Who said algorithms were only for computers! On January 29, 2015, Melanie Coulson delved into the magic algorithm of storytelling (Click here to view her presentation). As an award-winning journalist and currently United Way Ottawa’s Director of Communications and Content, Melanie is a wizard with words and her advice to Girl Geek Dinner Ottawa’s audience was to MAKE MAGIC!
The magic of storytelling is: compelling content = conversions ($$)
The algorithm for compelling content is: CC = UA + GS + D x S
Understand your audience (UA)
Create a bond with your audience. Know their voice and preferred channel of communication. Are you writing for women over age 60 who are retired and care about helping puppies and children in need? Or are you writing for a man in his mid-30s who is career-driven, lives a fast-paced life and doesn’t have children?
Tell a great story (GS)
A great story starts with a message then immediately hooks in the reader. Nowadays, digital audiences are fickle and have short attention span. Focus your energy on the lead which should be 25 words or less. The internet waters are full of fish so how is your message going to rise above the current. You should also find great characters. You might be thinking “but we sell hard drives, how can we create or find a character when we sell simple hard drives.” There’s most likely someone in your network who has experienced a devastating computer crash and lost all of their files and hard work. They then decided to purchase one of your hard drives and now feel secure and protected from future crashes. No matter how simple or diverse your product or campaign, map out all the potential story angles and find that character. And don’t forget about the setting; the atmosphere in which you want to tell your story. What emotion do you want readers or viewers to feel and how will the setting create that emotion.
Decide how to tell your story (D)
This is where direction and planning come into play. Create a content team. Declare a managing editor. Use tools such as an editorial calendar in an excel sheet or on a white board in the boardroom. Build a story around everything you do. Anything that your company does internally or in the community, create a story. Develop strong visuals such as photos or video. No stone left unturned.
Share your story (S)
Social media now gives storytellers more power than ever before. Share your story on every social network you can and ask for your community’s support. Use tools such as Storify and Buzzfeed. Use crowd sourcing as a way to generate stories with impact, a human touch. Make sure every story has a purpose, a call to action. Without this, readers won’t know what to do next or where to go.
In the spirit of storytelling, Melanie has reached out to the GGDOttawa community for their support for a mini-campaign to help sheltered girls aged 12-20 have access to wifi so they can search for jobs and look for permanent housing. Until February 28, we have an opportunity to make a difference in another girl’s life. Please click here to join the Bring Wifi to Evelyn House campaign.
Thank you to our event door prize sponsor CanvasPop and congratulations to our three winners.
Join us for our next event Wednesday February 25, 2015 featuring Allison Malloy, Software Engineer at Kongsberg Gallium, who will present about drones used in commercial situations such as Amazon.com using drones to deliver packages, and agriculture, law enforcement, underwater exploration, as well as defence/military.