Market Stories, Not Facts

Market Stories, Not Facts

Boost-Your-Content-Marketing-Through-Storytelling.jpg

Remember that old storybook your mom or dad would read to you at night as a child?

Do you find it strange that even though it has been years since you last even thought about that story, you’re still able to remember bits and pieces of the plot, maybe what the main character wore or at least how the story ended?

Now try to remember those facts and figures you read about in yesterday’s news article or the list of ingredients in that granola bar you tried out. Can’t recall? I’m not surprised.

Many studies over the years have proven that the human brain is inherently wired to be far more engaged by stories than by cold, hard facts. When reading a story, we use the same parts of our brain that would be used if we were actually experiencing what we were reading, almost like a virtual reality role-playing game.

On the other hand, reading straight facts only utilizes the language part of the brain to translate it and then we’re essentially done with the information.

I’m explaining this psychological process in order to illustrate why 92% of consumers want brands to make ads feel like stories. Also consider the fact that our brains process images 60 times faster than words and you can see why more and more marketers are embracing the science of storytelling and producing short films in order to create quality advertising that effectively resonates with consumers.

For example, Chipotle consistently touts how they are “all about simple, fresh food without artificial flavors or fillers” and how the company only uses non-GMO ingredients in their kitchens. Yes, that’s great and all but the average consumer will eventually forget about these spoken/written benefits, lost amongst the 100,000 plus words that the average American consumes in a day.

Now watch the “The Scarecrow” short film that Chipotle created and see which strategy resonates with you more:

 

If you didn’t choose the video, you’re probably not human (just kidding, unless you’re a robot reading this in the future). The short film does the job of an entire campaign in less than five minutes without even having to display a single fact on the screen. Not only does the film establish an emotional connection with the viewer, but you better believe that the images seen in the video will stick in the mind of the consumer much longer than any straight forward fact read on a company website.

The point of this post is simple: consumers do not want to read bulleted lines of why you think your product is great; they want to be immersed in a multifaceted story where they are able to create a memorable experience with your brand.

Storytelling is something that the human mind craves and something that marketers should strive to satisfy.

The End

Advertisements
Why Twitter is Monetizing “Moments”

Why Twitter is Monetizing “Moments”

 

Twitter_Moments3x2

[Image credit: Ad Age]

By now you must have noticed the little lightning bolt symbol in the center of your Twitter dashboard and wondered, “What is that?”

That, my friend, is Project Lightning, a.k.a Twitter Moments a.k.a. the social media company’s answer to Snapchat’s Stories.

In a nut shell, Moments is a tweet aggregator that curates tweets based on the day’s top stories and presents them in a magazine-like view without having to follow a single person.

The product represents Twitter’s strongest push to date to acquire more casual users who may be turned off by the perceived sophistication of the platform.

Essentially, Moments is a Hail Mary pass for the blue bird company, which has seen a drop in its stock price and has maintained subpar user growth.

That is partly the reason why Twitter has wasted no time in monetizing the new feature by offering Promoted Moments as a way to give advertisers the chance to curate tweets, video and other content. This new form of native advertising immerses users in strategically selected content as a way to engage with target audiences without the skepticism that comes with most digital ads.

MGM, Warner Bros. and New Line Cinemas are the first to hop on the Promoted Moments bandwagon with a Moment centered around the new film, Creed, giving users an exclusive first look at the movie.

PrMom

[Image credit: Twitter]

Twitter plans to eventually have one Promoted Moment each day as part of an effort to combat slowing revenue growth.

Promoted Moments has the potential to be a go-to tool for marketer’s looking to bring out the storytelling aspect of their content. With brands being in control of what content is shared, the possibilities of how the product is used is endless. Retailers can feature real people using their products; brand sponsored events and festivals can create memorable stories from the day; musicians could put together content from their world tour to show everyone what they’re missing.

What do you think about Twitter Moments? Do you think Twitter will be able to get out of it’s financial slump by riding the back of Promoted Moments?

A Date with Design

A Date with Design

Typically when you go out on a date with someone for the first time, you want to look your best, right? You want that person to buy into who you are and discover all of the great things you have to offer. Whether that means wearing something trendy or putting on something that accurately presents who you are, in the back of your mind you know that first impressions matter.

The same can be said about visiting a website for the first time. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Consumer Union, 65 percent of U.S. internet users refuse to buy from a poorly designed website! Similar to the dating world, you’ll want to ensure your website or blog is dressed to the nines in order to make a great first impression on the casual visitor.

So in order to help ensure your site is making the best impression it can, take a look at some of the trendy tips outlined below and try incorporating them so you don’t strikeout with your audience.

Hero Images

Ever catch yourself staring at an attractive individual you’ve never seen before? An engaging and high-definition hero image can have the same effect when it comes to websites. While a user may not have come to your site for a particular reason, a strong hero image can stop that person in their tracks to admire whatever imagery you choose to showcase. The Art of Sculpting, a website for trainer Amando Campbell, does a great job of using a striking image that embodies exactly what his service is about.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 9.11.19 PM

Motion Animation

Did that subtle flick of the wrist make you notice the watch your date was wearing? That’s exactly the reaction they wanted. Our eyes are naturally drawn to motion, so consider adding some intrigue to your site by incorporating motion animation to your web space. This can come in a simple form of a GIF or, depending on the complexity of your site, a fully animated site that interacts with the movement of your mouse. Check out National Geographic’s website “Eat: The Story of Food” which won a People’s Voice Webby for “Best Use of Animation or Motion Graphics” in 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 9.33.24 PM

Responsive Design

Hopefully your date looks good in everything he or she wears, not just the outfit they had on for the first date. The same is true for websites; whether they’re seen on a laptop, smartphone or tablet, they should appear well put together and offer a seamless experience no matter what platform. That’s why your site should have responsive design built into its platform. Most blog builder sites, such as WordPress, have been offering responsive templates for years, which is important considering the many different screens your site will be forced to display on.

Change.org does a great job of making sure its site appropriately adjusts to the size and resolution of multiple platforms. This is even more important for an organization that thrives on people craving change at any moment, on any device.

changeorg

Photo credit: Digital Telepathy

Just like any good relationship, it takes more than a great first impression in order for a bond to thrive and grow. You’ll need to cultivate the relationship you build with your audience through genuine and sincere content as well as listening to what they want from you as a website manager. Although all that is important, just like in the dating scene, it never hurts to have a good-looking appearance.

Making Mobile Marketing Multicultural

Making Mobile Marketing Multicultural

Recently I was having a conversation with a Hispanic friend who informed me that other than at work, he hardly ever uses a laptop and doesn’t even own one for personal use. 10 years ago this would have been out of the norm; however with smartphones becoming relatively inexpensive compared to laptops, rates of Internet usage and smartphone ownership have skyrocketed among minority groups.

2013-03_Latinos-Technology-01

While he may not know it, my friend is a part of the 18% of Hispanics that do not own a desktop or laptop computer and strictly rely on their smartphone to access the Internet. To marketers, this represents a seismic shift in how to effectively target minority groups online.

African-Americans and Hispanics are also much more likely to make mobile purchases than their white counterparts, which puts even more pressure on marketers to ensure that their e-commerce sites are mobile-friendly and easily accessible to a variety of cultures. That may mean making sure your messaging is available in multiple languages or ensuring that the creative used in your campaign is sensitive to other cultures.

Pepsi learned this lesson the hard way when they realized that their new slogan, “Come Alive With Pepsi” translated to “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” in Chinese.

As the popularity of mobile marketing increases, professionals should know that they are speaking to an increasingly diverse audience and that the same messaging that was effective before, may not play out as well a few years down the line.