remember much more information when we feel empathy
- (10:35) The 4 elements of great storytelling (novelty, relatability, fluency, and tension) and why they keep people engaged
- (11:05) Novelty and relatability
- (12:00) Fluency and tension
- (14:15) If the story isn’t new or relatable or it’s too complex or doesn’t have a plot, your story/message is going nowhere fast…
- (14:45) The “epidemic” right now of content being made with the “sole intention of seeming professional or advanced”
- (15:30) What brands get wrong with storytelling
- (16:25) The simple formula for building an audience that loves you
- (16:50) Why making your content more accessible isn’t about dumbing it down
How to Get Your Entire Company to Create Content
Part of the problem with writing exceptionally good content is that sometimes it requires you to know things that you have no knowledge of. Sure, you can do a ton of research and learn it, but you know what’s easier? Getting someone else in your company, who already has that knowledge, to write it for you.
Easier said than done though, right? Usually yes, but this time we’ve got the keys you need to get your entire company in on the content writing process.
Let’s get into it…
- Make it Easy For Them. You can’t just ask people to write a blog. You’ll get nothing back. Instead, do things to promote discussion within your company. Send out a company-wide email with a single question on a specific topic. Ask people to reply with 3-5 sentences by the end of the day. Take their responses and build a blog out of it. Example.
- Record Them. Some people are better at speaking than writing. If someone in your company says they hate writing, you can interview them and record their responses. Take their knowledge and write the blog yourself.
- Don’t Make Them Think. If someone wants to write, have a topic ready for them to write about. Sometimes people just don’t know what to write about and they don’t want to brainstorm themselves.
- Give Them Plenty of Time. Give your writers weeks of time to write their content. They have plenty of other work to do so work around their schedule when assigning a due date. But, definitely, assign a due date. Without deadlines, nothing gets done.
- Reward Them. This doesn’t have to be monetary (but it can be). IMPACT uses a platform called 7Geese to gives “badges” to content writers who get 300 shares or 1,000 views on a blog. There’s no money involved. Just recognition. At Carney, we’ve had success awarding points for different blogging milestones. At the end of each month, the person with the most points gets a gift card.
Hit the button below to get the full scoop.
You’ve Gouda Brie Kidding Me
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and a jigsaw puzzle is worth 44 pounds of cheese—wait…
New Zealand brand Mainland Cheese is saying that at least. For their latest promotional campaign, the company’s agency, Colenso BBDO, created a limited edition “voucher” in the form of a 2000-piece puzzle. People could apply for the voucher via Facebook and, once completed, would reveal their “coupon.” So far, ten people have finished the jigsaw, rewarding them 20 kg (44 lbs) of vintage cheese! Oh yeah, you better brielieve it.
45 hours has been clocked as the fastest completion time. Fitting for a cheese brand whose tagline is “Good things take time.”
If we were a cheese grader, we’d score this promotional stunt a 10/10.
“The secret of all effective advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships.”