Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Power of Emotion in Digital Storytelling

Good content comes from strategy. 
Great stories... from passion.

Great stories, they travel.
They go beyond borders and cultures, ages and languages.
Universal connectors, they talk to everyone and touch us all.

In marketing parlance, they are not always on-brand or contain product truth.
What they do contain is a generous mix of emotion that warms us deep inside.

Talk To Humans. Not Spiders And Bots.

The beauty of a great story is that it connects with us at the most basic level – human.
That’s the power of emotion in storytelling - digital or real life. It is a great leveler, an engagement driver, and community builder. Great storytellers get that. Important for marketers to get it too.

More than keywords, message purity, authenticity, and relevance to audience are key. That's what Google is trying to convey via algorithm changes:- Rather than gaming the system, by impressing our search bots and spiders, it's smarter SEO to connect with real people via quality content.

Your Brand Story. Tell It. Don't Sell it.

Bear in mind, while purchase is entirely a matter of context (product type, price, need, timing, age) - the point is: We may not buy the product, but we buy-in to the brand... If we recall the brand story, we may share or recommend it on social media. and in time, become brand advocates. For marketers, that’s pure gold, for content marketers... a victory in itself.

Great brands are built on stories. Today's best brand stories are told (not sold) digitally around online fires. Some outstanding examples of effective use of emotion in stories across the globe:

China - Malaysia: Malaysian rice company, Bernas wishes Happy Chinese New Year (Gong Xi Fa Cai)

Thailand: Thai mobile network, TrueMove H's commercial on the concept of 'giving without hope of return'

USA: Chipotle Mexican Grill, fast-casual restaurant chain serving Food With Integrity. Eat Responsibly.  

Global via London Olympics 2012: P&G's 'Thank You, Mom' sponsorship campaign - Marketing Gold !!!

India - Pakistan: Coca-Cola Small World Machines - Happiness Beyond Borders - Amazing human tech story!

Google Search: Reunion - Search v/s Separation - Bridging the generation gap between time and tradition.

Time (and bandwidth) permitting, watch all above in full screen. Warning: Please keep a tissue box handy!

Now we know, emotion is the secret sauce in great storytelling. However, if you're a film lover, you may have also noticed how mini films (aka epics on Youtube) have replaced the traditional 30sec/ 60 sec ad spots and commercials of yore. (Just a wee observation, but Thx! for clapping :-)

To sign off, I'll leave you with a warm hug and some top quality material on content marketing:

  • A witty slideshare from Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners. 

Thanks to Michael Brenner for a neat blog on this: The Secret Ingredient to Great Content.
Many Thx also to my Twitter Buddy (and good egg) Pam Moore for sharing his blog post.

  • A surprisingly erudite quote from Joseph Gordon-Levitt (this hunk can thunk !!!)

  • An excellent LinkedIn Thought Leader post - Editor's Pick among Marketing Strategies:

Nicolas Bordas, VP, TBWA Europe & President, BEING Worldwide: What if we got emotional?

  • Bonus: A warm hug from cold, cold Canada. 
Pfizer: Takes more than medication to get better. An oldie but a feel-goody!