How do you find a good corporate story? You have to make the uninteresting interesting.
That conjures up a harder question: how do you make the uninteresting interesting?
Certainly, there’s a skill to finding the more curious angles of an otherwise dull brand. Learning and adapting is a better than the alternative: less than believable adjectives and their generally unnecessary modifiers.
One way to approach it is striving to think differently, aiming to digging a little deeper and for marketing leadership, to consider shifting roles to support the first two ideas. That’s the theme for this week’s Unscripted Marketing links [UML].
As it is on the occasional Saturday, I offer three links below that I’ve vetted and recommend for your perusal.
1) Thinking Different to Find Stories
“PR does tons of content,” says Lou Hoffman in his presentation The Blurring Line Between Digital Marketing and PR. “Most of it is dreadful. Too much ‘me, me, me …and oh, here’s more about me.’”
If B2B marketers want to cut through the clutter and stand out, you’ve got to understand the basics of storytelling. He provides this education on Slide 34 which I’ve embedded it nearby (see his earlier rendition here).
The key point I’d like to underscore? You’ve got to have tension to tell a good story.
2) Digging Deeper for a Corporate Narrative
They all look the same. People don’t buy them often. And there are just too many choices – the ultimate example of the paradox of choice.
If you answered, “What is marketing mattresses?” you’d be correct. There are few things that strike me as so challenging as marketing mattresses.
But one mattress company has done it, according to Jasmine Bina in her piece on Medium titled, Dig Deeper: The Secret To Gripping Brand Narratives.
In a mattress world dominated by warehouse-style stores with endless rows of bed layers, one company named Casper, took sales online. Streaming video appears to be a big part of the weaponry since “Casper woke us up to the fact that sleep should be simple.”
Indeed, I don’t know if I’d buy a mattress online. Then again, if you asked me that question about books in 1995, my answer might be the same. Today, I’m a card-carrying Prime customer.
Digging deeper for a good story, Ms. Bina suggests, “has nothing to do with you as a brand, and everything to do with the customer as a human being.”
3) Shifting Roles to be Audience-Centric
Publishers are looking beyond Facebook as the platform’s self-interest is seemingly at odds with publisher interests. Publishers want traffic from Facebook, but the social site wants to keep it for themselves (indeed all of the major social sites are behaving this way).
That’s a central theme in a piece by Lucia Moses for Digiday: Facebook loses attention as publishers shift focus to other platforms.
There were two paragraphs that really struck a chord with me:
“HuffPost was the biggest publisher on Facebook last year in total likes, comments and shares, by NewsWhip’s measurement. This year, it’s been making a big push to diversify beyond Facebook to Twitter and Instagram, where it sees a lot of room for growth, said Ethan Klapper, global social media editor for HuffPost. Along with that change in platform focus, he’s reassigning the social team to be subject-centric and audience-centric, rather than platform-centric.
‘This shift is about responding to the consumption habits of our changing audience and branching out to reach new audiences that present growth opportunities for us,” he said. “Merely being platform-centric represents an older way of thinking that often doesn’t always take into account what the audience is looking for.’”
Indeed, if marketers are to act like media companies in this era of content marketing then take it from a publisher that audience centricity matters. No matter what marketing trends we find emerging, or discipline of marketing we practice, the core tenant of audience identification remains essential.
If you want to find corporate stories and make the uninteresting interesting, then it’s pretty important to know who you’re telling the story to.