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The art of storytelling


By Kim Morrison


Kim Morrison (3418482)
Kim Morrison (3418482)

Whether you want to touch a nerve, reach a new audience, or boost your sales, storytelling is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. As humans, we love a good story, and when it resonates with us, it can drive us to take action when nothing else can.

Think about it. Which would you rather read, an interesting story, or a sales letter? Which are you more likely to remember a week from now, a compelling story, or a features and benefits comparison? And which are you more likely to buy, a story you can see yourself in, or a product that does x, y, and z?

If you think back on your most recent purchases, from the business coach you hired to the car you bought last summer, chances are you’ll find a story that resonated with you, and that drove your decision to purchase.

Stories About You

You’ve heard it time and time again: People buy from those they know, like, and trust. And part of getting to know you is hearing your stories. Your potential clients want to know how you came to be in business, what experiences you’ve had that drove your decisions, what lessons you learned along the way.

Your stories don’t have to be directly related to business to be powerful, either. That anecdote about the time you nearly got arrested for not having a valid driver’s licence is the perfect lead in to a blog post about better record keeping. Or, in my case, how my husband packed our passports in the moving van somewhere in over 100 boxes when we moved to Portugal and only realised when the van had already crossed the Channel! Not his finest moment and a real ‘don’t panic’ moment. It might be just what you need to drive home a point about keeping calm under pressure.

Stories About Your Clients

Otherwise known as social proof, stories about your clients are incredibly useful in your marketing and branding strategy. Testimonials, white papers, case studies and the like are all just stories, after all, and they showcase how you and your products have changed a life or a business for the better.

Stories About Your Products

Yes, even your products have stories to tell. Why did you decide to create that new coaching program? What will it help your clients achieve? Who is it not suited to? These stories and more can show your potential clients more about your products and services than any sales page ever will. When you openly share your thought processes as you were creating your program, buyers will instantly know if it’s a product that will work for them or not.

Clearly, stories have a lot of power when it comes to branding and marketing, but you have to use caution. Beware of the awkward insertion of a story just because you’ve heard it’s good for your marketing. If you find yourself midway through a blog post and you write something like, “but anyway, enough of that, let’s get on with business” and then making a total shift to a completely different subject, chances are the story isn’t working.

But if you can tie your story in naturally to what follows, that’s your golden ticket to better branding, more sales, and a more profitable business. We love stories. Don’t be afraid to tell yours.

BREAKING NEWS

Facebook

Facebook Q2 2018 Quarterly Earnings: Facebook reports that its community now has “more than 2.5 billion people using at least one of our apps each month” which includes Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger and emphasizes its continued investment in the safety and security of its platform.

Facebook Watch Party Rolls Out to All Groups: Facebook began testing a new video experience called Watch Party in groups this past January. Watch Party allows Facebook group admins and moderators to select any public video hosted on Facebook (live or recorded) and share it with other members of the group. Group members can then watch at the same time and place and also add their own commentary to the experience.

Facebook Stories Features Tap to React Stickers: Facebook appears to be testing a new type of sticker that allows other users to “tap to react” to your Facebook stories.

Workplace for Facebook Boosts Collaboration and Personalisation Features: Facebook rolled out new features aimed at boosting team collaboration and driving greater personalization on its enterprise platform, Workplace for Facebook. These new features include Workplace profiles, which will call out team members’ birthdays and work anniversaries, share other personal details, and provide a one-click connection via Workplace chat. Workplace for Facebook will also offer a new directory search feature and admin control over Workplace people profiles such as what information is shared.

Workplace for Facebook Acquires Redkix: Facebook acquired Redkix, an email startup that combines email, messaging, and calendar features into one app. Recode reports that Facebook made the purchase in hopes of building out its own communication features inside Workplace, the enterprise version of Facebook that it hopes will compete with Slack.

Instagram

Instagram Alerts Users When Friends Are Online: Instagram is making it “easier to connect with friends on Instagram by showing you when they’re available to chat.” The company announced that a new green dot will appear next to profile pictures in various parts of the app such as the Direct inbox and the friend list when the user is active on Instagram.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn Adds Voice Messaging to LinkedIn Messaging: LinkedIn added the ability to record and send voice messages of up to 1 minute in LinkedIn Messaging on mobile. To record a message, you simply have to tap the microphone icon in the mobile messaging keyboard then hold and record a message. Voice messaging is rolling out now in the LinkedIn app on iOS and Android and will be available globally to all members in the next few weeks.

Snapchat

Snapchat Opens Private Ads Marketplace on Select Discover Channels: Snapchat will offer “100 cherry-picked brands across the UK, Australia, the USA, and Canada” unskippable ad placements against premium publishers’ TV-style show-like content found in the Discover section of the app. The Drum reports that these publishing partners include Hearst, Vice, BuzzFeed, NBC Universal, ESPN, and others and the ads will be available through Snapchat’s self-serve ad platform in August.

Snapchat Sunsets In-App Peer-to-Peer Payment Service, Snapcash: Snap Inc. is shutting down Snapcash, a relatively unknown and largely unused peer-to-peer payment service on Snapchat, by August 30. DigitalTrends reports that the Snapcash service has existed for the past 4 years, but because of “the rise of other payment apps like Venmo and its parent company PayPal, as well as bank-backed Zelle, and of course Square Cash, there were few folks who turned to Snapchat and Snapcash in order to pay their friends.”

Twitter

Twitter Released Ads Playbook for Brands and Agencies: Twitter Business produced a Playbook for Agencies for Q2 2018, which aims to share answers to the most frequently asked questions by agencies and their clients about how to run Twitter ads well, where Twitter fits into an overall client strategy, and more.

Twitter Outlines New Developer Requirements to Protect Platform: Twitter states that its first responsibility is “to provide a place that supports the health of conversation on Twitter.” To prevent misuse of the platform, the company introduced several new requirements for Twitter API developers. New apps must now be created in the new app management portal on developer.twitter.com, which requires an approved developer account. Twitter is also applying new default app-level rate limits on POST endpoints for tweets, retweets, DMs, follows, and likes, and a new process for obtaining “high volume posting privileges.”

YouTube

YouTube Tests Explore Feature on iOS: YouTube is testing a new Explore feature in the iOS app with expanded video recommendations and “topics and channels users probably wouldn’t ordinarily see” over the next few weeks. Variety notes that this test will affect only 1% of YouTube’s iOS app viewers and will be very similar to Instagram’s Explore tab, which has been successful in helping users to discover more videos and creators to expand their audiences.

YouTube Releases VR App for the Samsung Gear VR Devices: YouTube is expanding its virtual reality app to Samsung Gear VR devices starting next week. YouTube is also rolling out new features that allow users to watch together and chat and releasing exclusive new content for YouTube VR.

Visit Kim's website: www.morrisonsocialmedia.co.uk



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