Brands-and-CMOs

Why brands need to work with creators and storytellers

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Marketing has always been about achieving the best results. We do that by getting the right message to the right person at the right time using the right channel. 

The mantra remains as true as ever. However, the techniques are increasingly redundant. While storytellers have always had a place in the process, the traditional strategies are built on now-crumbling foundations. “Broadcast your message at anonymous audiences in high volume, hoping something eventually sticks!”

What has changed? Consumers. Increasingly, you find consumers on mobiles. They manage everyday work and personal life commitments, make choices about who to like or engage with, and who to turn to. And they do this every waking minute.

Overwhelming consumers with mass-market branded messages is increasingly ineffective. Mass marketing is also usually prevented by ad-blocking technology, incredibly expensive (pay to play), and still often misses the individual.

The choice for brands is clear: embrace the new role that supports, commissions and inspires the storytellers and creators to deliver genuine and inspiring collaborations that in turn fuel real Australian and global innovation.

The consumers are in control. And the secret to engaging with them lies with the true creators and storytellers.
To win, brands must deliver the best experiences. They have to provide great reasons for individuals to engage with them.

Read more: 3 hacks to improve your writing

A case study: the storytellers at Australian Style

Last night Digivizer supported Thom Whilton and Lisa Teh at the launch of their new book Australian Style: The Who’s Who of Fashion. Thom and Lisa are natural storytellers, entrepreneurs and creators.

The book builds on Thom and Lisa’s online content and editing success. It celebrates Australia’s fashion industry innovators, those who create Australia’s leading designs, those who tell genuine stories to the industry and consumers. Lisa Teh and I joined a panel. Alongside us:

  • Daniel Watts, managing director of Thames and Hudson Australia
  • Janice Breen Burns, former fashion editor of The Age
  • Lana Wilkinson, blogger and influencer (moderator)

Despite our different backgrounds and careers, early consensus appeared: a brand telling its own story no longer holds the same interest for consumers.

Consumers want a new and different story to be told by someone they trust. They want a story that’s entertaining and informative, that aligns to their passions and values.

Read more: The 5 content commandments

The evidence is in the data. Digivizer’s analytics agree that brands that work with great creators and storytellers gain greater consumer engagement, loyalty, interest and sales. They outperform those trying to control the branded messaging and solutions.

To win, brands must deliver the best experiences. They have to provide great reasons for individuals to engage with them.

One of the best ways to do this is to work with the people consumers already turn to for information and inspiration. These creators, innovators and storytellers have built engaged communities of like-minded individuals sharing common interests, passions and values.

How to do it

Consumers are savvy; they know authenticity when they see it. They spot undeclared paid-for influence or comment. So ahead of increasing regulation on declaring paid content, brands need to remember they earn consumers’ respect for what they really help create.

This comes through investment, inspiration and collaboration in these exciting possibilities. There’s a whole new generation of creators and storytellers out there, just waiting to speak up.

Read more: 6 tips for creating B2B content marketing

The process of engaging with individuals starts with great stories. Consumers vote with their thumbs on their mobile devices, and they do it quickly. They also leave clues about their intentions, connections, needs and preferences.  After that, brands can act on these clues and create content to engage the consumer with something of interest and relevance.

Furthermore, the opportunity sits in the precision of being able to act on these real-time insights. You want to be able to intersect with the actual conversations and content engagement taking place online.

The choice for brands is clear: embrace the new role that supports, commissions and inspires the storytellers and creators to deliver genuine and inspiring collaborations that in turn fuel real Australian and global innovation.

Brands need to invest in, not compete with, the creators and storytellers.

Australian Style: The Who’s Who of Fashion launched Wednesday 8 March in Melbourne, as part of the 2017 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival IDEAS program. Follow the social conversation at #australianstylebook #vamff. Digivizer was the primary sponsor of the event. If you’d like more insights from Digivizer, create your free trial account today.

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