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Here’s the scenario:
Two competitors both use similar authentic storytelling content marketing techniques. They all read my book, which you can order here.Ha. But seriously, let’s take that scenario. Is this technique still usable when everyone – including our competitors – use it?
Totally! Yes. Yes. You own your stories and others own theirs.
Many of my competitors tell fantastic stories. They are great storytellers and to a degree that is why we sometimes compete for the same markets.
But here’s the thing: We do slightly different things and our stories are different – simple because they are our own stories. Sometimes they are similar but our experiences and analysis of those are unique to us. That’s the whole point of authentic storytelling content marketing. You are not just copying other people’s CRAP.
As a reminder, here’s the oversimplified authentic storytelling process:
Story happens > Story gets produced > Story gets distributed
And even when we are at the same event, for example, our experience likely still differs.
Here’s one of my favorite exercises during talks and workshops:
Me: “Who has attended an event that the news media covered?”
Virtually all hands shoot up. Pretty sure it’s never been below 80 percent of all attendees.
Me: “Keep your hand up if the media report varied widely from your own experience.”
Most hands stay up and some people stretch it up even. “OMG, it was like a different event,” some even say.
Yes, the “official” media report differed from our own version. Likely, neither was completely wrong but they were different perceptions. They were our own stories – even though journalists try to be unbiased they are people and people have their own lenses.
All of us notice different things, react differently and give more importance to varying experiences.
Organizations can do the same thing. Experiences differ. Perceptions do too by our customers, patients, etc. Timing differs, too. This happened here today but a similar story won’t happen over there for another six months, for example.
And here’s the other thing: Few organizations, unfortunately are telling authentic stories today in 2017 anyway. Many are still stuck in marketing writing Approval Hell.
But I have seen a trend toward more truly unique and authentic storytelling. Yay!
People are starting to notice that generic content does not help them stand out. One of the best ways to show your uniqueness is through the authentic storytelling framework – which is a content marketing discipline.
When I hear people say the competitor thing I often wonder if it’s just another reason (aka excuse) to not get started. Remember, it’s possible to always find excuses to not do it.
I would recommend against riding the Excuses Train because it never stops and doesn’t really get you anywhere.
Being relevant to others and authentically unique will help us sustain business success longer.
Here’s to everyone sharing authentic and useful stories.