Don’t show me an ad, involve me in your story
There is no doubt about the power of storytelling to move people emotionally, but moving them enough to take an action is what we should be focusing on.
Good stories generate strong feelings (from happiness, desire and inspiration through to sadness, fear and shock) but for most brands only the stories that move people enough to inspire them to act are of value. This action could be to purchase a product, participate in an event, pledge support, donate money or time, change behaviour or simply share the story with someone else.
The power of storytelling isn’t news but social media has transformed how brands engage people with their stories. A huge number of people have the opportunity to be touched by and respond to stories with increasing ease, immediacy and crucially, reward. This makes the social space one of the most important playgrounds for brands to engage people using brand stories, woven into real life stories.
Think Stephen Sutton, the teenage cancer patient that raised more than £3 million for Teenage Cancer Trust and #NoMakeUpSelfie that raised over £8 million for Cancer Research UK. Corporates like AirBnB are also getting involved, who as part of its #OneLessStranger campaign is giving their customers $10 each to perform a unique act of kindness and spread a little more hospitality around the world.
For some time at GOOD HQ we have been inspiring people to take action by telling our clients’ incredible stories through social media channels. We have told powerful stories for charities and NGOs that have had social and environmental impact, which have inspired millions of people to make a monetary donation or demonstrate their support. We are now increasingly engaged with commercial brands who are looking to connect people with their social purpose and shared values. This will not only drive profit but positive change.
Our approach is to give the audience a role in a brand’s story; a role of influence which gives them a sense of ownership. We do this through creating “meaningful content” – telling contagious, emotive, authentic stories that inspire and provoke people’s imagination and move them to act.
We believe meaningful content not only enriches a person’s life but also achieves an organisation’s goals. It’s not broadcast, it doesn’t preach and it’s not boring but instead tugs on heart strings, blows minds and weaves organisations into everyday human interactions.
Last November we worked with the RNIB to launch The Ugly Truth. It engaged people with a film, highlighting offensive, bigoted views about people going blind. These views are not just opinion but actually UK policy. Our film gave this injustice a human face and more than 200,000 people watched it, many of them outraged to action, commenting on and sharing the film with their networks.
Now that more value is being placed on meaningful content, organisations have the opportunity to develop deep, long lasting relationships with people by giving them a role in their brand story. Like RSPCA. Like Stand up to Cancer. Like you.
Tell us one of your organisations stories and we’ll help you turn it into meaningful content that gives people a role in your brand story and drives them to act for you. Driving income. Unleashing good.