In February this year, New York-based DJ Thomas Rodriguez was told his dog, Poh, had a terminal condition. Rodriguez then took Poh on a seven week journey across America so he could see as much of the world as possible before his time came to an end. Poh's journey underlines the power of social media as a storytelling platform, and the importance of understanding the true strength of the medium - connection.
Storytelling is one of the things that we enjoyed the most when we were children. Our favorite stories took us to different places, let us experience new things and taught us about the people and world outside of our own homes and towns. A lot of people today, even adults, are hungry for good stories. Stories of hope, success, kindness and doing the impossible are some of the most common topics of stories that go viral on social media. Facebook has become the prime platform for people to share their own stories, as well as to share stories from others, that they think their friends will be able to relate to, will find humorous or inspirational, or just provide a nice break from the day-to-day of life.
What happens when you get lost in a city filled with brands and the only one you’re looking for is the one you can’t find? Do you give up? Why is the find so important? Obviously it’s more than brand recognition. A brand's story is what creates advocacy and solidifies loyalty.
That's why today's major technology and social media enterprises – Apple and Amazon and Facebook and Google – are in the throes of a hiring frenzy. Not just for developers and coders, but for art directors and writers and strategists and storytellers.
Howard Gossage, a famous copywriter from the 1960s said people don't read advertising, they read what they like. This thought applies more so now in our digital world. In social media give your audience what they like. People like stories. Are you leveraging all five acts of storytelling in your social media content?
In a SXSW panel with experts in interactive storytelling, gaming, and virtual reality, the audience learned that it’s all about letting the story dictate the medium, and letting the medium engross the “viewers.” But we’re not just viewers anymore, are we? We’re engagers and interactors.
There was a time (in the recent past) when brand sell was all about showcasing features and benefits to an intended target audience. With the emergence of social media, the art of the brand sell has evolved to include a very real social component. Social media has made engagement and response rate some of the main objectives for brands. With that, in the framework of brand development, the art of storytelling has become much more important. What was once brand sell, is now story sell. Now brand marketers need to wrap their initiatives around the story sell of their brand. Like it or not, engagement is where it’s at today and the way to consumers' hearts is through storytelling.
Robert McKee is a teacher of Story and author of the classic book "Story: Style, Structure, Substance and the Principles of Screenwriting." In this interview, he talks about the power of storytelling and what goes into creating a great, compelling story.
Why is it so important to work hard to exceed our own content creation efforts on a daily basis? How do we make our writing stand out from the crowd? And most importantly, what are the secret tricks and tips that we could apply to craft eye-catchy, memorable content with a real substance? Let’s find out.