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Digital Corporate Storytelling


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A story on how to tell thought-provoking corporate stories through social media and blogs. Geared mainly towards tech B2B marketers who are just getting started in marketing through social media online.

Published in: Business, Technology

Digital Corporate Storytelling

  1. 1. Digital Corporate StorytellingA Story for B2B Technology Marketers<br />By Andrea Wahbe<br />@TheRunningStart<br />
  2. 2. Social Media Strategy – What does this mean?<br />It means that you need a content strategy<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Who am I? We are Living in a Digital World...<br />...and I am such a digital girl<br />Andrea Wahbe @TheRunningStart<br /><ul><li>Almost 10 years’ experience working in digital media and B2B technology marketing
  4. 4. Impacted the success of many digital media sales organizations including AOL and Google in Canada
  5. 5. Blogger/Canadian technology start-up storyteller for and Canada 3.0
  6. 6. Want to help Canadian digital media & technology SME businesses to grow and thrive through B2B Marketing and corporate storytelling</li></ul>3<br />
  7. 7. Once Upon a Time...<br />Our Social Media Content Story Begins<br />4<br />
  8. 8. Once Upon a Time, Advertising Was a Push-Based Communication Medium<br />Marketers and media professionals had a limited number of channels to tell a story where consumers passively absorbed their message<br />5<br />
  9. 9. New Media is Emerging As Traditional Media Usage Declines<br />**Canadian weekly time spent watching TV has declined from 22.7 hours in 1997 to 16 hours in 2009 – radio tune-in has also been slowing declining<br />Time required for each medium to reach 50 MM users*<br />38 years for Radio to reach 50 Million households<br />13 years for TV to reach 50 Million households<br />***The number of Canadian Internet users doubled from 12.7 Million to 24 Million in 9 years<br />4 years for Internet to reach 50 Million households<br />4 years for Facebook to reach 400 Million households<br />****Canadian Facebook users doubled from 7 Million to 15.5 Million in just 2 years<br />*Source: “THE INTERNET AS HYPERBOLE: A Critical Examination of Adoption Rates,”Gisle Hannemyr, June 2003**Source: “TV Viewing Habits”,***Source: “Canada: Internet Usage”, Internet World Stats, September 2009****Source:, 2008 and “Facebook users by Country”, July 2010<br />6<br />
  10. 10. Canada Leads the World in Online Media Consumption<br />Online Growth in Canada vs. Other Leading Countries<br />7<br />
  11. 11. What’s Next for the Canadian Marketplace?<br />Conversational media continues to climb and is a leading medium in Canada<br />8<br />
  12. 12. A New Form of Pull-Based Media Emerged<br />9<br />
  13. 13. Today, B2B Marketing Relies on Content – Micro-publishers<br />Econsultancy– Uses Twitter to promote theirpopular white papers and thought leadership research to a global audience.<br />Mitch Joel– Grew his small digital agency of 3 employees to over 80 employees by starting out with a simple blog<br />10<br />
  14. 14. Great Content Generates Sales Leads <br />We all need to become better storytellers in order<br />to effectively sell our thought leadership stories<br />"The principle of Thought Leadership Marketing is simple enough: You give away a little valuable intellectual property to establish your potential usefulness to the client, in the expectation that the client will use your expertise and services. Its essence is to show, rather than tell what a company can do, and to do so in a way that positions and differentiates that company’s offering for the chosen target audience.“ - Rolf Jester, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner<br />Source: Gartner, Feb. 2010<br />11<br />
  15. 15. Before You Start Telling Stories...<br />Great stories don’t always need eight-page color brochures or a face-to-face meeting. Either you are ready to listen or you aren’t. <br />– Seth Godin<br />12<br />
  16. 16. Research by Listening to Your Customers’ Needs<br />What keeps them up at night? Find the right stories to tell <br />and the right conversations to join.<br />Tools for Listening<br /><ul><li>Research/surveys/informal conversations
  17. 17. Social Media (Twitter Search, LinkedIn Groups)
  18. 18. Customer/Competitor Blogs & Comments
  19. 19. Social media monitoring software(Sysomos, Radian6, HootSuite, etc.)
  20. 20. RSS feeds & Google Reader, Feedburner, etc.
  21. 21. Web analytics and third-party media measurement(Google Analytics, Omniture, ComScore, Ad Planner, etc.)</li></ul>Next, compile the data and start to develop your storyline...<br />13<br />
  22. 22. Begin With Your Audience<br />Who is your audience? <br /><ul><li>Create Personas – Are they CEOs, CTOs, etc.?
  23. 23. Put yourself in their shoes
  24. 24. Think of them as potential collaboratorsand micro-publishers
  25. 25. Identify influencers
  26. 26. Consider where they are in their purchase process
  27. 27. Allocate time to listen and respond via commentsprior to telling stories</li></ul>Why should we care?<br />14<br />
  28. 28. Start by Making a Long Story Short<br />Make sure your message is simple before telling your never-ending story<br /><ul><li>Writing a short story takes a long time to get it right
  29. 29. Who are 30 seconds or less?
  30. 30. How does who you are help to solve your customers’ problems?
  31. 31. Explain it to your they get it?
  32. 32. Can they repeat it back to you in their own words?</li></ul>“I didn’t have time to write a short letterso I wrote a long one instead.”- Mark Twain<br />- Mark Twain<br />15<br />
  33. 33. Then, Develop Your Plan<br /><ul><li>What tools will you use to tell and distribute the story?
  34. 34. Identify & engage with key influencers who will re-tell your story to others</li></ul>Choose the tools that resonate most with your audience <br />Source: HubSpot “Online Marketing Opportunity Report,” 2010<br />16<br />
  35. 35. Be Aware – All Roads Must Lead to Your Website<br />17<br />Your Online<br />
  36. 36. Don’t Be Self-Serving – Sharing Is Caring <br />Be a part of the conversation, not the centre of attention<br /><ul><li>Tell stories that serve the whole community/industry
  37. 37. Share useful links to other relevant stories in the community
  38. 38. Build trust through authenticity – people are smart
  39. 39. Anyone in your organization can be a storyteller </li></ul> – it’s not just a marketing function<br /><ul><li>Have a corporate policy/guidelines on corporate storytelling through social media, blogs, at events, etc.</li></ul>It’s notall about<br />you!<br />18<br />
  40. 40. Three Types of Thought Leadership Marketing (TLM)<br /> Opportunistic - Short-term programs and promotional-campaign focused on boosting interest and leads to sales of a specific offering.  <br />Door-opening - Can help establish or expand permission to play and is ongoing, although it evolves as acceptance grows to build visibility and credibility in the market.  <br />Brand Support - This is the most sustained type of TLM program and is used to reinforce the brand promise and image.<br />Social Media Stories<br />Source: Gartner, Feb. 2010<br />19<br />
  41. 41. What Kinds of Stories Resonate With Customers?<br />Industry News – Comment on an article, and share additional insight<br />Answer Questions – Use comments on other posts and in LinkedIn Groups and Quora as inspiration <br />Provide How-to-Based Content - Numbered lists work well (i.e. 5 ways to tell a great story)<br />Encourage Conversation – Ask a question about an industry trend and provoke conversation (encourages inbound links through social media)<br />Syndicated Stories – Invite guest bloggers to keep your articles consistent when you don’t have any content – offer a link back to their site<br />Share Insightful Data – Have interesting research or analytics data that could help others? Share it and provide your analysis and invite customers to follow-up for more advice.<br />20<br />
  42. 42. Planning Out Your Digital Strategy<br /><ul><li>Identify key channels to distribute your story
  43. 43. Create an editorial calendar & continue to monitor listening tools
  44. 44. Create a promotional schedule to communicate your new stories to your customers</li></ul>Example of a Twitter Scheduling Matrix (via @FlowTown)<br />21<br />
  45. 45. Keys to Telling a Best-Selling Story<br />Start small and build – think long term<br /><ul><li>Constant listening/feedback loop
  46. 46. Emulate other great storytellers and influencers
  47. 47. Authenticity/Transparency
  48. 48. Engagement
  49. 49. Consistency
  50. 50. Provide a call-to-action
  51. 51. Use analytics data & listening tools to identify other stories
  52. 52. Test, measure and adapt your story as it unfolds</li></ul>22<br />
  53. 53. Selling Your Story to Your Audience<br /><ul><li>Great corporate storytelling is like a performance Once you’ve defined your potential audience and identified the tools,figure out how you will perform your stories in front of them every day.
  54. 54. Be mindful of who is telling your story on your behalfThink about who you want to be telling those stories to your audience(i.e. an intern may not be the best representative of your brand). Interns may understand the tools but not the strategy and messaging behind your story.
  55. 55. Think like a publisherIf you’re not thinking like a media publisher, you’re missing out on theopportunity to drive thought leadership and mindshare in your industry.Having a great content strategy drives your social media and digitalmarketing strategy. </li></ul>23<br />
  56. 56. Notes on Storytelling Tools<br />The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.<br />– Oscar Wilde<br />24<br />
  57. 57. Blogs – Tips & Best Practices<br /><ul><li>Tumblr and WordPress are the leading blog platforms for social media
  58. 58. Blogging frequently generates more leads. According to HubSpot, companies who blog generate 55% more sales leads than those who do not
  59. 59. Countless reasons why blogging every week is important (i.e. Search engines rank fresh content higher, you are perceived as a thought leader, etc.)</li></ul>25<br />
  60. 60. Blogs – Time-Saving Tip<br />Create an editorial calendar to plan out your ideas and time in advance<br />26<br />
  61. 61. Twitter – Tips & Best Practices<br /><ul><li>Focus Tweets on industry trends, news articles, new research/stats, engaging </li></ul> the media in conversations, asking for company feedback, promoting PR <br /> announcements and webinars, and promoting your appearance at trade shows <br /><ul><li>Make sure to use hashtags (“#” updates like #event2011) in your Tweets to use at events and webinars to track Twitter comments, or when commenting on industry trends
  62. 62. Find trending hashtags and keywords at to use in your Tweets
  63. 63. Schedule Tweets in advance using TweetDeck or HootSuite. These tools can also help you to grow and manage your client list
  64. 64. Get listed on sites like Twellow and WeFollow to grow your opportunity for more followers in your industry categories.
  65. 65. Monitor your influence via or
  66. 66. Follow and engage with others – roughly 30% of people you follow will follow back</li></ul>27<br />
  67. 67. Twitter – Time-Saving Tip<br />Schedule Tweets in advance and manage multiple social media profiles at thesame time using HootSuite Publisher or TweetDeck<br />28<br />
  68. 68. LinkedIn – Best Practices<br />Make sure to build-out your LinkedIn company page and make it as robust as possible<br />Company Profile of Sequentia Environics is a great example (includes recent Tweets and blog posts – plus interesting services section) <br />29<br />
  69. 69. LinkedIn – Content Sharing Tips<br /><ul><li>Use HootSuite or TweetDeck to share scheduled Tweets and announcements with your LinkedIn followers. This expands your network/audience for your story messages.
  70. 70. Be careful not to share as often as on Twitter – over-sharing can be a turn-offvia LinkedIn and Facebook update streams.
  71. 71. Encourage other members of your team to share your stories as well via their own networks – helps to amplify your stories.
  72. 72. Join LinkedIn Groups (or create one) that focus on your industry or product.Actively participate in group discussions and answer questions about your industry to position your company as an expert in that area.
  73. 73. Create an office policy around what stories to share where and when in order to manage the flow of information being sent out.</li></ul>30<br />
  74. 74. Video – Best Practices<br /><ul><li>YouTube is now the second largest search engine in North America. When someone searches on terms related to your business or industry, you want to make sure your videos are showing up. Learn how to tag your videos when you upload them to YouTube to make sure that your videos are searchable and indexable in search engines.
  75. 75. Createa free user channel on YouTube. Instructions can be found here:
  76. 76. Invest in a small digital video camera to conduct your own interviews with people that attend your demo booth at conferences or to videotape your presentations in the future. Give viewers an inside glimpse into your business and what goes on “behind the scenes.”
  77. 77. Vimeo is an alternative to YouTube – you can use both or one or the other (whichever you prefer)</li></ul>31<br />
  78. 78. Video – Great B2B Technology Video Example<br />32<br />
  79. 79. Best-Selling Stories and Storytellers<br />If you keep telling the same sad small story, you will keep living the same sad small life. <br />– Jean Houston<br />33<br />
  80. 80. Best-Selling Stories and Corporate Storytellers<br />Deloitte “iDeas Blog” – Canadian Digital Industry Trends<br />Extend reach beyond your own blog<br />34<br />
  81. 81. Best-Selling Stories and Corporate Storytellers<br /> – Online Marketing Thought Leadership<br />35<br />
  82. 82. A Cautionary Tale – Your audience controls your destiny<br />36<br />
  83. 83. Recap – Highlights from my story<br />Identify your audience and listen to their needs<br />Determine the best channels/tools to tell your story<br />Develop thought leadership stories that provide value and engage potential customers in order to generate sales leads<br />Be aware of how and when you tell your stories to your potential customers<br />Measure your results and tweak stories and channels as you learn what works best for your product or brand<br />37<br />
  84. 84. This is the end of my story – but only the beginning of yours...<br />Thank You!<br />Andrea<br />38<br />
  85. 85. My Services<br /><ul><li>Data-driven storytelling through social media and blogs
  86. 86. Compelling sales presentations, speeches and winning pitches
  87. 87. B2B marketing strategy and planning
  88. 88. Audience research and data analysis
  89. 89. Digital media sales strategy</li></ul>@TheRunningStartandrea@therunningstart.ca647-244-8595<br />39<br />