Story-telling has always been at the heart of everything, whether you are a novelist or a brand. Lately, we have seen a surge in various social platforms with different ways to tell the story – from Twitter with very limited space to visual story telling on Instagram, to blogs platforms like Fabecook or Medium.
If the story-telling is so important, how to get it right?
The time of creating a destination site for content is over
The traffic and engagement patterns have been – and still are – changing rapidly and the content strategies must be very agile to be able to adapt to new flows of readers. True, the social sharing has become a much more important source of traffic nowadays. Long gone are days of battles for a home page in the internet browser. Back then, the average person would only read news and stories from one to three different websites and they typed the site address manually in the address bar.
Now, readers have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with hundreds new articles from hundreds different sites on a daily basis. All thanks to the social media. A growing portion of any web site traffic now comes from social media shares. “So you change your strategy and there is no need to spend all this money to build the amazing front page, because no one is going to visit it,” said Arianna Huffington in the interview with Inc.
For many ‘average’ companies the story-telling is a better option than Public Relations
The day of the press release is over, according to the owner of Huffington post. No one can blame Arianna Huffingon for trying to undermine the importance of a press release and elevate the status of blogging, her bread and butter. Some journalists still believe that you do have to have a factual press release if you want to land a story in mainstream media and press. No journalist, who is working towards the daily targets, will have time to crawl through someone’s personal Facebook for facts.
It is true however, that for many companies who offer similar products to so many other brands, the story-telling should be at the heart of the marketing strategy. Rightly so, if the story is not ‘news-worthy’ from the perspective of mainstream media, writing a simple blog post on your Facebook can be a much better content strategy that producing a press release that no one will ever read.
Building credibility starts with creating something of value
Bearing in mind the amount of content – articles and blog posts – generated on a daily basis, the primary aim of your content strategy should be to provide something of a value. “Business owner must identify how are they helping people; are they making people’s lives easier or more enjoyable? Ultimately, people will be drawn to something that will add value, on whatever level.”
As I wrote previously, the days of selling products on a need-to-have basis are gone, never to be revived. We are engaging with brands based on their values and tend to be more loyal if they can offer a little bit extra in terms of its impact or meaning to us.
Based on the New York Times customer insight group study, people are more likely to share your content and, thus, recommend you if the content is of a value to them – factual and insightful but also unique. Unique simply means the content that goes beyond regurgitating. We can’t change facts but we can strive to look at the facts from new perspective and stretch reader’s world-views, in a productive manner.