The ins and outs of Storytelling Just for you: by Lumen Media
IntroductionWhat to expect from these slides?● What is storytelling?● Your organizations benefit: the Why● Resources: How the do I do this and who can do this?● Metrics - When do I storytell and where do I do it? a.k.a platforms and social media So... lets start this journey!
Once upon a time...Storytelling is the art of conveying a message.It is the map to the human heart - according to theTejas Storytelling AssociationBack to the basics: Storytelling has evolved over time. (Thank you Capt. Obvious). But why? ○ Simple: Stories connect us. They connect us on levels that we do and do not understand. They connect us to each other and to ourselves (our own hopes, dreams, desires, etc.) We respond cognitively, emotionally, even physically to stories. ○ Storytelling is how we communicate. Storytelling is a tool that does something for us. Storytelling is a giving medium. Therefore, its perfect for the nonprofit world.
Take it from a proSuzanne Smith outlines storytelling for those ofyou who want to skip a couple slides. Its easierto watch a video. Its long, but worth it.
Why?● Like I said in my blog: 1. People give to people. Your mission is about people and storytelling encapsulates your mission in a message. 2. When you tell stories, people stop becoming numbers. They are not consumers. They are not capital. They are breathing, inspiring, alive people who have dreams, hopes and even fears. They are real, authentic. 3. Storytelling gets people interested in your organization and your cause faster than anything else. "Simple: it works." - Theres even a science behind it according to this article on Forbes.com 4. It attracts donors and volunteers. 5. It solidifies your brand to the world.
Mantra: People give to people Medium: Stories Case Study: Kony 20122
● Kony 2012 told a story of Jacob, an ex-LRA child soldier.● It was the most successful video on Youtube because it connected you to Jacob and the way they told Jacobs story: What can you learn from this? ○ Emphasis of an individual. Child soldiers stopped being numbers. They were Jacob, who you saw, who you felt for and who you cried with. He became the driving force behind your tweets, your Facebook posts. "So when you are wrestling with the challenges of acquiring new donors, increasing your fundraising revenue from existing constituents, or adding new volunteers, think about the power of one person’s story. " - article can be found here. ○ The platform: Video/Youtube. This story came to life through video. It wouldnt have been the same if you read it, or even saw a photograph of Jacob. But video engages almost all of your senses. You connect better, you learn better. I will give you stats on video later, but most people will watch videos more than other mediums of storytelling. ○ Youtube gives you a special element unique to storytelling: Sharing. Youtube videos are meant to be shared. Stories are meant to be shared. Social media is the platform your organization will reach the widest audience. This may mean a more visual approach to your stories. ○ Kony 2012 used video storytelling to reach a wide audience through social media. Jacobs story moved people to spread the message via social networks. With Youtube and the power of visual storytelling your organization can shout it from the roofs once and people on social media become your lasting echo through that button that says share. ○ You were connected to Jacob through his story, and then it motivated you to DO something. Storytelling has this effect. It mobilizes people. When people feel a deep connection and a passion is ignited within them, they move. Dont you want donors/volunteers knocking on your door?
Donors/VolunteersMarketing is not selling. Marketing is serving and giving. Andit is shifting to storytelling.Take a cue from one of the best brands out there: Coca ColaLast October, Jonathan Mildenhall, Coca-Cola’s VP of Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence, explained at a nationalconference that the company’s strategy going forward is to tell stories that will “provoke conversations” so its brands will “earn adisproportionate share of popular culture.” Importantly, said Mildenhall, Coca-Cola will not just tell its own stories; rather, it willencourage storytelling by consumers. According to Mildenhall, “storytelling is at the heart of all families, communities, andcultures,” (bolded by me) and stories about the Coca-Cola brand “must show commitment to making the world a better place.” Youcan see this strategy in action on Coke’s Facebook page.An article by Barry SilversteinCoke is tapping into the giving part of marketing. They arent selling a soda. They are giving people satisfaction,enjoyment, a sense of love, acceptance, a universal beverage, a connection. You can give people these thingstoo through storytelling and in return you get donors and volunteers who give to you. ● Like Richard Dietz of Nonprofit R+D says: People buy with emotion and justify it later with rationality. Give them the emotion of the story up front and engage them first. Later justify it by your statistics and solid evidence of impact on the community. ● At your next board meeting, open with a video or a photograph and tell your board members about Maria (or insert name here). Get your team on board and they will be on fire to tell everyone else, and they will be emboldened when speaking with donors. Passion is contagious. ● Donors and volunteers want to give to people not an organization. ● Good brands tell good stories. Your fundraising is directly correlated to your ability to tell good stories and reach your audience. ● Melinda Gates gives a TED Talk on what nonprofits can learn from Coke. She says this: Most nonprofits make a fundamental mistake. They assume "if people need something, we dont have to make them want that." Meaning why arent people giving to causes like homelessness. after school care, childrens diseases, etc.? We have to market to people for those causes which already seem like a given to donate to. One way to "make them want it" is storytelling.
Use this advice on your Youtube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter account, etc. Where your storiescan come to life on a digital platform.
How do I tell a story: ResourcesNow that youre gung ho about it, how do you do it?And how does it become effective?Medium:1. Video2. Photos3. TextThese are our mediums in effective order and explored in the next couple of slides.How to use these mediums:1. Platforms 2. Resources a. Website a. Youtubes nonprofit program b. Social Media b. Microsofts Impact Map c. Email blasts c. Google Insights d. Snail Mail
Video: some reasons why Two-thirds of the worlds mobile data traffic will be video by 2015, doubling every year between 2010 and 2015. - according to Skytides white paper: 7 Online Video Trends to watch in2012Source of graphics: http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/social-media-statistics-stats-2012-infographic/
Video is 600% more effective than print. And Youtube is the #2 search engineout there.1.Videos lasting only 2-3 minutes with a focused messaged and a call to actionat the end will work wonders for your nonprofit ○ It will give you better internal communication, give you an asset to share with people, can be your "24/7 sales pitch" and it can give you an outlet to simplify hard concepts for people. This article expands on these points.2. Make videos effective: ○ Video can be put in your email blasts. E.g.Tell a story series getting people to come back every 2 weeks to watch a new video. ○ Put it on your website for 24/7 inspiration and your sales pitch ○ Use video as a conversation facilitator on your social media platforms ○ Ask people to engage with your video. Ask them to make response videos and share their own story. This is a great way to thank donors (this has been done on Youtube). Look at the next slide using Coke as another example. ○ Learn from Youtubes cat videos. Tell a universal story, engage regularly, and be different, original and fun. Be you.
Who is your storyteller? 1. You 2. Your team 3. Your volunteers How? 4. Professionals ○ Sometimes its using a tripod and your camera phone to send out a thank you message. ○ Sometimes its showing people the office, so they connect with where you work and not just the organizations name. ○ Get your volunteers to take photos at events and choose the very best for your platforms. ○ Put on another hat: the journalist. Take a photo at an event of one person. Ask them questions and get their permission to use their quotes to tell a story. Thats a simple tweet or Facebook post, that has two great components. Thats solid content. ○ Sometimes its hiring a professional storyteller like Lumen Media to storyboard, script and professionally edit a video to enhance the quality of your website and get you all the benefits of storytelling. Or taking professional photographs that capture that raw emotion you cant get from a 8 megapixel iPhone."Remember, it’s not about the tools or the technology. It’s about finding people who encapsulate whatyour core objective is all about — and conveying their stories with power, genuineness, passion andhumility. " Source: Social Brite
PhotographsPhotos freeze stories in time without the use of words. They remain vivid in ourminds years after they first hit our hearts.How are photographs used to convey stories: ○ Email blasts: Tell a photo essay through multiple emails ○ Blog posts like Project HOPE ○ Instagram is fantastic way to keep your volunteers and community constantly engaged. ■ Look at 10 examples of inspiring nonprofits on Instagram ○ Tell the story that is not in the photo. A simple image of a small bottle of clear liquid means nothing. Next to it, tell the real story: "here is a vial of pure HIV virus, from a Harvard medical research lab" ○ Stop putting out boring annual reports with only facts and figures. Put some professional photographs of the people you serve. Oh man, that annual report just got more personal. ■ You can get away with stock imagery, but sometimes people know its not authentic. And authenticity holds hands with loyalty and trust.
Metrics: successful stories1.Youtube has a nonprofit program to help you maximize your impact ○ World Water Day Video from charity: water, with a 15-second ad overlay at the beginning, earned charity: water $10,000 in a single day, largely thanks to YouTube placing it on its home page. The overlay url takes users to its Donate page. ○ This is a phenomenal ROI. Nonprofits run on a tight ship, and hiring outside vendors is hard. But sometimes your ROI is worth the initial investment and the video can pay for itself. ○ You can track how many times your video is watched, for how long, what day/what time of day, etc. You can measure these vital stats to see if you are answering that question correctly: Are we reaching our key audience? ■ Use these great tools to track your progress. Show them at your stakeholder meetings to get more funding for other videos. Then systematically quantify how you used that money to impact the community and put that as evidence in your grant proposals.2. Google Insights ○ You can search for a specific term e.g. your brand or your campaign name within a specific time frame and the Google search results will show up. This is one tool in measuring how effective your stories were on Google. Did you impact online users? Should this be included in reports for funding, etc.? ○ You can even compare words that are popular with people. E.g. helping vs. empowering or needy vs. underprivileged. Dont manipulate people, but think of how to tell Marias story so it will connect with your intended audience.
Our story comes to an endOne more resource: ○ Microsoft made a tool, called the Microsoft Local Impact Map, for nonprofits to share their stories in a compelling, engaging way. ■ "Originally developed to help showcase the impact of Microsoft Citizenship programs in more than 100 countries around the world, the map application is now being offered at no cost for licensing and a $15 monthly fee to host the map online via the Windows Azure platform. The Bing Maps-based user interface allows people to explore impact stories by category or by zooming in on a continent, country or region. The program includes a content management system that makes it easy for nonprofits to publish and manage their stories." ■ One nonprofits story: The UnitedHealth Group has found the Local Impact Map valuable in encouraging participation in its many volunteer efforts and celebrating the difference those volunteers make. “This map fits extremely well into our culture of innovation,” says Kate Rubin, vice president of Social Responsibility at UnitedHealth Group. “Employees are enthusiastic about posting and seeing their local stories. The visual experience is very inspiring.” Source.Storytelling is integral to the success of your organization."When it comes to inspiring people to embrace some strange new change in behavior, storytelling isntjust better than the other tools. It’s the only thing that works." - The Science of StorytellingSo, when will you start to tell your stories?Contact Alyson Landry if you have any questions, or for a free one-hour consultation on storytelling inyour organization. Check out Lumen Media here.