Lauren Quaintance (pictured below) is co-founder and managing director of content agency Storyation. In her latest post for B&T, Quaintance offers expert tips for brands aiming for a woke message…
Recently one of the more prolific content marketing commentators in the US declared that social impact storytelling was “the hottest content trend of 2021”.
The argument goes that the under-40 set are behind this shift with 83 per cent of Millennials saying that it’s important for the companies they buy from to align with their beliefs and values.
The 2021 version of Edelman’s annual trust barometer also shows that businesses are now more trusted than government in 17 of 27 countries surveyed so there is clearly room for brands to lead on social issues.
And importantly for content marketers a recent survey said that people are more likely to buy from a brand after reading a story about the positive impact it’s having on the world.
But before everyone rushes out to write or shoot a story about their company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, let me play devil’s advocate.
At Storyation we work with more than 35 clients across a range of industries from insurance to hospitality to technology.
We see their analytics and I can tell you that some of the worst performing content I’ve seen is about corporate charitable partnerships and CSR.
Granted there are good and bad stories in this category but at its worst it’s blatantly self-promotional – a press release or an advertisement dressed up as content with little regard for what the audience wants.
It’s the opposite of what we advise brands to do: talk about yourself sparingly.
How then do I explain the survey results that show people are more likely to buy from a brand after reading a story about its good works?
Well, one of the things I learned as a magazine editor whose job involved listening to focus groups is that what people say they want to read and what people actually read are two different things.
While I don’t question that Millennials (and many others) are more likely to buy from brands who do good in the world I don’t think that necessarily means they want to read or watch stories produced by the brand about their CO2 impact or donations to a local homeless shelter.
Instead, a better strategy is to use the power of your company’s content marketing (and its budget) to shine a light on people and businesses that are making a positive impact in a way that aligns with your brand values.
That’s exactly what Patagonia does. Yes, it occasionally uses its platforms to announce its own (excellent) initiatives, but the bulk of its content is about activists and environmentalists who share its view of the world.
Closer to home AMI Insurance (a Storyation client in New Zealand) has been celebrating acts of kindness or manaakitanga through its content, the kind of big and small acts that make the country a better place to live.
This aligns with AMI’s brand positioning, of course, but it also elevates the insurer’s content from self-serving to something that is worthy of attention.
If that’s what social impact storytelling means then I’m all for it.
For years, people have been able to play games, watch gaming videos and connect with fellow gamers on Facebook. But what if we could do more? Imagine a world where you didn’t just watch a gaming creator stream their play session, but instead, you could jump in and play with them live without needing to […]
CommBank has today released its Household Spending Intentions (HSI) Index for November 2021, signifying its highest spending level since December 2019 and significant post-pandemic recovery, particularly in travel. The index – which provides an in-depth gauge of Australian consumer spending – rose 2.1 per cent during November to 110.3, driven by solid gains in spending […]
On International Day of People with a Disability, Infosys (NYSE: INFY) a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting has released a first of its kind report: Exploring digital accessibility priorities and investments in Australia and New Zealand organisations. The study assessed for the first time, how far 670 organisations across Australia (570) and […]
Independent Australian agency, Affinity has held its own against the world’s best in the prestigious WARC Effective 100, being named the second most effective Digital/Specialist agency in the world, and first across APAC. The recognition follows several wins in 2020 at global and local effectiveness awards across a range of clients, including Effies, New York […]
2019 had everyone facepalming at the state of the world, 2020 had us shrugging with uncertainty about the future and 2021 is the year we all exchanged and watched the drama unfold. From sharing the collective thought of oh my God when will this end to a common appreciation for simple meet-cutes, Tinder Gen Z […]
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) announced internet domain registrar, GoDaddy as the winner of the 2021 Inspiration awards for excellence in Olympic marketing in Sydney last Thursday night. GoDaddy’s ‘Dream It. Build It’ campaign earned the top of the podium in a highly competitive field, ahead of Speedo’s ‘Made for Aussies, worn by Olympians’ and […]
Road safety behaviour change campaigns, created by local university students to educate young drivers about the risks of driving fatigued, launched nationally across Australia this morning. The campaigns are now featuring across digital assets in metropolitan and regional Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, and will run for the next two weeks on […]
This holiday season Lego Australia will be conducting a giant rebuild of the world at the Sydney Opera House. LEGO® Australia will be inspiring children and families once again through their remarkable Christmas Giant builds. Thanks to an exciting partnership with the Sydney Opera House, the activation will take centre stage on the iconic Forecourt. […]