Daddy, will you tell us a story?

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I hear this almost every night from my daughters.  “Daddy, will you tell us story?” From the very beginning of our lives , we are captivated by a good story.  There are many components to a great story, but at the root of most are people – a strong central character, a protagonist, someone to which we can relate.

“The best stories reach us on some elemental level. They talk about a mother’s love for her children, a husband’s pride in his country … There’s something very important that’s always going on in a very simple way in good stories,” says NBC correspondent John Larson.

For brand content creators, this means creating a platform for the brand and their audience to reveal something about themselves and their character.  Today, innovative brands are inviting their fans to co-create this story.  This just makes sense.  The customer has always been the protagonist for great brands.  Coca-Cola’s #shareacoke campaign is a successful example of how storytelling is evolving in the new media landscape of today.

The brands that embrace this method of storytelling will outpace their competitors in the content marketing wars.  As social media platforms proliferate and adoption grows, brands will need a strategic approach to harnessing the voice of the customer, as well as the tools to manage this efficiently.  According to content marketing expert Heidi Cohen, “the curators who will rise to the top will not only need to bring together the best content, but also to add their own “human touch” or perspective to the content they curate through annotation“.

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This is where the power of story boarding comes in to play.  Technology tools like Livefyre’s Storify product allows brands to curate and storyboard their user generated content.  According to CEO Jordan Kretchmer, the path to UGC success is through empowering, interacting, and collaborating with your audience, and then extending the content’s life through story boarding.  Watch the video here.

Don’t let your audience fall asleep at story time – embrace your protagonists in new ways and watch your story come alive.  One of my daughter’s favorite story time books was the series by Mary Ann Hoberman, “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You.” They loved playing an active role in telling the story, not just listening – your customers are no different.

 

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