The New York City mayoral race is heating up. With dozens of candidates in the field and the June 22 primary date fast approaching, many voters are starting to pay attention.
Andrew Yang, former presidential candidate and current mayoral frontrunner, is pretty regularly trending on Twitter. And it seems like every time I click on his name to see why, he’s getting dragged by the Twitter mob for saying something wrong.
It’s not anything gravely offensive, nor is it anything that undermines his legitimacy as a candidate. It’s just, for lack of a better term, rookie mistakes.
Case in point: April 11 is National Pet Day. Obviously, this is a made-up internet holiday, and therefore, acknowledging it is 100% optional. People who have pets are welcome to post a cute pic, but there’s no need for anyone else to get involved.
I believe storytelling can be the key to connecting with your audience on a meaningful level and building long-term relationships with your customers. It has the power to transform the way you market your business.
But that comes with a caveat: Empty storytelling is worse than no storytelling at all.
Today I was scrolling through Instagram and happened upon a Facebook post for Women’s History Month. The video features a diverse group of women leaders throughout history and asks viewers to “#ShoutOut a leading lady in your life.”
If you know me, then you know I am a vocal, ardent feminist. So why am I deeply irked by this message from Facebook?
Many marketers (myself included) talk quite a bit about storytelling. We say it empowers you to connect with your audience, and it’s the key to building deep, lasting relationships with them.
But the word storytelling is broad and, in my humble opinion, often misunderstood in a marketing context.
When I talk about brand storytelling, I’m not talking about telling the story of your brand. Counterintuitive, non? But there's a reason for that. Frankly, your audience doesn’t need your whole life story.
Aristotle was a busy guy who was passionate about many things, but his love of theater and storytelling was noteworthy. He is considered the first theoretician of theater, and his Poetics offers a framework for understanding theatrical storytelling.
In Poetics, Aristotle outlines the six key elements of tragedy: plot, character, thought, diction, melody, and spectacle.
Aristotle’s elements of tragedy continue to influence storytelling today. And by examining the aspects Aristotle identified as critical in crafting a compelling drama, modern marketers might unearth new, creative ways of sharing their brands’ stories.
Let’s walk through the six elements and consider how they come into play in a modern marketing context.
Whether we care to admit it or not, a lot of politics is really marketing.
We like the guy with the best presentation style, the nice head of hair. Research even shows that we Americans seem to have a thing for tall men; our presidents are consistently taller than average height, and the taller candidate often wins out over the shorter one.
Some of what we look for in presidential candidates is shallow (don't get me started on the double standard women face when they run for office), but the best politicians use storytelling, another marketing technique, to get their message out there.
Since today is Inauguration Day, I thought it would be fitting to look back on some of the most famous inaugural speeches in American history. These words did more than whip up the crowd or party base. They spoke to the psyche of the nation. They addressed our greatest fears and hopes. And they set the course for the coming four years.
That’s the power of great storytelling.