Tag: storytelling

How to Effectively Engage Your Audience Through Email Marketing

Gone are the days of Spray and Pray email marketing. You cannot do those once customary ‘Email blasts’ to every subscriber on your contact list. The email marketing landscape has changed rapidly, thanks to the ever-increasing demand for personalized messaging. Striving for higher subscriber engagement is the primary reason behind this transition. However, things are not as simple as they seem to be since subscriber engagement is about sending the right message to the right message person at the right time.

As per a recent report by Campaign Monitor, “Increasing customer engagement rates was the most important goal for 58% of marketers and the most significant barrier for 44% of marketers.” These numbers show how much customer engagement means to email marketers and how crucial it is to enhance it.

Hence, I have compiled a few of the most effective tactics that you can pursue to take your subscriber engagement rate through the roof.

Dynamic and storytelling content

‘Content is king,’ and content hasn’t earned that title just like that. For any communication, be it personal or professional, communication is the soul, which stands true for email marketing. Weaving storytelling content in your emails would immediately elevate their online experience. They would be hooked from the get-go. However, it is some extra effort to sync your storytelling and branding together, but it is subscriber engagement you are aiming for, so you go to give it everything.

You can feature value-added content in your storytelling, such as news, tips, customer success stories, tips, and much more. As per a Forbes report, “millennials no longer become engaged through pure ads.”

When you strike the right chord with the subscribers, your engaging content will start impacting the sales as well. Connecting with people at a personal level leaves a profound impact on their buying behavior, and if executed right, it can do wonders for your brand.

If you are also looking to enhance your email campaign’s engagement appeal, then look no further than Mailchimp email experts or Marketo certified experts. They are the best in the business of taking your email marketing endeavors to the next level.

Impactful subject lines

On average, 121 emails are being received in every inbox each day. That’s a lot of emails, irrespective of whether they are personal, professional, and promotional. Now, in this sea of emails, the subject line is the deciding factor if your emails would be opened or will be another forgotten message that was never read in the first place.

It’s imperative to create subject lines that make a substantial impact on the readers. They will appeal to them and boost your engagement rates. A well-crafted subject line is short, tempting, and descriptive. You can go for different tonalities such as personal, informational, how-to, etc. Inserting emojis in subject lines is clever since they promise higher CTRs.

Here is a good example of how a precise subject line can set the right premise for your email. The subject line for Postable’s email says, “Refer your friends and get $$$.” The messaging is to the point clear, and hence, the recipient knows exactly what to expect once they open the mail.

Source: Really Good Emails

Personalized emails

A Campaign Monitor report found that “improving email personalization was the number one goal for 38% of marketers and was also the number one challenge for 36% of marketers.” To achieve personalization in your email marketing campaign, you can practice marketing automation, email list segmentation, and even third-party integrations.

Striking that chord with the recipients is easier if the content you serve them is relevant to them and as per their interests. Personalization doesn’t stop at just adding their name in the subject line. Instead, you can engage with them in even more ways, such as writing first-person emails and more. The plan is to give them a feeling that you understand your email subscribers and value them.

The following email template example depicts the point I am trying to make. When a subscriber sees the recipient’s name at the outset, they will trust you more, which would lead to much higher engagement. This email sounds more like a well-thought letter than a robotic email that you and I already receive truckloads of on a daily basis. Hence, a personalized email is a perfect start to have a loyal and engaging subscriber base.

Source: Really Good Emails

Segmentation of your email lists

Personalization gets you higher subscriber engagement, and nothing comes closer to personalization than segmenting your target lists. As email marketers, we create so much content that we sometimes forget diversity amongst our respective user bases. Information that’s relevant to one subscriber might be redundant for another. A great way to serve both of them is by segmenting your email list and creating specific personalized content based on that.

For example, if you experience low usage rates, then sending out re-engagement emails to engage inactive customers would be the best thing. For a more consistent customer, you can update him about the upcoming deals and offers.

The big takeaway here? In the end, customer engagement is decisive to customer acquisition and eventual customer retention. However, before trying to engage with them, it’s better to understand them first. It’s indispensable to have an understanding of who your customers are, what they prefer, or what’s the best way to connect with them.

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The post How to Effectively Engage Your Audience Through Email Marketing appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/12/how-to-effectively-engage-your-audience-through-email-marketing/

Why Killer Creative and a Purposeful Strategy are Integral to Your COVID-19 Strategy

Though it may feel like everything has been put on pause due to COVID-19, the fact that we need to share stories hasn’t. Now more than ever we have an incredible opportunity as marketers to capture the elements of life today and deliver timely experiences to our audiences. The world is different, however, so naturally how we visualize our realities must also shift which can present barriers when taking up creative arms and finding ways to innovate.

During #SMWONE Social Chain‘s Oliver Yonchev brought attendees through three key principles: relevant storytelling, self-aware brands, and speed needed in order to turn away from the standard of business as usual and prepare for the future.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Theories aren’t facts
  • The case for purposeful content and creativity is a strong one
  • Great storytelling hinges on being self-aware, timely delivery, and relevancy

What does this process of adapting actually look like? According to Yonchev, it’s time to close the yearbook and turn away from those old theories of having to post ‘x’ amount of posts daily or weekly and return to what truly matters in marketing: creative ideas that are productive and positive for the benefit of humanity. If we follow those old theories in an evolving landscape, with increased choice and this ‘always on’ mentality, also known as business as usua, will lead to content overload that can cause distraction and deter innovation in meaningful moments.

Everyone loves a good story

For starters, great storytelling strives from going deeper and by bringing in that depth. How to create depth when it comes to social content? Social marketers, look out your windows and understand what is happening in the world! Look for cultural moments, emotional sentiments, and distribution methods. Oliver continues to say that “indifference is where marketing goes to die.” We need to think outside the box by bringing in those known truths of our culture and turn them into something beautiful. Does, #NoFilterNoFuture sound familiar? If not, check it out, Social Chain partnered with Brita and opened up eyes by turning one conversation into a mass movement.

“The best campaigns understand culture and lean on creativity. Our work for Brita did both.” Specifically, Yonchev referred to the #NoFilterNoFuture, a breakthrough social media campaign aimed at encouraging people to take action to reduce single-use plastic waste, while driving awareness and purchase intent for Brita’s Filtering Water Bottles.

The larger point to remember from this example: take the current pandemic of COVOID-19, use it, and create something positive.

Know yourself

As social marketers, we need to understand how we are perceived by others, and how we see ourselves. Only then can we convey a session of relevancy and purpose behind what we communicate. “The gearing of algorithms have made social media a game of outrage, and attention-seeking. It’s for this reason that brands need to know when they should speak, and more importantly when they shouldn’t,” he shared.

Yonchev continued to give sight on being careful of wrongly assuming. Know where you stand within your followers, and think before you post of how your brand or business is perceived. We do not need to create a double standard without realizing. A good best practice to pocket when you’re uncertain if something you share will have negative repercussions: take the time to fully understand what your brand sounds like and convey this in a way that has a human touch that is easily decipherable. This may take slightly different formats as you navigate between channels, but generally, this will be helpful rule of thumb to apply across each.

First-Mover Advantage

When it comes to speed, always remember the first-mover advantage notion. Stay on top of your game, and run forward, not backward. Yonchev emphasizes that “relevance moves quickly, and brands brave enough to act fast, stay relevant.” But when staying relevant we need to keep quality in mind, it’s important to be mindful of the speed at which brands are relaying messages. If your brand uses multiple social media platforms keep up with them, listen to your following, and take in feedback. Have quick responsiveness regardless of your brand’s reputation from the past.

At the end of the day, you just need to remember Yonchev’s famous lines, that “theories are not facts,” and “business as usual is a theory.”

There’s still time to register for #SMWONE at smwone.com. Save 20% throughout the rest of the month!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post Why Killer Creative and a Purposeful Strategy are Integral to Your COVID-19 Strategy appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/05/why-killer-creative-and-a-purposeful-strategy-are-integral-to-your-covid-19-strategy/

Instagram Stories and Vertical Video: The Future of Brand Storytelling

It’s been just over two years since Instagram Stories launched and today over 500 million people use the feature daily. Yet, it remains a relatively untapped advertising resource.

Add-ons including the Questions Sticker and Music give the personal touch every social user today craves. Meanwhile, the introduction of Stories ads and IGTV for marketers and influencers continue to speak to the level of influence the platform has with regards to selling power.

View the full #SMWLDN agenda

Despite these features, marketers continue to face the overarching challenge of finding new ways to make it easier for audiences to consume content when and where it’s convenient for them. A recent trend that seems to be offering insights into this topic is vertical video.

On 1 November, the final day of #SMWLDN, we’ll explore this theme in detail in a session led by Jane Kinnaird, Creative Strategist at Instagram, and Gareth Leeding, Group Creative Director at We Are Social. Together, they’ll underscore success stories of award-winning brands highlighting the very best and most innovative uses of Stories and explore why vertical video storytelling is the future. They’ll also share reasons Instagram Stories is a must-have format of choice for storytelling and driving traffic and shed light on the trends that are shaping how brands are using the platform to move the needle for their business.

Sixty-percent of videos today are watched on phones and tablets and 94 percent of us interact with our phones vertically. Vertical has, indeed, been on the up for years but marketers are just becoming awakened to the myriad of use cases for it to meet the demands for personalization, interactivity, and immediacy.

There’s still time to join Jane, Gareth, and many more speakers in London at Westminster’s QEII Centre this fall (31 Oct – 1 Nov), – so act fast, and look toward a future of vertical storytelling with us!

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WATCH THE #SMWLDN 2019 PROMO

The post Instagram Stories and Vertical Video: The Future of Brand Storytelling appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/09/instagram-stories-and-vertical-video-the-future-of-brand-storytelling/

How Fender is Winning New Generations of Consumers by Acting Like a 70-Year-Old Startup

If the evolution of social media has taught us one thing, it’s that its power is hard to dismiss and its true source of power is influence.

In recent years, the very nature of this influence has not only widened, but its scope has forced us to reckon with a very important responsibility. Our stories can change how people think and act, and our obligation is to use this influence for the greater good.

On June 12th during SMW Los Angeles, Evan Jones, CMO of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, will delve into this theme exploring the brand’s foray into the digital space, presenting a variety of challenges including balancing culture with conversions and navigating a growing number of social media strategies.

VIEW THE FINAL #SMWLA AGENDA AND SECURE YOUR PASS TODAY!

In documenting this journey, Jones will offer best practices and actionable insights for using social media to drive change and tips for fostering a community among your target audiences and customers. In addition, he’ll share practical examples of successful cases of moving traditional marketing to digital and approaches for adapting to a fast-paced, constantly changing landscape.

“The investment in digital has forced us to embrace the iterative nature of digital product development, where consumer feedback is instantaneous, constant, and available, with go-to-market timelines that are much more compressed than the traditional business,” Jones stated in a recent Q&A with Forrester.

In a separate interview with CMO.com, Jones described the company as a 70-year-old startup. “We’ve got all this credibility and authenticity that’s undeniable, and we want to stay loyal to that nostalgia but also expand in new ways. So the storytelling that we’re trying to drive right now is really designed to inspire the next generation of players and artists,” he said.

As of late, the focus of such efforts has included featuring more female artists in campaigns and storytelling and building the subscriber base for Fender Play. The result? Reduced barriers to category entry and a larger global user base of engaged players that are contributing to Fender’s core mission to exceed the expectations of music enthusiasts worldwide.

There’s still time to join us at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica June 12-13. Browse the full agenda and secure your pass by Friday, June 7th to take advantage of the current discount before it expires.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH THE SMWLA 2019 PROMO

The post How Fender is Winning New Generations of Consumers by Acting Like a 70-Year-Old Startup appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/05/how-fender-is-winning-new-generations-of-consumers-by-acting-like-a-70-year-old-startup/

4 Powerful Lessons in Instagram Storytelling, Inspired by Mental Health Awareness Month

As you know, at Social Media Week we’re tremendous proponents of storytelling. Sharing our stories can endear us to one another, highlight experiences that seem remote or uncommon, and teach lessons that could otherwise seem too complicated or esoteric to explain. It’s especially attractive to share stories of challenge that feature a happy ending. But for millions of people across the United States and the United Kingdom, Mental Health Awareness Month (celebrated each May) means accessing and thinking about stories that are in progress—and often filled with challenge, pain, and shame.

Often a place where difficult stories are glossed over in favor of highlight reels and inspirational quotes, Instagram has come to life in an unexpected way over the last few Mays in a more real, vulnerable, and communal way. There are lessons to be learned from how individuals, brands, and social movements use this space to tell their stories during such an impactful time.

Here, we shine a light on a few of our favorites, as well as the lessons they could offer to our storytelling year round.

From Notes from Your Therapist: Small and simple can win out over polished and produced.

Teacher and therapist Allyson Dinneen has amassed a following of over 100,000 Instagrammers with her teachings about emotions, emotional intelligence, and counsel on relationships. But unlike so many other mental health “meme” accounts, her advice isn’t emblazoned on photos of flowers or vast sky landscapes. She has garnered considerable success, attention, and acknowledgment of breakthrough with something far simpler: brief, handwritten notes.

The notes carry power because followers can imagine themselves coming across her counsel on a coffee table at home, or in a wallet where the mantra was stashed for safekeeping. Seeing these tips and reminders in human handwriting somehow drives home the message: these challenges are real. You are human because, and not despite, having them. And another human being has them or understands them too.

From Talkspace: Brands can and should have real conversations about mental health.

While most accounts on mental health tend to share mantras and generalized tips for challenges surrounding depression, anxiety, panic, and grief, few are equipped to offer counsel. Talkspace, the text-based therapy app, can operate differently in this space thanks to their collective of licensed therapists. And this month, their use of Instagram Stories to engage those in need of help has been a shining example of user-generated content.

Urging their followers and users to use #MyMentalHealthLooksLike, Talkspace has used its stories in two key ways. First, they allow their current subscribers to share their go-to coping strategies through photos and videos, and share this content on their Stories feed. Second, they periodically open their Stories up to anonymous questions from followers and users, dispatching 2-3 Talkspace therapists to offer counsel on submitted mental health challenges. What results is a rich, accepting, and communal space for anyone in search of support. Particularly for users of the app, who often interact with Talkspace in a solo capacity, seeing the community of others who benefit from their services can be powerful.

From I Weigh: Starpower and UGC can converge in moving and important ways.

Former TV presenter and current The Good Place star Jameela Jamil got fed up with the laser focus on thinness, body manipulation, and constant questions about her size after an interview one day. Taking to her Instagram page, she added to a photo of herself all the things she preferred to be known for: lovely relationship, financial independence, willingness to speak out on women’s rights, and other things of that nature that have so little to do with society’s views of appearance. Her I Weigh movement, sparked by followers all across the world responding in kind with their own sources of pride that went beyond their weight, has gone on to be a powerful community for those struggling with body image and those fighting for body positivity.

The account has garnered the attention of celebrities who buy strongly into the message, and Jamil has parlayed that into an interview series on IGTV featuring guests like Sam Smith, Lizzo, and Rose McGowan. In their conversations, they’ve explored how relationship with body can impact mental health and how it intersects with concepts like gender, fame, and physical health. Through it all, Jamil (who still runs the account unassisted) is allowing celebrities and regular people to speak powerfully alongside one another in favor of a world where people are valued for who they are, and not what they can be altered or airbrushed to look like.

From Matt Haig and Rachel Cargle: The circle of those affected is wider than you know.

Without realizing it, many of us may have formulated who lives with – and gets to talk about – mental illness in a public forum like social media. But the benefit of social platforms is getting to find others who struggle in the same ways as you do, building community and allowing what previously happened in murmurs to gain volume and evolve into shouts.

Matt Haig is an author and playwright who has gained fame for his frank talk on depression—a topic not often talked about publicly by men. Rachel Cargle is an educator and activist who gained prominence for, among other reasons, starting the Therapy for Black Girls Fund. Each has used their presence on Instagram and other platforms to encourage populations that otherwise might minimize a need to talk about mental health, or might experience elevated stigman when doing so, to speak up and speak out. And the stories we choose to tell should widen how our personas are developed and marketed to. How far can our influence reach? Can you evolve to share those stories that are frequently lesser heard, but often more widely needed?

From across the Internet: this kind of vulnerable storytelling can – and should – happen year round.

Although there are accounts that will, in some ways, return to “regular programming” come June, there are Instagram accounts telling these challenging but ultimately rewarding and important stories year round. And those who want to lift up stories as part of their strategy can learn from how they do this. If you share stories of individuals, and their circumstances change, provide updates like @ttfapodcast does on behalf of its partner show, American Public Media’s Terrible, Thanks for Asking. Mix up the medium you use to tell stories: @depressedcakeshop highlights people who bake to raise money for mental health awareness, and often features striking photos of delicious, but depression-themed desserts. And @33foreverinc, started by the family of a young woman who died at 33 after a longtime struggle with depression and anxiety, shares stories from multiple perspectives (parents, siblings, friends) about how her journey and their loss feels.

It’s undeniable that these stories have power, and they hold a special power during this “sanctioned” month of sharing and awareness. But we know good stories should know no season. So take a lesson from these vulnerable, sometimes messy, but always inspiring accounts as you ponder how to tell stories without a veneer of perfection—this May, and beyond.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH THE SMWLA 2019 PROMO

The post 4 Powerful Lessons in Instagram Storytelling, Inspired by Mental Health Awareness Month appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/05/4-powerful-lessons-in-instagram-storytelling-inspired-by-mental-health-awareness-month/

Digital Storytelling: Simple and Effective Ways to Create the Right Perspective for Your Business from Leo Burnett

For leading brands today, connection is key to a successful advertising campaign. If consumers feel they have a relationship with a business, then they will invest and make it their own – most probably for life.

During #SMWNYC representatives from some of the world’s leading brands including Johnson & Johnson, Leo Burnett, Diageo, and EquityProjectForAll came together to discuss their tactics for winning the hearts and minds of consumers with stories that penetrate and reverberate long after the campaign is done.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWNYC session

Subscribe

Leveraging stories behind brands that have transformed their marketing techniques, the panelists identified ways to craft social content based on platform, audience, and campaign objective, how to integrate brand purpose authentically into social strategies, and ways to amplify your brand’s story through VR, AR, and AI to fuel engagement.

Here are three simple but effective perspectives shared during the conversation.

Do the research and create meaning.

Karuna Rawal and the #AlwaysLikeAGirl Campaign by Always.

The clever campaign shows various demographics in America being asked to do something like a girl.

All give accurate imitations of what society implies girls to do – running with arms waving – fighting with eyes closed – throwing with their wrists flared.

It highlights the female cliché and generates the perspective of the women; their audience.

“We found out through the data that typically, women lose their confidence as a result of puberty,” said Karuna Rawal, President, Groupe Client Lead, Leo Burnett.

The advert then asks females aged between 7 and 11 to do something like a girl. At this point, the young girls fight with as tough as they physically can; run as fast as they physically can; and throw like as hard as they physically can, expressing courageous confidence.

“We had the opportunity to connect with our purpose – empowering women – while bringing it together with the data – how girls confidence plummets through puberty,” added Rawal.

It just goes to show how successful a campaign can be by connecting with the perspective of the consumer.

Rawal described how women grew tired of seeing a product demonstrated to them as a way of getting them to invest.

Don’t be fake.

Neutrogena pioneered the use of the no-retouch image to show how effective their product is.

Paired with partnerships with selected celebrity, Neutrogena could leverage its brand identity to generate effective results.

By showing the perspective of their consumer through the gaze of celebrity, it generated an appeal that their consumer could trust.

The secret was in confronting what was already known.

“The goal was to really leverage our purpose and speak it through our advertising campaign” said Edlynne Laryea, Director, Global Neutrogena Digital Transformation and Sustainability, Johnson & Johnson.

If consumers know that what they see being advertised on television is a lie, then that insult isn’t going to translate into sales.

This ethos was put to the test in Neutrogena’s Valentine’s Day campaign where two actors without a script simply had some fun with the product. Simple, but effective.

“It was really important for us to tell an authentic story without any pretense. They weren’t holding up the bottle or saying use Neutrogena,” explained Laryea.

The Honest Story.

How does a Russian sounding vodka appeal to the US? By telling the honest story.

“In the US the perception is something we really have to work on,” said Jay Sethi, Vice President, Smirnoff & Nurture Brands Portfolio, Diageo.

The man behind the infamous Smirnoff ad ‘Made in America: but we’d be happy to talk about Russia under oath.’

Brands, especially old brands like Smirnoff, have long histories. More often than not, this can be great for companies – American brands emphasis their Americanness in the act of patriotism; and why not?

For Smirnoff however, history wasn’t in their favor, or at least for the time being.

Smirnoff was an American company with a Russian name – as a result of American immigration Smirnoff has a Russian name. Their history pointed out that only the affluent drank Smirnoff in Russia and they wanted to keep it that way.

“Russia just wanted Smirnoff to be for them, they wanted it to be for the Tsar’s, it was the best Vodka you could have, and they wanted it for themselves. Our founders said we want it to be for the people,” explained Sethi.

Telling the story of how Smirnoff was created in America because Russia opposed their distribution, creates a positive perspective for the American consumer and flips what was first thought of as a negative history, into a promising one.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR SMWLA 2019 PROMO

The post Digital Storytelling: Simple and Effective Ways to Create the Right Perspective for Your Business from Leo Burnett appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/05/digital-storytelling-simple-and-effective-ways-to-create-the-right-perspective-for-your-business-from-leo-burnett/

Digital Storytelling: Simple and Effective Ways to Create the Right Perspective for Your Business from Leo Burnett

For leading brands today, connection is key to a successful advertising campaign. If consumers feel they have a relationship with a business, then they will invest and make it their own – most probably for life.

During #SMWNYC representatives from some of the world’s leading brands including Johnson & Johnson, Leo Burnett, Diageo, and EquityProjectForAll came together to discuss their tactics for winning the hearts and minds of consumers with stories that penetrate and reverberate long after the campaign is done.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWNYC session

Subscribe

Leveraging stories behind brands that have transformed their marketing techniques, the panelists identified ways to craft social content based on platform, audience, and campaign objective, how to integrate brand purpose authentically into social strategies, and ways to amplify your brand’s story through VR, AR, and AI to fuel engagement.

Here are three simple but effective perspectives shared during the conversation.

Do the research and create meaning.

Karuna Rawal and the #AlwaysLikeAGirl Campaign by Always.

The clever campaign shows various demographics in America being asked to do something like a girl.

All give accurate imitations of what society implies girls to do – running with arms waving – fighting with eyes closed – throwing with their wrists flared.

It highlights the female cliché and generates the perspective of the women; their audience.

“We found out through the data that typically, women lose their confidence as a result of puberty,” said Karuna Rawal, President, Groupe Client Lead, Leo Burnett.

The advert then asks females aged between 7 and 11 to do something like a girl. At this point, the young girls fight with as tough as they physically can; run as fast as they physically can; and throw like as hard as they physically can, expressing courageous confidence.

“We had the opportunity to connect with our purpose – empowering women – while bringing it together with the data – how girls confidence plummets through puberty,” added Rawal.

It just goes to show how successful a campaign can be by connecting with the perspective of the consumer.

Rawal described how women grew tired of seeing a product demonstrated to them as a way of getting them to invest.

Don’t be fake.

Neutrogena pioneered the use of the no-retouch image to show how effective their product is.

Paired with partnerships with selected celebrity, Neutrogena could leverage its brand identity to generate effective results.

By showing the perspective of their consumer through the gaze of celebrity, it generated an appeal that their consumer could trust.

The secret was in confronting what was already known.

“The goal was to really leverage our purpose and speak it through our advertising campaign” said Edlynne Laryea, Director, Global Neutrogena Digital Transformation and Sustainability, Johnson & Johnson.

If consumers know that what they see being advertised on television is a lie, then that insult isn’t going to translate into sales.

This ethos was put to the test in Neutrogena’s Valentine’s Day campaign where two actors without a script simply had some fun with the product. Simple, but effective.

“It was really important for us to tell an authentic story without any pretense. They weren’t holding up the bottle or saying use Neutrogena,” explained Laryea.

The Honest Story.

How does a Russian sounding vodka appeal to the US? By telling the honest story.

“In the US the perception is something we really have to work on,” said Jay Sethi, Vice President, Smirnoff & Nurture Brands Portfolio, Diageo.

The man behind the infamous Smirnoff ad ‘Made in America: but we’d be happy to talk about Russia under oath.’

Brands, especially old brands like Smirnoff, have long histories. More often than not, this can be great for companies – American brands emphasis their Americanness in the act of patriotism; and why not?

For Smirnoff however, history wasn’t in their favor, or at least for the time being.

Smirnoff was an American company with a Russian name – as a result of American immigration Smirnoff has a Russian name. Their history pointed out that only the affluent drank Smirnoff in Russia and they wanted to keep it that way.

“Russia just wanted Smirnoff to be for them, they wanted it to be for the Tsar’s, it was the best Vodka you could have, and they wanted it for themselves. Our founders said we want it to be for the people,” explained Sethi.

Telling the story of how Smirnoff was created in America because Russia opposed their distribution, creates a positive perspective for the American consumer and flips what was first thought of as a negative history, into a promising one.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR SMWLA 2019 PROMO

The post Digital Storytelling: Simple and Effective Ways to Create the Right Perspective for Your Business from Leo Burnett appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/05/digital-storytelling-simple-and-effective-ways-to-create-the-right-perspective-for-your-business-from-leo-burnett/

Digital Storytelling: Simple and Effective Ways to Create the Right Perspective for Your Business from Leo Burnett

For leading brands today, connection is key to a successful advertising campaign. If consumers feel they have a relationship with a business, then they will invest and make it their own – most probably for life.

During #SMWNYC representatives from some of the world’s leading brands including Johnson & Johnson, Leo Burnett, Diageo, and EquityProjectForAll came together to discuss their tactics for winning the hearts and minds of consumers with stories that penetrate and reverberate long after the campaign is done.

Join SMW Insider to watch this #SMWNYC session

Subscribe

Leveraging stories behind brands that have transformed their marketing techniques, the panelists identified ways to craft social content based on platform, audience, and campaign objective, how to integrate brand purpose authentically into social strategies, and ways to amplify your brand’s story through VR, AR, and AI to fuel engagement.

Here are three simple but effective perspectives shared during the conversation.

Do the research and create meaning.

Karuna Rawal and the #AlwaysLikeAGirl Campaign by Always.

The clever campaign shows various demographics in America being asked to do something like a girl.

All give accurate imitations of what society implies girls to do – running with arms waving – fighting with eyes closed – throwing with their wrists flared.

It highlights the female cliché and generates the perspective of the women; their audience.

“We found out through the data that typically, women lose their confidence as a result of puberty,” said Karuna Rawal, President, Groupe Client Lead, Leo Burnett.

The advert then asks females aged between 7 and 11 to do something like a girl. At this point, the young girls fight with as tough as they physically can; run as fast as they physically can; and throw like as hard as they physically can, expressing courageous confidence.

“We had the opportunity to connect with our purpose – empowering women – while bringing it together with the data – how girls confidence plummets through puberty,” added Rawal.

It just goes to show how successful a campaign can be by connecting with the perspective of the consumer.

Rawal described how women grew tired of seeing a product demonstrated to them as a way of getting them to invest.

Don’t be fake.

Neutrogena pioneered the use of the no-retouch image to show how effective their product is.

Paired with partnerships with selected celebrity, Neutrogena could leverage its brand identity to generate effective results.

By showing the perspective of their consumer through the gaze of celebrity, it generated an appeal that their consumer could trust.

The secret was in confronting what was already known.

“The goal was to really leverage our purpose and speak it through our advertising campaign” said Edlynne Laryea, Director, Global Neutrogena Digital Transformation and Sustainability, Johnson & Johnson.

If consumers know that what they see being advertised on television is a lie, then that insult isn’t going to translate into sales.

This ethos was put to the test in Neutrogena’s Valentine’s Day campaign where two actors without a script simply had some fun with the product. Simple, but effective.

“It was really important for us to tell an authentic story without any pretense. They weren’t holding up the bottle or saying use Neutrogena,” explained Laryea.

The Honest Story.

How does a Russian sounding vodka appeal to the US? By telling the honest story.

“In the US the perception is something we really have to work on,” said Jay Sethi, Vice President, Smirnoff & Nurture Brands Portfolio, Diageo.

The man behind the infamous Smirnoff ad ‘Made in America: but we’d be happy to talk about Russia under oath.’

Brands, especially old brands like Smirnoff, have long histories. More often than not, this can be great for companies – American brands emphasis their Americanness in the act of patriotism; and why not?

For Smirnoff however, history wasn’t in their favor, or at least for the time being.

Smirnoff was an American company with a Russian name – as a result of American immigration Smirnoff has a Russian name. Their history pointed out that only the affluent drank Smirnoff in Russia and they wanted to keep it that way.

“Russia just wanted Smirnoff to be for them, they wanted it to be for the Tsar’s, it was the best Vodka you could have, and they wanted it for themselves. Our founders said we want it to be for the people,” explained Sethi.

Telling the story of how Smirnoff was created in America because Russia opposed their distribution, creates a positive perspective for the American consumer and flips what was first thought of as a negative history, into a promising one.

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Digital Storytelling: Simple and Effective Ways to Create the Right Perspective for Your Business from Leo Burnett

For leading brands today, connection is key to a successful advertising campaign. If consumers feel they have a relationship with a business, then they will invest and make it their own – most probably for life.

During #SMWNYC representatives from some of the world’s leading brands including Johnson & Johnson, Leo Burnett, Diageo, and EquityProjectForAll came together to discuss their tactics for winning the hearts and minds of consumers with stories that penetrate and reverberate long after the campaign is done.

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Leveraging stories behind brands that have transformed their marketing techniques, the panelists identified ways to craft social content based on platform, audience, and campaign objective, how to integrate brand purpose authentically into social strategies, and ways to amplify your brand’s story through VR, AR, and AI to fuel engagement.

Here are three simple but effective perspectives shared during the conversation.

Do the research and create meaning.

Karuna Rawal and the #AlwaysLikeAGirl Campaign by Always.

The clever campaign shows various demographics in America being asked to do something like a girl.

All give accurate imitations of what society implies girls to do – running with arms waving – fighting with eyes closed – throwing with their wrists flared.

It highlights the female cliché and generates the perspective of the women; their audience.

“We found out through the data that typically, women lose their confidence as a result of puberty,” said Karuna Rawal, President, Groupe Client Lead, Leo Burnett.

The advert then asks females aged between 7 and 11 to do something like a girl. At this point, the young girls fight with as tough as they physically can; run as fast as they physically can; and throw like as hard as they physically can, expressing courageous confidence.

“We had the opportunity to connect with our purpose – empowering women – while bringing it together with the data – how girls confidence plummets through puberty,” added Rawal.

It just goes to show how successful a campaign can be by connecting with the perspective of the consumer.

Rawal described how women grew tired of seeing a product demonstrated to them as a way of getting them to invest.

Don’t be fake.

Neutrogena pioneered the use of the no-retouch image to show how effective their product is.

Paired with partnerships with selected celebrity, Neutrogena could leverage its brand identity to generate effective results.

By showing the perspective of their consumer through the gaze of celebrity, it generated an appeal that their consumer could trust.

The secret was in confronting what was already known.

“The goal was to really leverage our purpose and speak it through our advertising campaign” said Edlynne Laryea, Director, Global Neutrogena Digital Transformation and Sustainability, Johnson & Johnson.

If consumers know that what they see being advertised on television is a lie, then that insult isn’t going to translate into sales.

This ethos was put to the test in Neutrogena’s Valentine’s Day campaign where two actors without a script simply had some fun with the product. Simple, but effective.

“It was really important for us to tell an authentic story without any pretense. They weren’t holding up the bottle or saying use Neutrogena,” explained Laryea.

The Honest Story.

How does a Russian sounding vodka appeal to the US? By telling the honest story.

“In the US the perception is something we really have to work on,” said Jay Sethi, Vice President, Smirnoff & Nurture Brands Portfolio, Diageo.

The man behind the infamous Smirnoff ad ‘Made in America: but we’d be happy to talk about Russia under oath.’

Brands, especially old brands like Smirnoff, have long histories. More often than not, this can be great for companies – American brands emphasis their Americanness in the act of patriotism; and why not?

For Smirnoff however, history wasn’t in their favor, or at least for the time being.

Smirnoff was an American company with a Russian name – as a result of American immigration Smirnoff has a Russian name. Their history pointed out that only the affluent drank Smirnoff in Russia and they wanted to keep it that way.

“Russia just wanted Smirnoff to be for them, they wanted it to be for the Tsar’s, it was the best Vodka you could have, and they wanted it for themselves. Our founders said we want it to be for the people,” explained Sethi.

Telling the story of how Smirnoff was created in America because Russia opposed their distribution, creates a positive perspective for the American consumer and flips what was first thought of as a negative history, into a promising one.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR SMWLA 2019 PROMO

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How to Cultivate Influencer Relationships for Successful Storytelling

Influencer marketing has exploded over the course of the past five years and shows no signs of slowing down as we approach the second half of 2019.

According to recent reports, the market is on pace to reach $10 billion by 2020 — up from $2 billion in 2017 — and influencer marketing ad spend is poised to reach between $5 billion and $10 billion in 2022. This will be fueled primarily by the nearly two-thirds (69%) of marketers who claim they plan to increase their spending on influencer marketing this year. For a quick YoY comparison, in 2018 only 39 percent of marketers planned to grow their influencer marketing budgets.

With additional traction and investment, the industry is becoming more accessible and measurable than ever before, resulting in a growing number of marketers finding influencer marketing effective in achieving their business goals. In spite of the benefits, however, we must find ways to navigate the complexities as the space matures and new players and cross-platform storytelling strategies enter the scene.

At #SMWLA, we have an exciting lineup of leading brands, platforms, and storytellers who will share actionable insights into the evolution of influencer marketing and what it means for storytelling efforts as part of our 2019 global theme. Names to bookmark as you build your itinerary include Edelman, Shopify Plus, Fullscreen, and Sundae.

A few highlights as to what topics the sessions will explore:

  • The role of influencers in the marketing funnel
  • How to build influencer partnerships that are both creative and strategic and will deliver on your messaging and campaign goals
  • What elements are crucial to a successful partnership, the challenges, and how to truly cultivate a relationship with creators beyond just a paycheck
  • What three ingredients drive story-led commerce (and the one killer mistake)
  • Why consumers crave brands with a mission and social consciousness as well as how to unleash UGC as your secret weapon

There’s still time to join us at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica June 12-13. Browse the current agenda and stay tuned for our full lineup being published next Tuesday, May 21st. Secure your pass by Friday, May 24th to take advantage of the current discount before it expires.

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WATCH OUR SMWLA 2019 PROMO

The post How to Cultivate Influencer Relationships for Successful Storytelling appeared first on Social Media Week.

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What Philip Morris’ Influencer Gaffe Can Teach Us about Responsible Storytelling

Influencers can be a powerful tool to craft and share stories that endear customers to a brand. But what happens when that influence isn’t used responsibly?

A recent gaffe by Philip Morris International can be highly instructive for brands hoping to create strong and responsible influencer relationships – and for Philip Morris’ US distributor Altria.

An Influencer Campaign, Suspended

A recent Reuters investigation has resulted in the suspension of PMI’s latest international influencer campaign, aiming to promote its iOQS product. The reason? Underage influencers.

The tool, designed to utilize “heated tobacco” (versus burned tobacco) is reportedly healthier and safer for its users. However, a major caveat to the tool’s approval in the United States was PMI’s word to the FDA, which “repeatedly assured the regulators that it would warn young people away from the product.” Part of that assurance included internal guidelines that no influencers under the age of 25 could work on behalf of the company. And in Reuters’ review of influencer accounts in Italy, Japan, Romania, Russia, and Switzerland, they discovered accounts affiliated with the brand whose owners were younger than that.

An International Brand, Embarrassed

In their statement announcing the suspension of the influencer program, PMI acceded to the criticism levied by Reuters: “Whilst the influencer in question is a legal age adult smoker, she is under 25 and our guidance called for influencers to be 25+ years of age. This was a clear breach of those guidelines.” They admitted to PR Week, “we are not proud that a mistake was made, but what really matters is outcomes.”

As the company’s US distributor Altria prepares to deploy what they call “a range of marketing, sales, and consumer engagement approaches” to raise awareness of this new product, what should they take away from this misstep?

How to Influence with Integrity

Influencer marketing works successfully when the individual’s target audience aligns positively with the brand’s outcomes. Age-restricted industries like alcohol, tobacco, and even some medications, may struggle to realistically restrict reach on social media—where age verification measures are far more challenging. In these instances, targeted advertising may be a safer and more tightly controlled bet. And in the event that influencers are the strategy you choose to use, ensure there are contractual measures in place for if these individuals misrepresent themselves.

In a larger sense, it’s important to anticipate pitfalls that may come with innovative ideas. When speaking about iOQS’ impending release in the US, PMI CEO André Calantzopoulos praised the company for evolving in a world where tobacco companies are quickly losing ground. He touted PMI’s efforts in “essentially disrupting our business from the inside out. I can’t think of any other business that has attempted such a transformation before. Certainly no other tobacco company.” Innovation can mean moving fast and breaking things, but how big should we allow the things we break to be?

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ president Matthew Myers managed to quantify the potential impact of this gaffe: 179 million views of the hashtag #ioqs across Instagram and Twitter. Without a way to determine the age of these viewers, how can PMI ensure that they’re not reaching underage social users? Add to this the fact that 13 states and over 450 localities have raised the smoking age from 18 to 21, and the ability to incidentally reach an unintended audience goes up considerably.

The bottom line in all this: influencer marketing requires far more supervision and control than some realize. PMI realized this fact the hard way, but your brand doesn’t have to. To do influencer marketing well, brands and influencers need to think critically about the message being shared and the potential audience it will reach—and concede when influencer marketing isn’t the best medium for your message. Doing otherwise violates that responsibility that so matters when we try to tell stories that matter.

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Using Data-Driven Digital Experiences to Better Understand Customers

Each year, thousands of people visit Brooklyn Brewery, experiencing their favorite beer learning about the iconic brand first-hand—but, until the brand started understanding their customers and target market, valuable insights were walking out the tasting room door.

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At Social Media Week New York, Jonathan Yaffe, CEO and Co-Founder of experiential marketing platform AnyRoad, and Lauren Ford, Tasting Room Programming and Events Manager at Brooklyn Brewery, shared how they use data-driven experiential marketing to better understand their customers.

The ROI of experiences tend to be better than just social media

“Offline experiences can be measured on social media in terms of impressions”, said Yaffe, “but this is only part of the puzzle.”

We are shifting from a ‘things’ economy to an ‘experience’ economy. People are posting on social media about experiences, but the ROI of experiences tends to be better than just social media.

Yaffe explained that he founded his company AnyRoad because “there was no system that could take the data from these experiences, make it digital, and use it to bridge the offline and online.”

Experiential Relationship Management (ERM), can be used to better understand customers, from the point of registration to asking for a review.

The importance of storytelling to engage customers

For Brooklyn Brewery, great tours are changing people’s minds and consumption patterns. Ford shared how tour guides are given structure and a set of facts but encouraged to use their own words and personality to tell the story to visitors. A key benefit of asking visitors to complete surveys before leaving means that the brewery can identify the relevant tour guide and who’s being the most effective. In addition, the data captured throughout the event, from registration through to review, allows Brooklyn Brewery to better understand their customers and continue to engage with their customers in the best possible way.

Using social media to complement the offline world.

Ultimately, “social media has its boundaries in impacting peoples behavior,” said Yaffe, and the best way to use social is to complement what’s happening offline, in the real world.

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The Evolution of Storytelling with Video: What Works on Facebook, Won’t on Instagram (Or YouTube)

Successful social media content isn’t one size fits all. In 2019, telling the same story across all social platforms isn’t the most effective way to drive results. That’s why when it comes to crafting social videos that tell a story and stand out, it’s the platform that’s key.

Here’s some insight into what successful storytelling looks like on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and how you can create your own platform-specific videos.

On Facebook, share news and updates

About  88% of Facebook users browse on their mobile device and most watch videos without sound. Additionally, most users spend about 10-to-12 minutes on Facebook per visit. So you’ve got a limited amount of time to stop viewers from scrolling past your content.

How do you engage the Facebook audience? Stick to news and updates.

Consumers on this platform are expecting to stay updated or learn something new. For that reason, it’s the right platform to talk about something new, like a product, offering, launch, or location. Also, keep in mind that square videos take up 78% more space in the Facebook News Feed. To optimize for engagement in the Feed, stick to square video.

On Instagram, inspire with eye-catching videos

Instagram is the up-and-coming platform on social. In 2018, Instagram showed higher engagement and ad spend than Facebook. Furthermore, in a recent survey, 48% of consumers said they made a purchase after watching a brand’s video on Instagram— that’s up 17% from the previous year.

So what kind of content resonates with the Instagram audience? Think visually stunning imagery, and inspiring stories.

When approaching video creation for Instagram, start with something visually striking.Tell a story that inspires or intrigues or share a memorable quote. Posting the kind of content your audience prefers to consume helps your brand stand out on social.

On YouTube, educate with longform content

While sharing a longform video on Instagram or Facebook may not hold your audience’s attention, longer video content excels on YouTube. And since its what viewers expect on this platform, they are more likely to stay engaged till the end.

It’s also worth noting that your YouTube audience is looking for specific information, and most likely watching with the audio on. So, share educational content such as how-to videos or top 5 lists (2 out of 3 of consumers favorite types of videos on social) that’ll provide value to your audience.

On social, the success of a story is linked to the platform on which it is shared. And, catering your video content to viewers on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube fosters a memorable connection to your audience. Incorporate these insights into your marketing strategy to create effective storytelling videos for each platform.

For more on effective storytelling with video, check out my session at Social Media Week NYC.

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Facebook’s Hope Cowan to Speak on Opening Day of #SMWNYC

In a digital age where marketing has become fully democratized, we’re provided the convenience of accessibility and speed. At the same time, this transition has created an environment in which we face a surplus of information and businesses are dishing out billions of dollars fighting for seconds of consumers’ attention.

As a result, quality brands face a fundamental question — how do we rise above the noise? The short answer: by daring to be human.
On April 30, the opening day of SMW New York, Hope Cowan, Director of Creative Agency Partnerships at Facebook, will explore this theme as it pertains to brands and the opportunities our digitally-driven world presents for them to effectively connect with their customers and deliver on their purpose.

“Messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts.”

Brands can no longer survive without a thoughtful and genuine story. They must embrace the challenge of putting a positive dent in society through carefully considering the emotions, values, and ideas they want to be remembered every time a person engages with their content and, above all, what they mean to their audience beyond what they’re being sold. In short, creative brand storytelling boils down to pursuing the path least taken; the bigger picture story that can’t be replicated.

This approach is not only a “need to have” in the short term for maximizing visibility, profit, and impact — but efforts in creating consumable experiences that are memorable today will serve as an important marketing compass as you look to evolve your strategies in the years to come.

Given Facebook’s role in storytelling and the influence it continues to wield in our daily engagement with digital content, this session is a must-attend if you’re thinking about expanding your own practices and ways your stories can drive impact.

There’s still time to join Hope and 150+ additional speakers next week at Social Media Week New York (April 30 – May 2) at the Sheraton New York Times Square) – so act fast, and look toward a future of brand storytelling with us!

View the final agenda and lock in your pass for our 11th annual flagship conference to guarantee your place.

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How to Master Storytelling in the Fake News Era

In an era of fake news, it can be easy for storytelling to get caught alongside untrue or unsavory content.

A recent Gallup poll found that in 2018 only 45 percent of Americans claimed they had “a great deal or fair amount of confidence” in the mass media. While this figure showed signs of improvement — up from 41 percent in 2017 and 32 percent in 2016 — there is undoubtedly more room for growth.

Sixty-percent of survey respondents in a separate Gallup study claimed they were less likely to share stories from sites clearly marked as unreliable. Results also showed they were more likely to trust stories from websites labeled credible, pointing to one potentially effective approach for the future: labels.

But, it isn’t solely the ethical responsibility of the social platforms that host the misinformation or negative content to guard us.

At #SMWNYC next month, we’ll explore the responsibility we as storytellers have to reverse the trend of increasingly fake and negative information as well as the opportunities we can embrace to spread positive content with the potential to shape the future.

Taking responsibility

Shiv Singh, Founder and CEO, Savvy Matters will center his session on how we accept and perpetuate fake news. Specifically, he’ll outline ways to identify exaggerated truths and avoid perpetuating these experiences as well as offer a retrospective on 2018’s misrepresentation across social media feeds.

Establishing trust & ensuring integrity

Michael Treff, President, Code and Theory will discuss a variety of topics pertaining to notion of trust including methods for understanding what this term means today, the landscape of trust in brands and publishers, how brands should perceive the effect of safety as it relates to illegitimate content and how to identify good indicators of trust from a measurement perspective.

Moving beyond a “social first” world

Neil Vogel, CEO Of Dotdash will describe how he and his team have been able to scale their digital publishing business by not only focusing on traffic generated from social networks like Facebook. Rather, they emphasize producing the best content on the fastest websites that host respectful advertising as key to guaranteeing success for the future.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more at Social Media Week New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) – so act fast, and look toward a future of truthful storytelling with us!

View the final agenda and grab your pass for our 11th annual event — our most expansive program to date — to guarantee your place before they’re gone.

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Storytelling in a Social-First World: How to Rise Above the Noise

In today’s marketing landscape, brands must navigate AR, video, and social channels as well as IRL ecosystems. The nuances of balancing these diverse types of platforms continue to grow in number and complexity, yet remain critical for achieving authenticity in our content.

Phrases including “empathy,” and “transparency,” are frequently tossed around, but as technology becomes further ingrained into our marketing tactics, how can we evolve these terms into a sustainable business model that fuels better storytelling rooted in purposeful experiences?

During Social Media Week New York (#SMWNYC), we’ll discuss this theme across a number of insightful panels led by the world’s leading brands and creative communicators who’ll share their successes for crafting consumer-driven stories that rise above the noise. Specifically, sessions will explore the evolution of social content, ways to find your authentic voice in a cluttered social climate, how to use multi-channels to create maximum impact, how to service-not-sell to your audience, how to identify the role culture plays in brand storytelling, and much more.

Brands to bookmark include American Express, Doner, Salesforce, IBM, BuzzFeed, and Postmates whose panels will encompass a variety of tracks such as The Evolution of Storytelling, Social Media and Society, and The Influencer Equation.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more at SMWNYC this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) – so act fast, and look toward a future of stories that stand out above the crowd with us!

Check back next week for our full agenda going live March 26th.

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How Data & AI Are Shaping the Future of Storytelling

It’s safe to say artificial intelligence is no longer a buzzword and well on its way to permeating virtually every industry. In 2018, verticals like healthcare, legal, automobile, and agriculture leveraged machine learning and AI-driven platforms, tools, and applications to bring efficiency to their operations, fuel new innovations, and enhance customer experience.

In 2019 and beyond, this rapid growth is expected to continue as companies aim to extract further value and competitive gains from the data they gather.

By 2022, research firm Gartner forecasts that AI-derived business value will approach $3.9 trillion and decision support and augmentation AI technology will represent 44 percent of the total global AI market value.

How can we use data to better tell the stories that highlight our brands as the go-to options for our audiences? What are the best practices for testing and optimizing our stories? How can we utilize AI to understand competitors’ movements, personalize campaigns, and integrate the pioneering changes of the digital landscape into our storytelling tactics?

At #SMWNYC the world’s leading storytellers and brands will come together to grapple with these burning questions amongst others as part of our 2019 theme. Names to bookmark include Postmates, Entrepreneur, Linqia, Sprinklr, and Huge, whose panels will encompass a variety of tracks such as Data Decision Making, AI vs. Humanity, and the Future of Brands.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future of data-driven storytelling with us!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post How Data & AI Are Shaping the Future of Storytelling appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/how-data-ai-are-shaping-the-future-of-storytelling/

How Data & AI Are Shaping the Future of Storytelling

It’s safe to say artificial intelligence is no longer a buzzword and well on its way to permeating virtually every industry. In 2018, verticals like healthcare, legal, automobile, and agriculture leveraged machine learning and AI-driven platforms, tools, and applications to bring efficiency to their operations, fuel new innovations, and enhance customer experience.

In 2019 and beyond, this rapid growth is expected to continue as companies aim to extract further value and competitive gains from the data they gather.

By 2022, research firm Gartner forecasts that AI-derived business value will approach $3.9 trillion and decision support and augmentation AI technology will represent 44 percent of the total global AI market value.

How can we use data to better tell the stories that highlight our brands as the go-to options for our audiences? What are the best practices for testing and optimizing our stories? How can we utilize AI to understand competitors’ movements, personalize campaigns, and integrate the pioneering changes of the digital landscape into our storytelling tactics?

At #SMWNYC the world’s leading storytellers and brands will come together to grapple with these burning questions amongst others as part of our 2019 theme. Names to bookmark include Postmates, Entrepreneur, Linqia, Sprinklr, and Huge, whose panels will encompass a variety of tracks such as Data Decision Making, AI vs. Humanity, and the Future of Brands.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future of data-driven storytelling with us!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post How Data & AI Are Shaping the Future of Storytelling appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/how-data-ai-are-shaping-the-future-of-storytelling/

How to Tell Empathetic Stories with Mid-Funnel Messaging

The term “funnel” has been an integral part of marketing lexicon for decades, serving as a strong gauge of consumer interest. While traditionally strategies have favored the top portion of the buyer journey — emphasizing tangible offers and rewards as simple ways to attract attention and drive conversions — social media and mobile have added noticeable pressure to such practices. As a result, today’s content marketers are forced to reevaluate their approach and think beyond commoditized offers in order to compete.

Register for your pass at 10% off and save $250!

During #SMWNYC, Chris Marino, Director, Digital Media Acquisition at American Express, will share insights into how the company is a living, breathing example of a group facing this precise challenge and how they’ve shifted the perception of their brand as more than credit cards by looking to the middle portion of the buyer experience. Pointing to a recent campaign, he’ll describe ways to unlock mid-funnel messaging to deliver empathetic stories that resonate across a multitude of complimentary channels.

Other brands to look out for at the conference weighing in on the evolution of storytelling discussion include Campbell Snacks, T-Mobile, Adobe, Salesforce, Diageo, Under Armour and IBM.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future of empathetic stories with us!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post How to Tell Empathetic Stories with Mid-Funnel Messaging appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/how-to-tell-empathetic-stories-with-mid-funnel-messaging/

How to Tell Empathetic Stories with Mid-Funnel Messaging

The term “funnel” has been an integral part of marketing lexicon for decades, serving as a strong gauge of consumer interest. While traditionally strategies have favored the top portion of the buyer journey — emphasizing tangible offers and rewards as simple ways to attract attention and drive conversions — social media and mobile have added noticeable pressure to such practices. As a result, today’s content marketers are forced to reevaluate their approach and think beyond commoditized offers in order to compete.

Register for your pass at 10% off and save $250!

During #SMWNYC, Chris Marino, Director, Digital Media Acquisition at American Express, will share insights into how the company is a living, breathing example of a group facing this precise challenge and how they’ve shifted the perception of their brand as more than credit cards by looking to the middle portion of the buyer experience. Pointing to a recent campaign, he’ll describe ways to unlock mid-funnel messaging to deliver empathetic stories that resonate across a multitude of complimentary channels.

Other brands to look out for at the conference weighing in on the evolution of storytelling discussion include Campbell Snacks, T-Mobile, Adobe, Salesforce, Diageo, Under Armour and IBM.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future of empathetic stories with us!

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The post How to Tell Empathetic Stories with Mid-Funnel Messaging appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/how-to-tell-empathetic-stories-with-mid-funnel-messaging/

The Power of Storytelling: How to Use Our Influence for Good

In the digital age, the power of storytelling is more prevalent than ever before. When you have the power to reach billions of people instantaneously, the stories you tell carry influence, and with this influence comes responsibility. Our role primarily begins with recognizing that the way we tell stories today will continue to change.

During #SMWNYC, sessions led by some of the world’s most creative and successful storytellers and leading brands will discuss this precise topic as part of our global theme Stories: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility.

Register for your pass at 10% off and save $250

Creating storylines that are consumer-led is no easy feat. In a fireside chat, Postmate’s Eric Edge, SVP, Brand and Communications, will speak to this subject assessing how successful brands are achieving a best-in-class storytelling technique and providing actionable takeaways around adapting your brand around consumer-driven stories. In a similar vein, Jason Hsiao, Chief Video Offer and Co-Founder of Animoto, will share his best tips and tricks for capturing eyes across Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube through key video marketing tactics brands and influencers swear by.

The first step in navigating the evolution of storytelling is embracing our responsibility. Award-winning storyteller, Ari Kuschnir, will explore this notion by outlining ways to fully realize storytelling’s true potential through the lens of his favorite bio/neuro hacking tools.
In a closing keynote address, best-selling author and entrepreneur Seth Godin will discuss ways to find the balance between causing a “ruckus” without “becoming a hard-working cog in a system that doesn’t care.”

Additional sessions to bookmark include:

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more in New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) at 10% off the walkup price– so act fast, and look toward a future of effective positive storytelling with us!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post The Power of Storytelling: How to Use Our Influence for Good appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/the-power-of-storytelling-how-to-use-our-influence-for-good/

An Epic Year in Storytelling: 7 Brand Stories that Resonated with Us

With countless push alerts, newsletters and news feeds dominating our screen the second we wake up, only an extremely small number of content truly make our thumps stop. Lying at the core of a piece of quality content is the ability to narrative a great story to engage the audience.

It’s estimated that in 2019, there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the world, and the number is ever-increasing. With social media’s mass influence, all brands are tempted to capture the hearts of people with an impactful campaign.

As stories, not only as a platform but as a narrative, become more dominating, being able to deliver powerful stories ties in closely with a brand’s ability to achieve success.

NEED COPY

Here, we look back on the social media campaigns that have dominated our screens for the past year, dissecting what have been the most powerful examples of storytelling, and how these brands managed to deliver it.

Intuit, A Giant Story

Being able to navigate through complicated work documents, have a successful business and enjoy life after work with someone you love…how great does that sound? All these ideal life scenarios are captured in Intuit’s four-minute long animation, “A Giant Story.”

This Silicon Valley software company partnered with an animation team to create a story of a flower shop owner who struggled with work-life balance but eventually sorted everything out with the help of a giant robot. The robot symbolizes the way Intuit taps into the complicated network of data using advanced technologies.

The flower shop owner has an image that appeals to Intuit’s audience, in that a lot of the brand’s target audience want to better manage their businesses and money. By humanizing the brand using a straightforward and engaging video story, Intuit is able to present itself as a brand that is helpful and approachable.

National Geographic, Your Shot

National Geographic is known as being the #1 brand on social — for a reason. The brand makes an effort to engage with their community by encouraging UGC (User Generated Content) and regularly showcasing them through social.

One of Nat Geo’s subchannels, Your Shot, is the best example of the brand’s devotion to community engagement. Every day, this Instagram account curates and publishes photos from user submissions around the world, alongside with comments from Nat Geo’s editors. Some of the photos come with stories of where and how the shot was made, adding emotions and value to the still pictures.

As a community that has existed for 13 years, Your Shot prides itself in the ability to tell stories collaboratively with Nat Geo’s very own photographers, while harboring a community where members share and learn from each other. To date, Nat Geo’s Your Shot has become a space where quality, personal storytelling is encouraged and valued.

General Electric, Together We Work

As an established brand that started more than 130 years ago, it’s amazing how good the brand is becoming on social media — especially on video. Earlier in the year, General Electric launched Together We Work, a video series that showcases the work and stories of GE employees from all over the globe.

The series is powerful in two ways. First, it educates the public with the fact that GE is so much more than a company that manufactures home appliances, that it invests in technological innovations like 3D printing and drones. Second, it uses its own employees as advocates for the brand. The series is full of GE’s amazing employees stories of how they add value and give back to the community through work. With these relatable, real-life human-interest stories, GE finds a way to connect to all audience easily.

LinkedIn, #InItTogether

At the beginning of the year, LinkedIn launched a social media campaign titled #InItTogether, featuring professionals from various fields answering question on “what are you in it for?” In the form of videos, posts, tweets, etc., while the public reacts with what motivates them forward in their careers.

Its video ad campaign featuring dozens of professionals creates a compelling narrative where the focus is no longer about the site’ capabilities in connecting people, but how LinkedIn users can help each other out by being in the community and network together. This certainly fosters a sense of community where the audience is encouraged to feel more attached and loyal to the site, and take up the initiative to support each other.

Wealthsimple, Investing for Humans

What’s in your mind when you are asked about money? The answer can be drastically different depending on whom you ask. Wealthsimple, an online investment management service that focuses on making “investing easier for millennials, turned people’s reaction on this question into a video campaign.

In their Investing for Human video, people revealed their truest emotions talking about personal finances — some contemplative, some silent and some visibly upset. What’s smart about this video is that it does not look like an ad at all, because nothing about the company is mentioned. However, every element in this video draws the audience into an initial interest in the brand’s money products.

Stories are most powerful when they are about human and feels authentic. Since Wealthsimple has a target demographic of 20 something millennials, this approach proves to be simple yet effective to live on social media.

Burger King, Whopper Neutrality

Remember the Net Neutrality repeal that frightened every one this year? Burger King had something to say about it — through a Whopper.

The burger chain did a social experiment in which they compared the Net Neutrality repeal to the selling of a Whopper burger. In the video, customers were angry, upset and confused about the way they chose to sell burgers. “This effort aims to help people understand how the repeal of Net Neutrality will impact their lives. The Burger King brand believes the Internet should be like the Whopper sandwich: the same for everyone,” writes Burger King.

As a brand, choosing to take a stand on political issues can have unexpected consequences, but those that choose to do it will for sure attract like-minded audience. By sharing the story of selling a burger in an almost ridiculous way, Burger King not only stands up for equality, but probably more importantly, sells some Whoppers.

Nike, Reactland

What makes a storytelling experience even better? When it’s immersive.

To promote the launch of its cutting-edge running shoes, Epic React, Nike developed and installed an immersive, game-like experience where runner can transfer themselves into a game character on a big screen, who moves forward in the game backdrop as they run on a treadmill.

A powerful story has a pace or a plot that moves itself forward and keeps the audience engaged. And by gamifying an experience, the audience themselves are transferred into the central piece of the experience and tasked with moving themselves along. And since it’s easy to get addicted to game, why not do it in a healthy way like running?

All these powerful storytelling strategies we’ve seen from 2018 have something in common — they center on the human-interest aspect of the stories, stay authentic to the brand’s core value, and try to give back to the world in their own ways. After all, these are also the key elements that help a brand stay in the market. We hope their success can shed some light on how you can enhance your brand’s storytelling in the new year.

The importance of storytelling is why we are devoting Social Media Week’s new year to diving into “STORIES,” our 2019 global theme. Kicking off in April, Social Media Week New York brings together professionals from media, marketing and technology to share insights on how you can make the best out of a story. Your last chance to get 25% off #SMWNYC passes purchase ends this Friday, so secure your seat today before the deal expires!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post An Epic Year in Storytelling: 7 Brand Stories that Resonated with Us appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/12/an-epic-year-in-storytelling-7-brand-stories-that-resonated-with-us/

Let Master Storyteller James Patterson’s “Bookie” Inspire Your Brand’s Storytelling

As brands and agencies increasingly rely on the power of storytelling in their efforts, they’d do well to follow the lead of prolific bestselling author James Patterson- whose latest book is utilizing social media in a whole new way.

Patterson’s latest book has been out since October 30th- via Facebook Messenger. Patterson partnered with the app to release the short novel on the messaging platform, taking advantage of it to weave photos, video, and simulated messages together to construct a narrative for the reader—all for free. As brands look to influencers or AR-enabled tools to immerse customers and followers, this tech-enabled “choose your own adventure” strategy represents an additional means to engage people with content.

The shift in engagement was intentional for the author, who shopped it to Facebook and appreciates their involvement in the book’s release (although, they note, they have no additional plans for content of this type). Patterson told Cheddar it’s “so important that books keep up, that they enter the modern age.” Having sold 350 million books the more traditional way, he’s now seeking to play with how technology can augment the reader’s experience.

“When you read this, you’re going to see film, you’re going to hear audio clips, you’ll see photography, etc. It’s a real 360° experience.” What’s more, it creates an unprecedented opportunity for the author to connect with readers. “Exploring new ways to connect with fans is important to me, and Messenger’s experience for The Chef not only makes the story more accessible to readers across new generations but offers an enticing and thrilling read like never before.”

Users wanting to read The Chef, the story of a police detective and food truck owner investigating a terror plot, need only send a knife emoji via Messenger to the book’s Facebook page. From there, they’ll be guided through the story, with urges to search for clues. Those looking for details beyond what’s presented in the messenger can explore character Instagram accounts for even more intel. And given the book’s subject matter- yes, you should expect stylized food photos when you read.

The print edition of the book will hit bookshelves in February 2019, but Patterson is excited by the prospect of this “bookie” experience—this mashup between a book and a movie. “Nobody’s sort of done that before.” He freely admits further, “Ten years ago, if you told me I’d see one of my novels come to life through scrolling chat bubbles, I would have laughed.” These days? He’s setting a precedent for a new kind of storytelling that could impact how writers and marketers bring their stories to life.

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The post Let Master Storyteller James Patterson’s “Bookie” Inspire Your Brand’s Storytelling appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/11/let-master-storyteller-james-pattersons-bookie-inspire-your-brands-storytelling/