Back to Basics: Why Branded Storytelling Matters

Disney’s animated classic, Beauty and the Beast, was originally released in 1991. It’s safe to say it stood the test of time – winner of Golden Globe and Academy Awards upon release and still, today, one of the most well-known animations of all time.

Which film was even more popular and profitable? This year’s revamp of the classic.

In 2017, Beauty and the Beast was remade and rebranded for the modern audience. Disney’s Chief Marketing Officer for EMEA, Tricia Wilber, discussed how the company used multiple touchpoints to collect data and information to see where different audiences were and how trends in 2017 are constantly evolving.

The reason this film can be rebranded and still just as widely adopted and adored nearly two decades later is because of the universally relevant story. This is the same reason that your marketing strategy is either taking off or sinking. Ultimately, it all comes down to strong storytelling.

beauty and the beast why storytelling matters

Why Storytelling Matters

Legendary marketer and entrepreneur, Seth Godin, describes marketing as, “The art of telling a story that resonates with your audience and then spreads.”

In fact, there is both an art and science to telling a story that resonates.

The science behind it relates to how people digest information and how much easier it is to do so when it is in the form of a story. Stories are used throughout time for everything from explaining religion to remembering the order of the planets from the sun. Every Idols winner has a story, every politician has a story and every brand has a story. Crafting and spreading yours is vital to your marketing success.

There is an art to telling a story that is timeless and impactful. While reading on, think about what kind of story you are projecting to your audience with every decision you make.

Once Upon a Time

The fact that you’re still reading this article may well be because of the story it began with. Studies show that telling a story makes your message more likely to grab and keep attention as well as being remembered long after the message has been communicated. This is how to get your brand to resonate with your audience in 2017 – and to keep them as loyal customers long after that. In addition, it increases perceived value – consumers are more likely to pay more for a product or service with a story attached to it. What better marketing strategy do you need?

storytelling for b2b marketing meltwater

Consider these two case studies:

  • Apple

Apple made serious waves with the release of the “Get a Mac” ad series. With John Hodgman as the archaic, bumbling PC and Justin Long as the cool, composed Mac, Apple explained to consumers that their new technologies and devices are more advanced than any other product in the market. Through careful personification and ongoing episodes, the ad was hugely popular in the three years it aired – from 2006 until 2009. It is still widely acknowledged today as one of the most entertaining and effective advertisements ever produced. And since then, the tech giant has virtually owned the corner of cool, contemporary gadgets and devices.

 

  • Burberry

With the emergence of ecommerce in recent years, fashion brands have had to find a way to remarket themselves to an online world. Burberry CEO, Angela Ahrendts, says “As the world becomes at once more complex and more connected, stories have the power to educate, write and inspire. By following these evergreen principles and leveraging the tools of the digital age, I believe the future of storytelling can be even richer and more complex than its past.”

With her leadership, Burberry was a successful pioneer in the rise of the digital age and used social channels to reinvent the 157-year-old brand and attract a younger audience. It achieved this through storytelling. Burberry tells the story of a brand that once seen as devalued and outdated, and has grown into an elegant, timeless classic.

In addition, the brand recently released a trailer-styled short film on YouTube. Except, unlike Box Office hits today, it is not a film, but a TVC for Burberry and it is based on a true story – that of founder Thomas Burberry’s life. We’re sold.

 

Show Me the Money

“Stories are such a powerful driver of emotional value that their effect on any given object’s subjective value can actually be measured objectively.”

– Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker, founders of Significant Objects

At significantobjects.com, the ROI of a brand’s story can be measured. The US-based website buys inexpensive, thrift-store, garage-sale styled items with little perceived value. They hire a writer to create a fictional story about the product at hand – giving it a history, a story and making it sentimental. The previously valueless items are then sold, with their write-ups, auction-style on eBay. The experiment shows that even at a micro-level, storytelling can increase product value by over 2 000%.

Happily Ever After

Although storytelling is relevant to any industry across the board, no two companies are the same, and neither are their audiences. We recommend using a data-driven approach to making decisions about what exactly to include in your marketing strategy. Meltwater, the global leader in online media intelligence, helps companies make better, more informed decisions based on data. Contact us to find out more.

The Top 6 Marketing Events in India You Should Be Attending

Attending business events and conferences is one of the best ways to learn from others in your industry, network with relevant, like-minded people, stay up-to-date with the industry trends that affect you, and network with business connections.

Any successful businessperson will vouch that having and growing a strong network plays a significant role in developing relationships that sustain business growth.

In addition to mingling with prospective clients, business events have an overarching theme that the keynote speakers will teach you about in their talks – you’re bound to walk away with business insights into what’s happening in your industry, the future of it, trends that will affect business and tools you can use to stay on top of it all.

In India, we’re lucky to have the opportunity to attend some of the top business events in the world – and we should all be taking advantage of it.

Meltwater India - list of top business events in India you should be attending

1. Influence Now Communication Conclave

The Influence Now Conclave by Reputation Today and Godrej Corporate Communications Team is due to take place on Wednesday, 30th May, from 09:00 – 15:00 in Mumbai. It will bring together over 100 marketing, communications and PR professionals, from agencies to in-house teams, to listen, learn and interact with business leaders on the subject of reputation management and strategic communications. Any professional managing a company’s online reputation, social influencers or communications strategy should attend.

Buy tickets here.

Meltwater India at the Influence Now Communication Conclave

2. India Digital Summit

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) starts every year off with a bang with its flagship event – the India Digital Summit – held in January or February annually. The last one was held in New Delhi with a top-class speaker line-up including IBM, Netflix and Johnson & Johnson.

Along with plenary sessions from some of India’s most successful CEOs, Founders and CMOs, there are also separate sections that you can sign yourself up to including cryptocurrencies, adtech, digital transformation, governmental, design or entertainment tech.

The one-day conference offers fireside chats, keynotes and workshops, as well as networking breaks and the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the country’s biggest names in business.

Keep an eye on this page for tickets to the India Digital Summit in January 2019.

3. Praxis

Reputation Today presents Praxis: Public Relations and Corporate Communications India Summit, held from 28 – 30 September this year. It is the world’s largest festival of reputation management professionals, and the purpose of the conference is to create a platform where practitioners and professionals can gather, learn, share and engage with each other. Participants include senior communications directors, CEOs of PR firms, middle management – both from consulting firms and in-house as well as representatives from support companies.

Secure your ticket here.

Praxis 2018

4. Social Samosa’s Social Media Bootcamp

Few revolutionary inventions have had the game-changing effects on humankind as social media, aside from the invention of the wheel of course. And although we have reaped many benefits from the latter, there are an extraordinary number of things that we can achieve with social media.

At this two-day conference held from 12 – 13 May 2018 from 12:00 – 18:00 pm, you will learn comprehensive insights into the realm of content marketing, social media and influencer marketing, advertising on social media and calculating your ROI, as well as reference material and a certificate of completion.

Don’t miss this, book here.

Social Samosa Social Media BootCamp - Meltwater India - business events in India

5. DigiMarCon

We are especially excited for DigiMarCon as it’s India’s largest online marketing conference. This year, it will be held from 19 – 20 September and can be accessed live and on-demand. The agenda over the two days operates exactly like a physical conference – with time slots assigned to different topics, including digital strategy, customer engagement, data science, SEO and growth hacking, amongst plenty other relevant themes.

DigiMarCon aims to challenge your conventional thinking, open your mind to new technologies and trends, and to leave you with a notebook full of actionable takeaways that you can successfully implement in your company, agency or team immediately. You can join the online Digital Marketing community to network with other professionals and whether you’re just getting started or a digital marketing expert, DigiMarCon India 2018 will give you the latest strategies and insights to grow your business through digital marketing.

Book here.

Meltwater India goes to DigiMarCon - online business events in India

6. WAN-IFRA India 2018

This year, in Hyderabad from 25 – 27 September, WAN-IFRA India Conference, South Asia’s largest gathering of news publishers, will hold it’s 26th annual conference. 

Here, you can connect with the right people – there will be more than 300 senior publishing executives from over 25 countries attending – publishers, editors, CEOs, Managing Directors, Presidents and more. Get insights from innovators who are transforming the global media industry and learn from the case studies and best practices that are directly relevant to your own media operations. In addition, there is a South Asian Media Awards ceremony where you can discover the best in the region, or perhaps win a prize yourself.

Sponsored by Facebook, Google and the New York Times, and an industry favourite for more than two decades, this certainly isn’t a conference you should miss.

To find out about Meltwater’s events and Webinars, or to discover which national conference we’re next making an appearance at, contact us here to sign up to our mailing list.

How to Build an Influencer Marketing Strategy that Works

According to author Ted Coin, influencer marketing will be the leading form of marketing by 2020, where it will also reach being worth a $10 billion industry.

As marketing and communications professionals today, it is imperative that we know how to create an influencer marketing strategy that impacts our bottom line. This is easier said than done, though, so we partnered with Marketing Director of Reebok India, Kanika Mittal, for an online webinar where she shared insights on How to Build an Influencer Marketing Strategy that Works.

Kanika is an ideaprenuer, a story teller and a passionate digital marketing professional.

Under her leadership and role as Marketing Director, Reebok, she repositioned the brand into a fitness brand in the premium space from a mass sports brand.

She also disrupted the industry with a women’s first approach and her campaigns – Fit to Fight and Girls Fight have left an indelible mark on women consumers. Her campaigns featuring top celebrities and sporting icons like MSD4India and Live with Fire have received tremendous social media engagement and positive press.

She is also responsible for the digital transformation of the brand and has delivered results across PR, Go To Market Strategy and Implementation, Communications, Social Media, Business Goals and other mandates. She features in the top 50 brand leaders of Asia and is passionate about public speaking on matters of her interest like digital marketing, influencers, CRM, content marketing etc. She is a mentor and strategic advisor to start-ups in the Tech, Lifestyle and FMCG space. An alumnus of MICA, she started her career in telecommunications and went on to lead a retail brand and turned around it’s positioning, image and brand equity while spearheading marketing advisory for start-ups on the side.

The Return of the “Prosumer.”

Influencer marketing today heralds the return of the “prosumer.” The prosumer is the advanced consumer – they pick up trends early, try new products before it’s in the mainstream and give feedback to organisations. Considered the “holy grail” of consumers, companies tapping into their ideas and insights and often let them shape product development, design or price. But in the last few years, “prosumers” became increasingly more difficult to identify and tap into.

Now, with the rise of Influencer Marketing, it’s safe to say the prosumer is back.

Meltwater India Blog | Influencer Marketing Strategy

How Influencers Were Identified: Then vs Now

Typically, the choice of an influence was determined by one’s celebrity status, beauty and fame. The fitment of the celebrity’s brand with the company’s brand and the following of the celebrity were two of the main criteria. As early as two to three years ago, organisations were limited to cinema, entertainment, sport and music industries to find their brand ambassadors.

Today, however, brands have realised that they actually have a plethora of influencers to choose from. These are people from a variety of backgrounds and industries, that could be any one of us or people that we can easily relate to. They may not be on the cover of magazines or get massive paychecks, but through sheer hard work and passion for what they do, they have risen through the ranks to be identified as an online influencer. They’re not just in entertainment – but work in fashion, food or fitness industries, or even niche markets like gaming, education and tech – and have built up enough online engagement and authentic influence to be trusted by a community.

The question now is – how did they build up this community and how can brands tap into it?

Meltwater India Blog | Social Influencer Tool

3 Fundamental Steps to Building an Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy

  1. Identify: You need have a robust identification process for choosing your influencers. This links to knowing and understanding what the core proposition of your brand is and ensuring your influencers fit in with that. Are you trying to manually identify them, or are you using an Influencer Management tool like the one Meltwater offers? Regardless of your technique, you need to spend time on it – don’t just pick the top three or five listed on any website.
  2. Create: The second step is to co-create magic with your chosen influencer(s). What kind of content is going to be fun to create, that your audience would love to consume, that will keep them coming back for more?
  3. Amplify: There’s no point in creating amazing content with your influencer that doesn’t get amplified effectively. You’ll need to decide if you’re going to do this by boosting posts on social media, sending it out to the press, or any other unique method of amplifying that content, whether through online, offline, digital or press, or any other innovative way.

10 Steps to Bringing That Strategy to Life

1. Define the role

When it comes down to identification process, there needs to be a robust plan in place. First, you need to define what role the influencer will play in your overall brand strategy.

In the case of Reebok, is this influencer someone who’s going to “be more human,” which is the tag-line of Reebok and the core brand philosophy? Or would they be promoting athletic footwear or training apparel? This is important to highlight because the influencers that are identified for brand promotion, could or should be very different to those influencers who are chosen to promote the product. And sometimes, it’s not even the brand or the product, but an event or experience that the influencer is promoting.

2. Focus on identification

Although there are a plethora of different types of influencers out there today, broadly speaking, there are three categories:

  • Advocates: These are people that are extremely loyal, speak with a lot of passion and evoke trust in your brand. Generally, advocates do not interact with the competitors at all and speak out about your brand from a very loyal and authentic place. They may be very few and far in number, but produce extremely valuable content.
  • Key opinion leaders: These people might not be complete loyalists or have a sufficient following on social media, but they are very well-regarded in a particular industry. Key opinion leaders are trusted in the industry, seen as experts in their field, and great to have on your team as they are powerful word-of-mouth influencers.
  • Social capital: These influencers have a high number of followers on social media, and also get a high level of engagement with those followers. They are posting and sharing a lot of content online daily, and receive a lot of traction on it. Social capital are important because they provide you with a certain reach as soon as you tap into them.

Each of these three categories of influencers is valuable in their own right. Advocates bring loyalty, key opinion leaders bring positive word-of-mouth, and social capital brings engagement, reach and buzz.

3. Categorize to Communicate (e.g. Lifestyle)

It’s vital that you are categorizing your influencers – this helps with how you communicate with and build relationships with them, and how they will be communicating your brand to everyone that they come in contact with.

If we take the industry “Lifestyle” for example, we can separate influencers into these four different categories:

  • Fashionably fit: This is the influencer who is combining passion for sport and fashion – and they could talk about products that look great to workout in, or look great in a gym.
  • Trainers: The second type of distinction is the trainers or key opinion leaders. They are trusted in their field and bring credibility and expertise to the brand.
  • Mini celebrities: This is an influencer who might have come from the entertainment or sports industry, that have a high online following and fan-count. Because celebrities automatically have to live a healthy, fit lifestyle, they can often be organic lifestyle influencers.
  • Moonlighters: This is someone who is relatively ordinary – they have a full-time day job – but they are passionate about fitness. The spend time in the gym before or after work, enter races on weekends and are happy to share their workouts or results on social media. They probably don’t have the expertise or technical know-how of the trainer, but others like to follow them because they are relatable.

4. Work Together to Create Magic Together

The key to creating content that performs is to work together with your influencer to create it. Here’s how:

  • Co-create: If you are aiming to be authentic at all, you cannot expect your influencer to share exactly what you have handed them – word for word. You should be co-creating content that their followers will enjoy and that resonates with your band followers. You shouldn’t even want an influencer who blindly reposts everything without making it their own – consumers can see right through this