Monday, 17 February 2014

Is Storytelling a New Digital Marketing Trend?

A funny thing happened to me while I was deciding where to post my digital marketing inspired articles for getting feedback and some exposure. During my research I discovered a large number of different storytelling platforms (some of them tell stories through text, some tell stories through images and videos). I literally got lost in this brave new world of storytelling: Medium, Explory, Zeega, Burrst, Branch, Selfish, Qwiki, Paper by Facebook, and many more of others.  Then, I thought about my own blog, which I started a year ago (no idea why I stopped updating this blog), but here I am back to my blog still feeling confused about the amount of storytelling platforms out there. I got very curious (as usual) and decided to investigate this very odd phenomenon. Suddenly, I found a virtual universe of storytelling opportunities!

Earlier, I had heard of the power of story and the idea that "The audience accepts the story because, for a human, a good story always seems like a gift. But the story is actually just a delivery system for the teller’s agenda. A story is a trick for sneaking a message into the fortified citadel of the human mind".

The video above asks a great question at the end: "Why do we live in fiction? How do we become the storytelling animal?" Thinking about the answer to this question I remembered a brilliant introduction to "Crash" by J.G. Ballard: "I feel that the balance between fiction and reality has changed significantly in the past decades. Increasingly their roles are reversed. We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind – mass-merchandizing, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the pre-empting of any original response to experience by the television screen. We live inside an enormous novel. It is now less and less necessary for the writer to invent the fictional content of his novel. The fiction is already there. The writer’s task is to invent reality.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Opportunities In The Native Advertising

The more I think and read about advertising and marketing today, the more I understand many marketers are stuck and appear to totally ignore a simple fact. It's time to move forward from the old system of "selling things" and "pushing things" to their customers and to accept the newer approach "advice", "educate", "inspire". This change is needed in order to keep up with an evolving culture of varying needs. Time is Money, believe it or not, is turning into Time is Art. For digital marketing professionals that means investing even more time and money into creative and visually interesting content (articles, blogging, rich media,  imaging and image strategy, etc.). While most advertising executives have traditionally looked for a way to merge art with commerce, the commerce portion has usually limited their ability to experiment with high end imagery.  If a campaign doesn't generate a quick result in sales, the campaign (and perhaps the executive) would be quickly replaced. And by continuing to focus on numbers, selling, money, profit, pushing, mottos, call-to-action, ROI, and similar considerations, I agree with Joni Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Insitute, that "there will be a deluge of really, really bad content before it gets better (check out this eBook for more details on this point)".

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

TripTease: New Take On Luxury Travel Reviews

TripTease is exactly what I had in my mind for the last two years. Unfortunately, I couldn't do it myself and I am glad to know there are people who could make this idea a reality.

In general, I am a person who rarely reads reviews on TripAdvisor or Yelp because I am not interested in reading what are usually long and frequently boring reviews about places. I prefer to experience everything myself and have post own review. But now I find myself reading almost everything on TripTease and getting inspired for my future travels. I already found so many great spots on TripTease I have never heard of before. And everything is so, well,  pretty, a true feast for the eye. I genuinely feel like I'm reading a travel magazine. What I think makes it a cut above most  travel magazines is the way in which individual personalities really come through in the text and photos. Especially photos. Again, great use of imagery and image strategy to create something new.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Image Strategy: A Look Forward

We live in a visual world. We are surrounded by multiple screens all day, every day. Being an image obsessed and digital marketing addict with an artistic eye, I truly believe the success of any online campaign lies in the well done image. Text will never die exactly, but it is becoming less important as the Internet continues to create a single global marketplace. Already today's marketing and business gurus advise to have an image strategy in this  age of Pinterest and Instagram, and they claim the better social media strategy is "Show, Don't Tell". People react faster to an image than ever before. People are willing to share what they perceive to be an interesting image far more than anything else. Plus, in my opinion, the future lies far more in simple and evocative visual representations of the product/experience rather than some slickly written commercial text.