Once Upon a Time Storytelling was King...
...and then we shifted to blogging. In May of 2004, the interest in blogging on the Internet surpassed that of storytelling as seen in Goolge Insights. But there appears to be a change taking place.
Interest in storytelling in general is on the rise. Consider this chart, again from Google Insights that shows a narrowing of the gap between the terms and more references (news headlines) cited for storytelling on a 7 to 1 basis over the past 4 months:
Interest in Brand Storytelling Rising
"Stories are very, very important to brands, because stories are what binds people together," remarked Rick Wion, social media director for McDonalds in a video interview at the 2012 San Francisco iStrategy Digitial and Social Media Conference. Wion, fresh from having to deal with the #McDStories promotion gone wrong, gave an open and inspirational keynote at the conference, sharing many success stories with customers. You can read a good recap of it here: McDonald's Talks About Social Media and Twitter Haters at iStrategy SF.
Wion wasn't the only voice admonishing attendees to engage in brand storytelling at the conference. Take HubSpot evangelist Laura Fitton (@Pistachio) who proclaimed her 2012 focus: "telling our customers' stories and how they're kicking ass." And that I think is an important distinction. Brand storytelling is first and foremost about your audience - your customers.
There's more evidence that interest in storytelling is on the rise. Here are just a few references I've taken note of or been involved with over the past week or so:
#Storytelling hashtag on Twitter. One of the more interesting and fulfilling ways to use Twitter is by following and engaging hashtag conversations on the topics you're interested in. I spend more time in saved hashtag searches than I do following my home stream. Search #Storytelling on Twitter and see for yourself.
Storytelling Daily from paper.li. Paper.li is a Twitter hashtag search on steroids. Last week I created a curated daily paper with the #Storytelling hashtag and was amazed to see all of the content being produced on this topic. Not only can you curate content from Twitter, you can also pull it in via Facebook, an RSS Feed, a single Google+ user, keywords on Goolge+ or from anywhere on the web. I'm still experimenting with this, but am thrilled to find all the helpful resources and interest in brand storytelling! Checkout the Storytelling Daily and if you like it, please subscribe! (Psst...if you like the concept you can create your own daily paper on a topic you're passionate about.)
More on- and off-line storytelling resources. Here are some of the best articles and publications I've recently discovered on the topic:
So, there's no shortage of interest in learning how to tell compelling stories in business. How are you telling stories? What has helped you develop and promote your brand through story?
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