Creating powerful stories - BBN
Why Turtl's Surf&Immerse structure and analytics improve content performance in B2B marketing
Creating powerful stories
to improve B2B
content performance\ @TurtlStories
B2B marketing Renaissance
stories .. conversation ..awesome performance
How easy is B2B storytelling?
- Easy to do well
- Difficult for lots of reasons
Which tools do you use?
- Adobe PDF
- Uberflip or similar
- Next generation tools
- Don't know
What is the most challenging aspect?
- Developing a good story
- Creating the content
- Finding the right tools
- Engagement and lead generation
- Measuring and improving
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
Philip Pullman, Author
“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
Rudyard Kipling, Author
Why are we still..
..struggling to tell powerful stories
Adobe PDF and MS PowerPoint Shocker..
Produced by Babcock and Jenkins
Uberflip, Zmags, Issuu, etc. fool marketers into thinking they are using next gen tools when really its a PDF made to look more contemporary with a new skin.
So let's wind the clock back..
..how did stories help us our species evolve?
Throughout our evolution, natural selection has found various ways to ensure the production of reproductive adults. For example tree frogs evolved poisonous skin that predators learned to avoid.
The young could now learn from observing the experiences of their parents. Mime stories contained more experiences than any youngster could expect to acquire personally in a lifetime.
Telling whole stories was a single huge jump that potentially allowed youngsters to understand and prepare for experiences that could occur in their own future, the culmination of millions of years of natural selection.
How did storytelling..
..drive natural selection within our race?
Play became real training for the day boys joined the adult hunters. Trained hunters brought more food to the troops, with fewer injuries.
Our ancestors learned new skills from every story.
Gatherers need to learn and remember which herbs had natural medicinal properties and which make you sick.
Important is the ability to acquire the experience of others through stories.
Advantage lies in the ability to transmit learned information about how best to farm. Often the teacher demonstrates then follows each attempt of the pupil.
This can sometimes be miming, which we now call apprenticeship.
Sprinting back to today..
..how did storytelling evolve through the ages?
1. It probably started with stories being shared around the campfire in c.500,000 BC
2. Stories moved to cave walls as we developed the ability to record our memories from c.50,000 BC
3. We developed all sorted of ways to help us perform our stories from shadow puppetry in c.50 BC in the East..
..to theatre in the West. Greek theatre dates to 700 BC and later storytellers like Shakespeare became superstars
4. Books evolved from at least 500 BC but were only for royalty due to the cost. They were designed for guided storytelling e.g the Bible
5. After Gutenberg invented free type in 1450 the printing press made books more freely available and we experienced our first information revolution.
6. Soon after this the disposable book or newspaper arrived in 1605 in Antwerp and the concept of Surf & Immerse became more important
7. And from this spawned specialist newspapers now known as magazines. The first was a literary magazine published in 1663. These build on the concept of Surf & Immerse
8. Then thanks to Marconi, from 1895 onwards a new medium of storytelling emerged.. Radio, which encouraged us to use our imagination more
9. Television arrived in 1926 and combined the audial effects of radio with pictures to create performed stories for the masses
10. From 1977 Desktop computers and email started to become widely available
11. PDF was invented a year before the internet to help us create and share visual info by email. These departed from Surf & Immerse storytelling
12. Then in 1991 Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet, which sparked the second information revolution. The concept of search and scroll emerged very soon thereafter
13. Rap music became widespread in the 1990's rising up from the streets as a new (old!) way to share stories
14. Superstars like Seth Godin started to share their stories in a much more open and authentic way. Personal, open, opinionated
15. Facebook was invented in 2004 .. yes, only 11 years ago .. and the rest of the social channels we all know followed
16. Invented in 2005, the YouTube revolution now allows us all to create and share performed content
"There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place."
..a good jackanory?
Dealing with the elephant in the room..
B2B stories are entertaining, not to everyone, but certainly to the intended audience.
Some classic b2b stories
1. Thought leadership
2. Topical opinion pieces
3. Case studies
5. News stories
6. Blog stories
7. Social posts
Hot date night
Produced by CatSnake
Love story in milk
..about the way we learn to read
Search and scroll
This is the way websites work. Search is a very efficient way to find what you are looking for, scroll is an effective way to scan or speed read and bookmarking allows you to store what you discover and come back to review it later in greater depth.
The downside is that this does not allow you to tell your story.
Surf & immerse
This is how we learn to read. We don't need to be told how to read a book, its intuitive because we learn soon after birth.
As we grow older this method of reading becomes an ingrained habit.
Then fast-forward to reading a newspaper or a magazine as an adult.
Is it any different? Not really.
For example, think about the magazines you read. They all set you up to read features in the same basic way.
There is a big image, a heading and a few words raised up that act as a taster.
We have been conditioned since birth to perceive this layout like a question. Shall I continue Surfing or slow down and Immerse myself in this feature?
It doesn't matter who you are, we have all been evolved to choose when to slow down and which stories to attend.
And we learnt..
..CX massively impacts on \your story's performance
The team at Facebook launched the new mobile interface to the US market in Feb 2014. It follows the principles I have been sharing.
These advances makes us much less tolerant of inferior content experiences at work.
This also follows the same principles and is a very successful smartphone and tablet based app that you can download for free.
Are you tooled-up?
My message here is very simple. Anything PDF based does not render well for mobile so you lose 30 to 50 percent of your reach before you start.
Even if they tell you it does (like Uberflip) the reality is that it doesn't.
Take a look
Here's a current example of a 'Best Practice' PDF e-book.
The irony is that Marketo are trying to educate us all about how to do lead generation and content marketing best practice.
It's not their fault but a PDF does not do this justice on mobile as no one wants to zoom in and out any more.
..how to really measure and improve?
Average read time
This is your headline metric. To optimise this get the story, CX and mobile access all spot on.
Right stories not lists
Move away from PDF
Check mobile access
Whether via email, web or social, this tells you if your intended audience are entering your story.
Use animated GIFs
Visualise cover images
No sign-up at the start
To improve your content you need to be able to analyse performance page by page.
Choice to immerse
Improve in realtime
Reading is a passive activity, use tools that allow your readers to actively participate.
Insert social polls
Make sharing easy
People are happy to provide contact details in exchange to access to relevant content they trust.
High quality content
Name and email only
Serving personal content to each reader will raise the ceiling on your performance to a new level.
Did you know..
Leatherbacks surf at 22mph and slow their heartbeat to once \ every nine minutes so they can immerse to 4,000ft