Marli Mesibov - What's in a Story?

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“Creating Powerful Content through Storytelling”

More at http://webexpo.net/prague2013/talk/whats-in-a-story/

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Marli Mesibov - What's in a Story?

  1. 1. What’s In a Story? Web Expo 2013 #webexpo @marsinthestars
  2. 2. My Story @marsinthestars I wanted to be a writer when I was little.
  3. 3. @marsinthestars The Ant and the Grasshopper
  4. 4. @marsinthestars In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content.
  5. 5. @marsinthestars An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
  6. 6. @marsinthestars "Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling and moiling in that way?"
  7. 7. @marsinthestars "I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you to do the same."
  8. 8. @marsinthestars "Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; "We have got plenty of food at present." But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.
  9. 9. @marsinthestars When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.
  10. 10. @marsinthestars Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for days of need.
  11. 11. @marsinthestars Stories are memorable
  12. 12. A World of Grasshoppers 2000: Average attention span of 12 seconds. @marsinthestars 2012: Average attention span of 8 seconds.
  13. 13. @marsinthestars A World of Grasshoppers
  14. 14. @marsinthestars A World of Grasshoppers
  15. 15. @marsinthestars A World of Grasshoppers
  16. 16. @marsinthestars Size matters not
  17. 17. @marsinthestars In many cases, long copy has proven more effective than short copy.
  18. 18. @marsinthestars The Long and the Short of it
  19. 19. @marsinthestars The Long and the Short of it
  20. 20. @marsinthestars The Long and the Short of it
  21. 21. It didn’t work because the content was longer. It worked because the content was better. @marsinthestars The Long and the Short of it
  22. 22. @marsinthestars The Long and the Short of it
  23. 23. @marsinthestars Stories are engaging
  24. 24. @marsinthestars “In reality, you cannot have a page that’s too long – only one that’s too boring.” - Conversion Rate Experts
  25. 25. @marsinthestars “Sit on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit next to a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.” –Albert Einstein
  26. 26. You are here @marsinthestars The Long and the Short of it
  27. 27. The Ant and the Grasshopper 2. Sometimes we need to do things that aren’t very fun. 3. Plan ahead, like the ant, and you won’t starve. @marsinthestars 1. Hard work pays off.
  28. 28. @marsinthestars Stories are Meaningful
  29. 29. @marsinthestars "Fiction, because it is not about somebody who actually lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about ourself.” - Orson Scott Card
  30. 30. @marsinthestars Stories are meaningful
  31. 31. @marsinthestars Hard work pays off.
  32. 32. @marsinthestars The grasshopper learned that hard work pays off.
  33. 33. @marsinthestars Seeing the ant’s happiness, the grasshopper learned that hard work pays off.
  34. 34. @marsinthestars After playing all summer and nearly starving, and seeing the ant’s happiness, the grasshopper learned that hard work pays off.
  35. 35. @marsinthestars Stories are Memorable
  36. 36. @marsinthestars Basecamp organizes projects.
  37. 37. @marsinthestars For thousands of companies, Basecamp organizes projects.
  38. 38. @marsinthestars When they need it, for thousands of companies, Basecamp organizes projects.
  39. 39. @marsinthestars Like a mountaineer’s Sherpa when they need it, for thousands of companies, Basecamp organizes projects.
  40. 40. @marsinthestars Why do stories stick?
  41. 41. @marsinthestars
  42. 42. History of Storytelling Storytelling Oral traditions Fairy tales Visions and Prophesies Myths and Legends Connection Creative direction Lessons Marketing Education Text and visuals Branding Communication Content Strategy @marsinthestars Fables
  43. 43. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  44. 44. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  45. 45. • Explains the origin of women. • Explains personality attributes. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  46. 46. • Explains why bad things happen. • Explains hope. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  47. 47. • Storytelling as a peace offering. • Storytelling as a means of engagement. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  48. 48. History of Storytelling • Storytelling is influential. • Storytelling is memorable. @marsinthestars Emadeddin Baghi Iranian Author
  49. 49. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  50. 50. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  51. 51. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  52. 52. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  53. 53. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  54. 54. @marsinthestars “People need stories more than bread itself. They tell us how to live, and why.” –Arabian Nights
  55. 55. Content Creators @marsinthestars Storytelling
  56. 56. Content Creators • Research • Establish the story • Add details • Distribute @marsinthestars We tell stories that can be READ. We:
  57. 57. @marsinthestars Research
  58. 58. @marsinthestars Research It’s EVERYONE’s job!
  59. 59. Research • Have conversations, not interviews • Pay attention to vocabulary • Identify patterns @marsinthestars • Good research = personalized content!
  60. 60. The point of questions is to hear what users have to say. Their vocabulary is just as important as their answers. @marsinthestars Research
  61. 61. Share your own stories – but only a few. Remember the main focus is on the user. @marsinthestars Research
  62. 62. Identify patterns. Patterns are more valuable than outliers. @marsinthestars Research
  63. 63. @marsinthestars Establish the Story
  64. 64. @marsinthestars Establish the Story
  65. 65. @marsinthestars Establish the Story
  66. 66. Establish the Story Middle: She meets the wolf, who eats her and her grandmother. End: The huntsman kills the wolf, and Red Riding Hood lives happily ever after with her grandmother. @marsinthestars Beginning: Little Red Riding Hood wants to visit her grandmother.
  67. 67. Establish the Story Middle: Joe buys the new Moto X phone. He can work anywhere! End: Joe leaves the office early, to take his family on a picnic. They live happily ever after. @marsinthestars Beginning: Joe wants to spend more time with his family.
  68. 68. Establish the Story Middle: On her recipe website, the chicken recipes are bookmarked. End: Sally makes a wonderful dinner, repairing her relationship with her mother-in-law. @marsinthestars Beginning: Sally needs a recipe to make chicken.
  69. 69. @marsinthestars Add Details
  70. 70. Add Details Strangers  bears  a family A story  a whole world @marsinthestars A person  a girl  Goldilocks
  71. 71. @marsinthestars Add Details
  72. 72. @marsinthestars Add Details
  73. 73. @marsinthestars Distribute
  74. 74. Distribute • First, learn where the audience is. • Participate in their conversations. • Advertise your product or service where it helps. @marsinthestars • The goal: engage with the audience.
  75. 75. It doesn’t matter where you market your content, so long as you go where your audience spends time. @marsinthestars Distribute
  76. 76. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Create a story Personalize a story Use different mediums Interact with your audience Trust @marsinthestars Next Steps
  77. 77. @marsinthestars 1. Create a story, and build the brand around that story. Tell a story that shows the value of your product.
  78. 78. @marsinthestars 2. Personalize the story to your target audience, based on what you learn from what they say.
  79. 79. @marsinthestars 3. Use different mediums to help grow the story. Go to the places where your users hang out.
  80. 80. @marsinthestars 4. Interact with your audience. Bring them your content, and help them understand all of its value.
  81. 81. @marsinthestars 5. Trust the story to pull in the audience.
  82. 82. @marsinthestars Thank you! Marli Mesibov marli.us @marsinthestars

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