Tag Archives: strategy

Why is getting Social Media Marketing right, so Important?

social media marketing

Wow, now that was a quick year. At this stage, you are probably back at the desk and, hopefully, still on track with your New Year resolutions. If you’re a marketer, you’re more than likely in the process of fine-tuning your marketing strategies for success in 2018. I have no doubt that such a process includes a social media marketing (SMM) strategy.

“Using social media? Sure, that’s old hat at this stage. Everybody knows what to do”. Have you heard this sentiment recently? I have.

So rather than a ‘how to use social media’ blog post, I thought it’d be worthwhile to use this post to a) see if organisations were keeping abreast of digital developments last year, b) if we are really ready to use social media marketing in a smarter way this year and c) suggest what our online behaviour should be like if we want our social media marketing to be successful.

But before we go there I would just like to revisit the perennial question – “What is the ROI of social media marketing?”

In your organisation, you and/or those with a financial background might constantly look to match a direct outgoing cost with a direct incoming profit. In business generally, this is a reasonable quest. However, when it comes to social media marketing a defined return isn’t always obvious and therefore, it can be hard to argue the case for using social media as a marketing tool.

I believe that this is missing the point of SMM. So when questioned by some of our clients embarking on a fresh online journey, my response is to say that the use of social media can generate multiple returns, some of which may well be sales. I have to emphasise that the return may not be linear, and is usually indirect.

The Indirect Return on Social Media Marketing

Yes, there are ways of directly measuring some social media marketing. For example, by using a platform to drive people to a landing page (or specific website page) that has a special offer, you can count the conversions. To me, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing like Google Adwords can accomplish this without much fuss. This method is fine – until you stop paying for the ads, then the traffic dries up and you’re back to where you started from.

The point I want to make here is that with SMM you are building, and engaging with, a community of people that want to hear from you – I mean, they either, followed you, liked you, linked-up with you or choose to follow your Pins for a reason. They usually don’t disappear if you don’t post every day.

So, to finish this point I would like to mention three definite areas where I believe that social media marketing provides an indirect benefit.

  1. It facilitates engagement with your brand on multiple platforms and channels – as determined by customers.
  2. The cost of branding to specific audiences is reduced (as opposed to traditional marketing methods).
  3. It provides the same potential return that offline networking does – in other words, you get back what you put into it.

6 Ways that Social Media Marketing Developed in 2017

So, you think you were totally on top of your social media efforts last year? Let’s have a look at some of the developments that occurred and you can judge yourself if you were on trend.

  1. Interactive video (e.g. Periscope, Facebook Live) became a thing. Live video content is still on the rise and will be one to watch this year also. You can now use mainstream channels such as, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to bring your audience what they want to see. Watch this space for growing customer service uses as well.
  2. Messaging Apps have (almost) taken over from text messaging. Think how this is going to change the face of customer service. Companies will be able to solve customer problems in real time and bring social networking to a different level altogether.
  3. The major platforms started to allow for e-commerce to flourish. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook offered ways to purchase products directly from their apps.
  4. Virtual reality (think 360-degree videos) was expected to stick its hand up, promising great opportunities for us marketers. However, by the year-end it looked like augmented reality (AR) is becoming the first port-of-call for brands. Of course, AI (bots) also started to become mainstream, but that is a separate topic to be covered here at a later date, perhaps.
  5. Instagram was the first to copy Snapchat’s ephemeral (disappearing) content. Personally, I don’t ‘get’ the purpose of it except that it can possibly portray an unscripted or more human side to your brand. Of course, depending on your audience, this may be exactly what’s required.
  6. For sure, mobile advertising grew more competitive. Spend on all the major channels grew last year and the easier they make it – the more marketers will employ it as a sales technique. I suppose our advice for 2018 would be to experiment on the different platforms to see what works best for your audience.

If all of the above frightens you a little – don’t worry. Aidan and I, (O’C&K) are managing social media campaigns for our clients on a continuous basis. We are here to help you as a smarter marketing resource or as once off project managers. Contact us for a chat.

Behaviour is Important in Social Media Marketing.

The one thing that we (brands, company owners, marketers etc.) should have learnt, over the last say 8 years, is how we should act on social media. People expect us to act in a certain way and if we don’t, our brands may suffer.

The irony here is that as we all get our heads around social media marketing, it is also harder to rise above the noise. Determining what your customers want from you is a great way to gather positive attention and strengthen your brand.

Here are our 4 pillars to base your social media marketing on in 2018:

  1. Be Active on Social Media. Nowadays people of all ages expect you to be on social media e.g. Facebook. They might not check out your website, but they will search for you on Facebook or LinkedIn. Companies that ignore this point are missing out on an opportunity to engage new (and existing) customers. In addition, by sharing your content they also become influencers within their own communities.
  2. Be Honest on Social Media. In the recent years of political uncertainty and economic upheaval, your customers want (expect) an honest relationship with brands they prefer. So, in an environment of ‘fake news’ and political falsifications – you can safely assume that at some stage wrongdoings are going to be aired on social media. Honesty is no longer an option – it is a necessity.
  3. Be Flattered on Social Media. Focus on making a personalised connection. Let’s be honest – none of us wants to be sold to, on social media. If people think that your brand is on social media purely for sales, I can guarantee that your social media marketing (sic) will not succeed. Be flattered that they want to engage with you and treat them as people and not pay packets.
  4. Be Supportive on Social Media. Usually, people, outside of personal connections, want to ask questions, join conversations, be entertained or find out about timely events. So – make sure that your activity on social media is seen as being supportive. Respond in good time, be relevant and be consistent.

Summary.

If your social media marketing is to succeed, the secret is to bear in mind why people (your customers) are on social media in the first place. Your organisation should use it in the same way as they want to use it.

The thing to remember is that social media is ultimately a place where people go to make a connection. A brand being active and supportive builds trust and thereby an emotional link. One sure thing that will break that link is where the finance people look for a 1:1 return and the relationship is measured purely in financial terms. So if your organisation is going to undertake social media marketing, it is important that it is done right. Of course, be professional but also be human.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today, we hope our pointers will help your business grow.

Cheers –  Aidan & Jim.

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16 Reasons To Be Cheerful – Part 1- Marketing Builds Customer Relationships

customer-relationships-connections-O'C&K

When non-marketers refer to marketing, it is understandable that they equate it just to advertising. Most of the time this is because they feel that the sole objective of marketing is sales. In fact, this misconception is probably more a marketing industry problem, due lack of clarity in our own communication, more than anything else. What we don’t clarify enough is that marketing is a management process to build customer relationships and advertising is just a part of that.

Good management is critical to all aspects of a business, and it is just as important that marketing is included and managed in a smart way if opportunities for, and threats to relationships are to be identified. Business growth results from increased customer relationships – fact.

Every business, of whatever size, needs a marketing strategy to build customer relationships; otherwise, their business will not grow.

Time and time again, when we meet with potential clients for the first time there are some obvious signs that they may not be focused on building relationships with their customers.

Here are some examples: 1) No planned marketing activity online and even if there is a website created – it might not have been reviewed for mobile friendliness, SEO, conversion optimisation etc. 2) Not being on social networks where their customers engage with each other, 3) No specified marketing budget or if so, still investing it all in conventional advertising, 4) Sales figures dropping due to lack of brand awareness or ineffective / outdated promotions.

A less obvious sign is that the brand identity is not unique anymore or has become stale. I say less obvious because it probably requires some research to determine brand perceptions. My final example is signs of a lack of real customer relationships, evidenced by one-off buyers, no repeat sales, high bounce rates online etc.

In the current volatile business environment where the customer really is the king, the most worrying sign alluded to above, would be the lack of engagement with customers. As consumers – nowadays we all expect personalisation, customisation and excellent service so the business that is not providing these is going to lose out in the long run.

The Difference between Strategy and Execution.

If you are a business owner reading this, you are probably aware that you can have all the strategy in the world, but unless it is executed, it will just gather the proverbial dust-on-the-shelf. What is required is a commitment to turning your marketing vision into a reality. If you are a one-man business then this commitment is your responsibility. If you are a small to medium enterprise (SME) owner – then it is still your responsibility. As an owner, you are the one with the vision and a strong sense of self.

Here are six thoughts that might help you focus on the execution of your strategy:

  • Stay true to delivering your brand promise / value proposition every day and every way.
  • Focus on your capabilities. Don’t try to be the ‘best in class’ at everything.
  • Leverage the strength of teamwork. Get your working colleagues to strive for the same goals.
  • Save money by smarter investing. Cutting costs might lead to a mean and not lean operation.
  • Don’t wait for things to happen. Embrace change constantly.
  • Remember who you are. Don’t just focus on beating the competitors.

Moving from strategy to execution by just doing it means a focus on marketing tactics. You could argue that big businesses have big marketing budgets and, therefore, better advantage. Well, if the big guys use their budgets in a smart way, yes they absolutely may have an advantage. As the saying goes, though, – In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king – meaning there is nothing wrong with being a big fish in a small pond (sorry about the clichés, but you know what I mean).

SMEs can be more agile when it comes to relationship building.

One of the advantages of being an SME is the ability to make changes to strategies and their execution, on the run. Decisions can be made by a smaller team without the bureaucracy (and politics) of corporations / large institutions. It is imperative, though, that owners focus on what’s important for growing their business and how marketing can help in that regard.

Loosely based on the warning signs outlined above, here are 5 relationship-building tactics that SMEs can use:

  1. Increase web traffic by providing relevant content to your audience, e.g. blogging.
  2. Ensure that your business can be found by people through an online search (and encourage reviews).
  3. Engage with your audience on an authentic and human level. Have a social media programme.
  4. Build your database with an email marketing campaign. Provide information etc. through a newsletter
  5. Build a team culture. Reward hard work and dedication – loyalty will follow.

Tips and Timesavers for building customer relationships

Most marketing guides will stress the importance of building customer relationships. Unfortunately though, businesses still focus on short-term gains rather than long-term relationships. Why? – Because generating short-term cashflow is paramount to keeping the day-to-day operations functioning. However, without a marketing strategy to gain customers, the business won’t last.

Here are five tips that may help business owners grow long-term relationships.

  1. Engage with customers on a regular basis. Use email, but make sure it is relevant and not a sales pitch (people won’t mind communication if they believe that you are interested in them)
  2. Identify with your customers. Find out what challenges they have in their lives (keep updated through local media, network at relevant events, and listen on social media)
  3. Try to make a difference to a customer’s life. How can your product / service help them solve a problem that they have (make information accessible)
  4. Understand that relationship building is a marathon and not a sprint
  5. Continue the engagement long after the purchase (this will show authenticity)

Conclusion

In the current connected world, information on brands is in everybody’s pocket. Therefore purchasing decisions are becoming more fact-based and in a sense, less brand identity based. Customers will still value strong brands, but more and more that value will be based on a relationship. That relationship will be determined by their engagement with (who / why) and their experience of (what / where /when) a brand.

As Peter Drucker said, well before the advent of the information age, “the sole purpose of a business is to create a customer.”

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email, when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K

Fortunately,There is No Cheating in a Content Marketing Strategy

black-hat-content-marketing-strategy

Those of us in the business world have definitely heard of it, and everybody, at some stage has been exposed to it. A content marketing strategy can include the use of video, social media, blogs, podcasts, email newsletters, white papers, SEO and landing pages, to mention a few.

The idea is that you provide informative posts for your audience so that they talk about you or share your content. As a result of this inbound attraction, (rather than outbound messaging), you become much more customer-centric than traditional methods and are favoured over competitors.

Easy right? Well no, because of the balancing act between a) being able to provide something useful for free, b) building trust and c) not overselling. And no one is saying that this is easy.

There are many prospective clients that we meet who want to ‘have’ a content marketing strategy in its narrowest form e.g. social media. Unfortunately, rarely will one form of content suit a marketing strategy and sometimes it might only be a mindset that needs to change. Look at it this way, if the real goal of marketing is to advance your business, surely all your marketing activity should be contributing to that goal.

Is Your Content Just Writing?

If content marketing is not facilitating the achievement of a business goal – then it is just writing. The only caveat is that it doesn’t become a constant irritant by way of a sales pitch. Fortunately with regard to selling, there is no cheating in a content marketing strategy because the very people you want to attract, will ignore a sales pitch. It might be argued that native advertising is content marketing, but that’s a discussion for another post.

Whatever way you look at it, a basic human trait is that we are constantly trading amongst ourselves. This may not be a financial transaction but basically, doesn’t everyone want to sell something to everyone else, even themselves? (e.g. personal branding).

So, if you decide that your business is going to develop a content marketing strategy, and you know it shouldn’t be used as a sales tool – that’s fine but bear in mind, it should, at least, market something.

Well, if it’s not just writing – what is content marketing? We believe, it is creating and/or sharing relevant and useful content for a specific audience. The long term goal is that you instill a sense of value and grow trust amongst a community of people, with a view to building a mutually beneficial relationship.

Should a business write their own content?

We have written in previous blog posts about how business success is built on a foundation of strong relationships. We’ve also previously suggested that relationships can only be successful if there is a two-way exchange of relevant value (in whatever form), manifested in suitable communication.

Your content, therefore, needs to be professional and solve a problem that your audience cares about – or, at least, is somewhat entertaining. Each piece of content you supply should really make them feel good in that it rewards your audience for consuming it.

Of course, it is easy for a CEO to say ‘let’s have a content marketing strategy’ and the minions start a blog and set up a few social media accounts. However, without a well thought-out strategy this will only result in tears.

WARNING: Sometimes business owners should not be allowed to write their own content. Despite the arguments that they would know their clients the best – here are seven reasons why they should be convinced to leave it to the experts:

  1. They can write content but doing so for online purposes is a different challenge
  2. They can’t write – sometimes even people who are great conversationalists just can’t write
  3. They find it difficult to write about themselves and is usually faster when done by a third party
  4. They won’t always have the time – e.g. the cobbler’s kids, not having shoes
  5. They might not have the skills for social media distribution or SEO.
  6. They don’t understand the significance of original content
  7. They are afraid to trust a third party and waste money by micro-managing.

In many respects, implementing a content marketing strategy can be likened to attending a networking event.

Bear with us here.

Think about it, both involve telling stories about how value can be exchanged, in an interesting way. Both require being in the right place at the right time and having good listening skills. And usually, a ‘once off’ meeting is rarely enough.

Tips and Timesavers.

Admittedly, content marketing has become a buzzword in marketing but, as alluded to above, it is not an easy task. Ideally, for it to work it should be part of a long-term business strategy. Here is a great chart from Curata that outlines approaches which may help you with your content strategy:

curata-content-marketing-strategy

  • Appoint or employ someone to create content from within the business
  • Encourage staff members, outside of the marketing department, to contribute content
  • Outsource externally to an expert agency
  • Obtain stories from ‘happy’ customers and build content communities
  • Some media companies license content that you can brand as your own
  • Curate content from experts and share with your own community (linked to the original source)

Conclusion.

The objective of using well-written and relevant content in your marketing activity is to build trust, credibility, and engagement. The trouble is, that these may also be objectives of  your competitors.

So here are some thoughts to remember – develop concrete content objectives (thought leadership/information/driving traffic etc.), do research on your competitors (audiences/keywords etc.), ensure that your content plan fits in with your overall marketing objectives and always track your progress (engagement rather than ‘likes’).

Sometimes the challenge is simply to adjust your mindset.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K

 

Why wouldn’t you use social media in your marketing strategy?

social media like

13 tips for your social media campaign.

Recently I was discussing the enhancement of a brand’s visibility, with a client, and suggested that it would be appropriate for him to incorporate an element of social media as part of a marketing strategy.

The client intimated that he would prefer sticking with traditional media because he understood how it worked. It appeared that he distrusted the “new-fangled” social media and thought it would be a waste of time and his money.

He proffered some points to back up his preference. “Millions of people still watched TV as their source of information and entertainment, and a large proportion of them still listened to the radio”, he said. He asked that with that large reach, why wouldn’t he stick with the channels he had been using for years.

He continued to say that “people trusted TV / radio / press because items were researched and presented by professionals. As a result, people felt that they could rely on the information published”. Now he did agree that more and more people were using social media, but he thought that this was purely for connecting with family and friends and that not many people were using it as a reference for business.

He was on a roll at this stage, so he mentioned that most people can remember the great advertisements produced (a la Madmen), but not so any from social media. He sensed blood so he went for my jugular – from a business perspective, he said, “there’s no proof that social media sells, it can only be a short-lived message anyway and a lot of the time it’s just as intrusive as any other channel”.

Being online is not just a nice-to-have.

I agreed that traditional and social media were two different platforms but warned that they were becoming more mutually dependent every year. People (customers) increasingly wanted brands to be available to them wherever and whenever they wanted. Therefore, an online presence is a must-have, not a nice-to-have. The power has shifted to the consumer, I suggested, and if both platforms were incorporated into a marketing strategy it would provide the potential for better business results. Some of the benefits I highlighted were that using social media was less expensive (but not free), much more interactive, like word-of-mouth on steroids and can be specifically targeted. These are unique opportunities that traditional media cannot offer.

I did admit to him that, unfortunately, many businesses are persuaded to invest way too many resources in social media (sometimes a case of the shiny new tool syndrome). But, when used in a focused way, I continued, it makes marketing activity much more measurable and accountable.

You’ll be glad to know that we agreed to proceed with the setting up of a social media strategy (on a trial basis), and here are some of the questions we asked ourselves.

Get it right by asking yourself some pertinent questions.

Sometimes businesses use social media in their marketing because their competitors are doing so, which usually leads to unrealistic expectations and eventual disenchantment. The only way to decide whether social media fits into your marketing strategy is to ask yourself some pertinent questions. Such as:

  • Is your target audience using social media?
  • Have you established goals for your social media activity?
  • Have you the resources?
  • Can you define your social media strategy?
  • How are you going to measure the activity?

An overriding point to note here is that social media activity is a sub-set of marketing activity which, in itself, is a sub-set of business strategy. In this regard, a simple way of deciding on social media usage would be to ask yourself, a) looking back – would use social media in a campaign have improved the result and b) have we existing campaigns that social media could add value. Either way, here are some solutions to the questions posed above.

  • Target audience – ask your top customers, survey the rest, scope out competitors
  • Goal setting – improve brand recognition, grow brand loyalty / engagement, sales, thought leadership
  • Resources – review people, time, budget, buy-in, training, relevant content
  • Strategy – drive website traffic, distribution for blogs / newsletters, interaction with customers
  • Measurement – SEO, lead generation, engagement, conversion, sentiment, cost savings, sales

If you can answer all these questions in conjunction with your colleagues (and superiors), and use it where appropriate within an overall strategy, then maybe your social media activity won’t be a waste of valuable resources, as suggested by my client above. It’s about building trust. If customers engage your brand at many touch-points of their choosing, they are more than likely to favour you over brands they haven’t encountered, and, therefore, can’t trust.

Tips and Timesavers.

If you have decided to integrate social media into your marketing strategy – here are 13 tips and timesavers that may be of assistance.

  1. Write down a social media plan (what, why and how to optimise it)
  2. Seek out influencers from your industry (follow and engage with them and give back)
  3. Prefer content quality over quantity (should be educational, engaging or entertaining)
  4. Use original imagery (stock photos are not recommended and always check the license)
  5. Establish reader personas (solve their problems – here’s a fun tool I discovered this week)
  6. Add an insight if sharing other’s content (build thought authority)
  7. Establish a budget (management, tools, images, videos etc.)
  8. Repurpose existing content (or use customer generated content)
  9. Keep your eye out for new tools (often channels or tools are upgraded or replaced)
  10. Dabble in PPC (social advertising can be capped at a cost that suits your budget)
  11. Develop an editorial calendar (good for principles, not rigidity)
  12. Encourage buy-in (from all staff not just the C-Suite)
  13. Profiles should adhere to brand style-guides (bios, messages, images. tone, positioning)

 Conclusion.

The world of social media is constantly changing. It is because of this change that some unfounded, anecdotal evidence or myths spread about social media experiences. Let’s debunk some of them – people are reading your posts but they may not engage with them. Your blog post will not reveal trade secrets to the competitors and online activity will not constantly expose you to comments that might damage your reputation (unless you deserve it). One of my favourites is – more is better (vanity metrics) which is crazy stuff and finally, social media is free, which believe me, it is not.

“We hope you have enjoyed our marketing tips and timesavers blog” – Aidan & Jim.

Would you like to be notified by email when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffeet, cheers.   Jim – O’C&K

Warning: To be human is to love a good story.

Story

“We want to create value for you by sharing marketing tips and timesavers” – O’C&K.

10 steps to start telling your story right now.

Why do businesses and so many marketers continue to ignore the fact that customers are human and like a good story?

Do you think I’m stretching it a little when I suggest that your customers, or prospects (people), want to see, hear and understand the real you?  They want to know your story. I don’t believe that they want to hear you broadcast how good you are or how much they need your product / service. Do you know why? Because you are not talking to them in a natural way and they see no value for themselves, in your corporate blurb.

I alluded to this in a previous post, but I believe that it is worth reiterating here. Treating people as humans is a business requirement and not just a casual option. In fact have you noticed that your colleagues, your employees and even your online followers are all human also? Not only that, but they all have one other thing in common, they want brands to relate to them in an interesting way that brings them benefit.

The way that businesses can do this is quite simple to understand but a little bit harder to put in place. Our tips and timesavers below will outline some ways that you can start to make your brand more human with storytelling.

Once upon a time ……

It is true that for brands to break through the ‘noise’ today, they need to be more interesting and relevant. I read recently that ‘friend of mine’ awareness is replacing the traditional marketing measurement of ‘top of mind’ awareness. This reinforces the power of word-of-mouth and also the way that purchasing decisions are being influenced. A friend’s advice is an emotional one and usually acted upon. So if brands are to make any inroads into building relationships with customers, they must connect with people in the way that a friend might – through emotion.

The main way of doing this is by telling a story.

‘Once upon a time ….’ is one of the most emotionally charged string of words, ever. From when we were babies, we always tuned into what comes next after those magical words. Brands have to start telling and stop selling. People in general want to know more about you but will only listen if it is interesting and relevant, to them. How to achieve this from a business point of view, is by revealing a story theme within the guidelines of a clear communication strategy.

Think about it, a brand is really an amalgamation of stories anyway. The ideal would be for you to pull these stories together into a theme and proactively manage them. Of course, if you don’t tell your story, others will and it may not be a positive version.

Topics you could source internally might include:

  • the added value offered by your brand,
  • various audience experiences,
  • your employees,
  • the rationale behind your identity and your image,
  • what others say about you.

In fact, why not allow your stories ‘fit in’ with those of other people. Even better – become a hub for the sharing of ideas and conversations. Give people a face, a voice, a platform to be heard.

When discussing this point with some of O’C&K’s clients, they often say “but we don’t have a story to tell, that’s why we advertise”. Our answer is that every brand has a specific story to tell which should be told because it is the one thing that your competitors cannot replicate. And from a sales point of view, people connect with stories not products.

For instance, the original iPhone was sold as a life changer about how people could connect rather than a pocket computer. What Apple Inc. did was to make the customer (you and me) the hero of their story. Whatever you might think of Apple they definitely changed our lives with the smartphone.

If you decide to start telling your story however, it must be your authentic story. Not some aspirational place where you want to be. Let people know who you are – across all communication, online and offline. Be consistent and constantly thinking about ways that you can add value to your customers.

Brands that I am interested in are ones that I learn from, I laugh with or I love what they do for others. Of course business values are great but I find that they are all similar – have a look at a company’s values page on the next few websites that you visit and you’ll see what I mean.

To me, it’s kind of obvious that businesses need to connect more with people through personal values which means getting emotional, however strange that may sound. I guess social media can help us in this regard. It gives us the opportunity to talk directly to, or listen to, customers. Even a simple ‘thank you’ on twitter can go a long way. As I have always said to sponsees – ‘try to over- deliver on a personal level with a sponsor’. In that way renewal of a sponsorship contract is more probable, nine times out of ten. It’s all about the personal touch.

Tips and Timesavers.

The real trick here is not to focus on your own story, your own campaign, new services or your achievements. Talk about why people’s lives will be improved as you strive to achieve your vision, not how you’re going about it. Tell stories that make people laugh, make them sad or make them mad.

Here are some tips to start you on your journey:

  • Brainstorm with your team. – It is important that you know who and what you are before you can start connecting with your audiences. What is your culture?
  • Determine your audience. –  ID, research and prioritise your top 2/3 audiences. What different requirements have they and what tactics are required for you to satisfy them.
  • Focus on the relationship that you want to build. –  Be a human and have a personality.
  • Don’t interrupt your audience. – Speak in their language and be part of their story.
  • Listen to their story and provide value. – Your story must be of benefit to them in some way.
  • Get your team to be social. – Everybody on your team is a potential curator of stories.
  • Get your audience on board. – By connecting with their emotions they will buy into your story.
  • Leverage different mediums. – Find out where your audiences are and go ‘play’ there.
  • Be human all the time. – Show pictures of you and your team – doing ordinary stuff.
  • Plan it. – Have an editorial calendar, a social media policy and measure impacts.

Telling your story – a science or an art?

If you don’t see yourself as a storyteller, an external professional can help you to encapsulate your company’s story. The downside of not doing this is that your communication with people is going to be unfocused and less effective. Also, don’t waste time trying to set-up multiple channels of communication because, once you have determined your audience, the channels will select themselves.

Adam Weinroth, CMO, OneSpot has provided us with an interesting infographic on the science of storytelling.

The human element of storytelling is to ensure that your team and your audience are sharing compelling content. If that content is aligned to your brand promise and vision, it will be relevant and useful to all parties.

By the way, don’t allow the thought of writing the content to put you off – you can outsource this element also. The important thing is that your internal team is operating like a newsroom and is focused on your communication strategies.

Having a human brand means that you keep in mind that your customers and employees are human too. Humans like stories and are always looking for value in them. That value may be educational, entertaining or simply an alignment with their beliefs. Go on, tell us, what’s your story?

If you have any other tips or timesavers please leave a reply below. If you’d like to receive similar content, just subscribe by clicking through the pink button, on this page.  Of course if you want to get in touch, leave your details and perhaps we might meet for a chat, cheers.   Jim – O’C&K