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Ann Handley Demonstrates How To Compel with Storytelling at Make it Massive 2021

Content material advertising and marketing has come a good distance since its origin in 1895 with John Deere’s The Furrow — however many fundamentals nonetheless reign true. At BigCommerce’s 2021 Make it Massive Convention, BigCommerce Director of Content material Advertising and marketing Melissa Dixon sat down with digital advertising and marketing pioneer and MarketingProfs Chief Content material Officer Ann Handley to debate the important thing parts of making content material to captivate — and convert.

Ann’s Key Takeaways

On this Make it Massive 2021 session, Ann demonstrated firsthand how one can compel audiences with the artwork of storytelling. Past the storylines, Ann additionally supplied manufacturers with actionable recommendation for constructing a group and creating content material that converts.

Listed below are a couple of key takeaways from Ann Handley’s Make it Massive session:

Melissa Dixon: How have you ever seen content material advertising and marketing evolve and alter through the years? How would you describe the content material panorama as we speak?

Ann Handley: “Content material could be very a lot rooted in advertising and marketing manner again when, proper? It was all the time a part of advertising and marketing. However what modified extra just lately? And why are we having this dialog now? And why is it much more related to all of us? 

“The web occurred primarily, and extra particularly, a Google examine in 2010, during which it recognized that 88% of individuals such as you and me are looking out on the web earlier than making a choice about something that we need to purchase. It was referred to as The Zero Second of Fact, that Google examine. That elevated the function of content material as a result of everybody realized, properly, what are they going to search out there?…After which after all, social media began and phrase of mouth turned extra necessary. And now we discover ourselves right here in 2021 making an attempt to determine what’s most necessary…

“And so in some methods, content material has developed and adjusted so much. And in some methods, it hasn’t. Definitely the instruments and techniques have developed. However I believe basically, the most effective content material is content material that has these three issues, proper? That’s helpful, that’s impressed, and that’s actually empathetic.”

“I believe basically, the most effective content material is content material that’s three issues — that’s helpful, that’s impressed, and that’s actually empathetic.” — Ann Handley

MD: What does it imply to be storyteller? Secondly, what would you say to these companies who possibly they really feel like they won’t have something to say — how can they supply content material concepts and inform higher tales?

AH: “When you can inform a narrative about your enterprise in a manner that issues to the particular person you search to draw, I believe it’s a recreation changer for thus many companies. It will probably actually put your head and shoulders above your competitors, as a result of… I don’t have to let you know this, however we’re all wired for story, proper? All of us are likely to react extra to story than to nearly anything. We have a tendency to essentially join with story as human beings.

“So I believe the chance for companies is to grasp that primary, that story does matter to start with. And secondly, to the opposite a part of your query, how will we inform a narrative properly?

“Discovering the human on the heart of your story, I imagine is the form of factor that may completely set your enterprise aside. It’s discovering the particular person and the way it’s that your enterprise helps that particular person. And in case you can inform that story in a manner that your viewers can then see themselves within the story that you simply’re telling — I believe in the end, it could possibly elevate your entire enterprise. And it simply places your enterprise into the context of their lives.”

“Discover the human on the heart of your story.” — Ann Handley

Expertise the Case Knives video Ann shares for instance of efficient storytelling:

MD: Given {that a} robust group, or fan base, is so integral to having profitable content material, how can companies finest nurture relationships and develop their group?

AH: “When you can suppose extra broadly about who’re you making an attempt to attach with, and what’s the factor that connects all of these folks, and the way does your enterprise match into the context of their lives — that to me is the essence of group proper there…

“I additionally suppose it’s the ability of the e-mail e-newsletter. E mail e-newsletter is actually, you’re constructing a database, sure. However what are you actually doing? You’re constructing a group.

“So I believe approaching your advertising and marketing with that very a lot of a communal mindset, I believe makes a variety of sense. There’s simply so some ways to construct a group in a tactical manner, however I believe an important factor is to all the time present a component of reciprocity, proper? Are you all the time permitting your clients, your prospects to have a dialog again with you? And once more, I believe you are able to do it in some quite simple methods. 

Supply: Currituck County Financial Improvement Company web site

“The factor about content material is that it’s not exhausting. It’s not essentially exhausting to launch and begin a profitable program — nevertheless it does require fixed care and feeding. So it will not be exhausting, nevertheless it undoubtedly requires you or someone in your group to care, to indicate up along with your coronary heart and take part, to handle it…And so I believe, how are you going to finest feed group, or how are you going to finest nurture a group, is simply to discover a strategy to continually be inviting your viewers into the dialog.”

Ann closes the session by leaving attendees with one key takeaway: 

“Don’t suppose like a marketer. Don’t suppose like a enterprise proprietor. Suppose like an individual making an attempt to attach with one other particular person.” — Ann Handley

Uncover extra compelling content material examples Ann shared throughout her session:


For much more advertising and marketing ideas and content material methods, expertise Ann Handley’s full session whenever you register to look at the 2021 Make it Massive convention on demand.




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