The Power of Storytelling

Sometimes this notion of “storytelling” in business seems folly, conjuring up thoughts of bedtime, folklore, embellished narrative, and performance art. It reminds me of entertaining my young children on long car rides by listening to Kipling’s take on how the camel got his hump. (Spoiler: The camel was a jerk, and that hump was a magic curse.)

In Content Rules (newly in paperback!), C.C. Chapman and I talk about story in another way entirely: How does your product or service exist in the real world—outside of your factory, or headquarters, or home office?

So how do you pull stories out of your own organization? Some advice:

Tell a visual story. Play with how visual tools—Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook Timeline photos—can help convey your story by showing how what you sell lives in the world: “If a picture alone is worth a thousand words, a picture with a little code is worth millions.”

Use Twitter in an inspired way. Are you using Twitter in a fresh, compelling way and a sense of personality, like our friends at FMW Fasteners?

Make your customer the hero. Video is particularly effective here. If you’ve been to the cinema lately, you might have noticed how elegantly LL Bean is doing this.

The key is this: Good content is not about storytelling; it’s about telling a truly connective story well. Share your story (or ones you like) with me below!

(Get the details on the Power Of series, including calendar of contributors)

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