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Marli Mesibov - What's in a Story?
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Marli Mesibov - What's in a Story?


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“Creating Powerful Content through Storytelling” …

“Creating Powerful Content through Storytelling”

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  • 1. What’s In a Story? Web Expo 2013 #webexpo @marsinthestars
  • 2. My Story @marsinthestars I wanted to be a writer when I was little.
  • 3. @marsinthestars The Ant and the Grasshopper
  • 4. @marsinthestars In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content.
  • 5. @marsinthestars An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
  • 6. @marsinthestars "Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling and moiling in that way?"
  • 7. @marsinthestars "I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you to do the same."
  • 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. @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. @marsinthestars Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for days of need.
  • 11. @marsinthestars Stories are memorable
  • 12. A World of Grasshoppers 2000: Average attention span of 12 seconds. @marsinthestars 2012: Average attention span of 8 seconds.
  • 13. @marsinthestars A World of Grasshoppers
  • 14. @marsinthestars A World of Grasshoppers
  • 15. @marsinthestars A World of Grasshoppers
  • 16. @marsinthestars Size matters not
  • 17. @marsinthestars In many cases, long copy has proven more effective than short copy.
  • 18. @marsinthestars The Long and the Short of it
  • 19. @marsinthestars The Long and the Short of it
  • 20. @marsinthestars The Long and the Short of it
  • 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. @marsinthestars The Long and the Short of it
  • 23. @marsinthestars Stories are engaging
  • 24. @marsinthestars “In reality, you cannot have a page that’s too long – only one that’s too boring.” - Conversion Rate Experts
  • 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. You are here @marsinthestars The Long and the Short of it
  • 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. @marsinthestars Stories are Meaningful
  • 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. @marsinthestars Stories are meaningful
  • 31. @marsinthestars Hard work pays off.
  • 32. @marsinthestars The grasshopper learned that hard work pays off.
  • 33. @marsinthestars Seeing the ant’s happiness, the grasshopper learned that hard work pays off.
  • 34. @marsinthestars After playing all summer and nearly starving, and seeing the ant’s happiness, the grasshopper learned that hard work pays off.
  • 35. @marsinthestars Stories are Memorable
  • 36. @marsinthestars Basecamp organizes projects.
  • 37. @marsinthestars For thousands of companies, Basecamp organizes projects.
  • 38. @marsinthestars When they need it, for thousands of companies, Basecamp organizes projects.
  • 39. @marsinthestars Like a mountaineer’s Sherpa when they need it, for thousands of companies, Basecamp organizes projects.
  • 40. @marsinthestars Why do stories stick?
  • 41. @marsinthestars
  • 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. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  • 44. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  • 45. • Explains the origin of women. • Explains personality attributes. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  • 46. • Explains why bad things happen. • Explains hope. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  • 47. • Storytelling as a peace offering. • Storytelling as a means of engagement. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  • 48. History of Storytelling • Storytelling is influential. • Storytelling is memorable. @marsinthestars Emadeddin Baghi Iranian Author
  • 49. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  • 50. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  • 51. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  • 52. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  • 53. @marsinthestars History of Storytelling
  • 54. @marsinthestars “People need stories more than bread itself. They tell us how to live, and why.” –Arabian Nights
  • 55. Content Creators @marsinthestars Storytelling
  • 56. Content Creators • Research • Establish the story • Add details • Distribute @marsinthestars We tell stories that can be READ. We:
  • 57. @marsinthestars Research
  • 58. @marsinthestars Research It’s EVERYONE’s job!
  • 59. Research • Have conversations, not interviews • Pay attention to vocabulary • Identify patterns @marsinthestars • Good research = personalized content!
  • 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. Share your own stories – but only a few. Remember the main focus is on the user. @marsinthestars Research
  • 62. Identify patterns. Patterns are more valuable than outliers. @marsinthestars Research
  • 63. @marsinthestars Establish the Story
  • 64. @marsinthestars Establish the Story
  • 65. @marsinthestars Establish the Story
  • 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. 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. 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. @marsinthestars Add Details
  • 70. Add Details Strangers  bears  a family A story  a whole world @marsinthestars A person  a girl  Goldilocks
  • 71. @marsinthestars Add Details
  • 72. @marsinthestars Add Details
  • 73. @marsinthestars Distribute
  • 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. It doesn’t matter where you market your content, so long as you go where your audience spends time. @marsinthestars Distribute
  • 76. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Create a story Personalize a story Use different mediums Interact with your audience Trust @marsinthestars Next Steps
  • 77. @marsinthestars 1. Create a story, and build the brand around that story. Tell a story that shows the value of your product.
  • 78. @marsinthestars 2. Personalize the story to your target audience, based on what you learn from what they say.
  • 79. @marsinthestars 3. Use different mediums to help grow the story. Go to the places where your users hang out.
  • 80. @marsinthestars 4. Interact with your audience. Bring them your content, and help them understand all of its value.
  • 81. @marsinthestars 5. Trust the story to pull in the audience.
  • 82. @marsinthestars Thank you! Marli Mesibov @marsinthestars