Hosted by Melanie Deziel, founder of StoryFuel, How To Think Like A Journalist And Create Better Brand Stories focused on how to bring journalistic writing and content marketing together for the purpose of storytelling success.
Melanie's Inbound 2018 session was intent on teaching brand marketers to apply journalistic writing to their content in order to produce high standard journalism across their entire content portfolio.
Melanie is an award-winning brand journalist, international keynote speaker and founder of StoryFuel.
She is responsible for the development of one of the first MA courses in Content Marketing at Fairleigh Dickinson University for their Digital Marketing Master's Program and teaches as a professor.
Her career as a journalist included branded content creation at The New York Times and as the Director of Creative Strategies at Time.Inc.
Show, Don't Tell
Much of our time as marketers is telling the reader why our products are valuable to them. We don't spend enough time encouraging them to care about it however.
Melanie's message to combat this: show them why they should care, don't just tell them.
When studying journalism at school and college, the first lesson that you learn on day one is to show, not tell the reader the story.
It isn't your job to tell the reader what to experience emotionally; you have your decisions and you have to let the reader make your their own mind about how they feel.
By putting the needs of the audience first, showing them a story that they can get behind and letting them come to their own conclusions they will be better equipped to support a brand because they care about the cause.
Focus on what they need to know about you and why they should care about the fact you can help them. Don't get distracted by trying to sell them a product without first making the audience feel passionate about the story behind it first.
"Show the audience why they should love and care about your brand!"
TRUTH is a five letter acronym that Melanie recommends creators follow when creating content, whether it's for themselves or a client.
TRUTH is about making sure that the content you're putting into the world is built around your audiences and their needs.
Teach the audience with content that will be relevant today, tomorrow, next year and beyond.
Show them a process that could be beneficial for them but they don't know how to follow and teach them how to conquer it.
This could be:
How-to content that acts as a step-by-step guide.
Deep dives into your company and your mission.
Profiles and features of your teams and products.
Behind the scenes insights into your company.
Being reputable is about building trust. If you have a statistic or a quote in your content and no quoted source for that information then why should the audience trust what you have to say?
Quoting a source creates authority. It shows you as an expert in your subject field because you can demonstrate, just by citing a source, that you have done your research and care about what you tell your customers.
The best research to quote is academic. Universities have a much stricter policy on the content they publish because their names are often on the front of it. It has to be accurate for a university to publish it so quoting it shows authority, research and trustfulness.
The standard for what qualifies as unique is changing every day.
We don't read stories about the unremarkable events that happen all the time. The news doesn't report on every successful plane landing for example. But when something out-of-ordinary happens it gets discussed and published in the media and is often shouted out to the work.
We read these stories, the extraordinary ones, every day. These are unique, unusual stories that capture our attention because they aren't a common occurrence.
The stories that you tell have to be unique and newsworthy.
Are you the first person to be talking about this subject matter? Did you win an award for being the best at something? Tell that story!
For people to care about a story, there has to be something at stake. If there is no conflict or tension in a story then people aren't going to care as much about the end result.
If you can find the tension in your content that people will flock to your stories.
Questions are an effective way to create tension in a piece of content. Pose a question and answer it in a way that solves for the reader and shows a conflict in the resolution.
You could also demonstrate your companies risks and struggles that you have taken; pair it up with a success story!
Milestones and achievements mean a lot to people but if you can show the tension you had to overcome to get there people will invest more in your story.
People relate to people. You can show them a chart or a graph or a statistic but it's hard for humans to connect to.
When you see a human face, however, people relate to that.
Including photographs on your case studies or audio clips featuring your customers talking about how you have helped them overcome their tensions gives the reader something to invest in and will help create a more human image for your brand.
A brand with a story is a brand shooting for success. Applying TRUTH to your storytelling will help to lift your company to a new level in which your customers are more invested in you and your content.
Discover how Insynth can enhance your brand image through inspiring content marketing.
InsynthMarketing is a leading UK construction marketing consultancy based in Shifnal in the West Midlands. Insynthemploy the latest inbound marketing techniques such asconstruction inbound marketing, to help buildingproduct manufacturers grow their businesses by aggressively driving sales lead generation activity.