In today’s fast-paced world, the important act of sharing your story needs to be approached in new, more innovative, ways. Find out how to make your messages stand out with key insights from world-leading social media marketer, Gary V.
The ‘art of storytelling’ is one that marketers refer to often. Focusing on this technique can help you to form more ‘human’ connections with your audience.
However, this art is not a static one! The way people consume information is constantly evolving, and the introduction of new communication channels and mediums seems to change daily.
I recently stumbled across a video of Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur and public speaker, that covered this exact topic.
Gary V runs his own agency, VaynerMedia, and travels the world sharing the secrets to transforming a good business into a great one. This video struck a cord with me because Gary cuts to the chase and reminds us that the world has changed and that we must evolve the way we tell stories, and fast.
Great storytelling in the attention-deficit economy
According to Gary, “Always and forever, our job is to tell our story.” The challenge with modern storytelling is to share your story in a way that gets people to actually pay attention.
In today’s exciting new world of on-demand TV, text messaging and social media, you need to be able to rise to this challenge. In Gary V’s words, this involves learning how to story tell in “micro-moments”.
As he explains, modern technology has caused most of us to have seemingly developed attention deficit disorder. So, as brands, we no longer have a captive audience to share our message with. Consumers have more freedom in which to choose how they spend their time. We answer texts when we are ready. We watch TV shows we like, when we want. And we even read the news, each day, at a time that suits us best.
The question we, as marketers, need to be asking is “How do I tell my brand stories in ways that are lightweight and quick?”
For those who have the know-how, channels like social media can be so much more than a distribution network. They can be the next level of creative communication.
“In today’s world, a quick story is a good one!”
Digital marketing, old vs new
Digital marketing used to involve the basics of banner ads, Google AdWords and email marketing. These tools still have their place, but they’re definitely not as useful as they once were.
Gary V’s video highlights the fact that Google AdWords is less effective than it once was. That his own email marketing open rate in 1996 was 89%, a figure that today is completely unheard of. Plus the downside of living in a post-Groupon and LivingSocial era is that people are quicker to unsubscribe from, than read, our electronic missives. And online banner ads, well they now have click-through rates at only a fraction of a percentage – people barely even notice them, anymore.
Similar things are happening as our social media streams become increasingly cluttered. However, there is a key difference. People are less likely to ‘unfollow’ businesses and acquaintances on this platform once they have made a connection, meaning there’s still hope they will see our content in their stream.
This can be worked in your favour, says Gary, by focusing on one thing, ‘quality storytelling’.
Social media marketing is about context, not content
In a world where we receive so much information from all angles, how do we make our own voices cut through? One way to answer this is through ‘context’.
“99% of marketing and sales people look at social networks as distribution for projects and campaigns they are working on,” says Gary, “To really win, we need to start respecting these platforms and actually join in the conversation.”
Image source: Gary Vaynerchuck
To understand how ‘context’ comes into play, think of the reasons WHY your audience is on each platform. When it comes to something like Pinterest, usually people are there to research new ideas or bookmark other people’s creative and inspiring finds, which seem impossible to stumble upon these days through Google search alone. On Facebook, they’re connecting on an emotional level. The main purpose of Tumblr is to be amused through funny quotes and GIFs. LinkedIn is a place people visit in order to network with peers and manage their business, as well as their career.
Knowing this helps you form your social media plan based on the intent in each social stream. It basically comes down to getting to know your audience and the psychology of what they want, when and where. The other benefit you are creating for yourself is an understanding of how to provide potential clients with value that relates to where they are in the buying cycle, and what they are seeking at that exact point in time.
Gary V adds an interesting point in his speech – that nowadays time and attention are the most valuable things people can offer the companies trying to market to them. As a real estate agent, you can probably identify with having very little time to spare!
“Target your marketing where you know you will have the ‘eyes and ears’ of your audience.”
Win at marketing by being authentic
Describing a technique that he calls “jab, jab, jab, right hook”, Gary V explains that marketers should “Give, give, give, then ask”.
“Just have conversations. Act human. Bring value to the people you connect with online. Be fun, be funny or even be newsworthy.”
People are savvier than ever and are able to see through the ‘BS’ of thinly veiled requests for something from them in the form of a sale. No doubt you encounter lacklustre marketing every day that makes you roll your eyes! Gary’s theory is that if you spend most of your time being authentic on social media and sharing content that is of genuine value to your audience, you can actually go right ahead and ask people for their business, thereafter, unashamedly.
Image source: Gary Vaynerchuck
“Listen, instead of talking”, he says, “We still need to figure out the art and science of storytelling and act the right way for each platform.”
Strategies honed for each social media marketing channel
In real estate, we are blessed with being able to share images that motivates our audience to engage with us. A shot of a beautiful living room, a stylish kitchen or a stunning light fitting is the first part of a story and may actually go further on social media than a simple ‘For Sale’ announcement.
As someone who operates within a geographical locale, sharing local trivia, flashback photos or even snaps of business owners serving the community – as agent Michael Rava’s did ‘Facebook HONBCM‘ style – can be a great way to share tiny glimpses of your overall story. This approach makes for a great foundation for building strong, meaningful connections with your audience and future clientele.
So if you are stuck for ideas, need help creating the vast array of social media strategies and digital marketing plans needed to effectively match the intent of your potential home sellers in your patch, then the Hoole.co team are on hand!
Image credit: this article promotes thought leader Gary Vaynerchuck, otherwise known as Gary V, of Vayner Media. Gary’s images have been included, as sourced from his social media. You can follow Gary’s insights at ask.garyvaynerchuk.com.