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Storytelling, Advertising and Content – Rebecca Lieb at MIMA

Posted on Oct 1st, 2008
Written by TopRank Marketing
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    Rebecca Lieb Keynote MIMA Summit

    The annual MIMA (Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association) event kicked off this morning with Rebecca Lieb as the opening keynote.

    In a nutshell, the sessio

    n was funny, insightful and not without the inevitable internet issues which seem to plague all search conferences (ironic, yes?).

    Rebecca got Minnesota online marketers thinking about the following 3 items:
    1. Informative (be the content)
    2. Entertaining (let people play)
    3. Viral (make something people want to share)

    From Jerry Seinfeld to French maids to Sarah Silverman’s video about Obama, everything Rebecca shared with the audience centered on the above 3 items.

    The first is be the content. It isn’t enough, and hasn’t been for awhile, to publish product or service content. Rather, content that is compelling to your audience needs to be created for them.
    No one wants to read standard brochure information. No one.

    Here’s what a site might read: Blue Infant T Shirt with Sailboat.
    Good right, descriptive, maybe optimized?
    But what about throwing out the old product description and sell the shirt from the point of the baby? All the distinguishing characteristics of the blue shirt with the sailboat will be included, but in a creative way.

    The content automatically becomes more compelling to the parent searching online for baby clothes.

    Second, entertain. By nature, humans like to play so our content, marketing etc needs to entertain the prospect.  Entertainment can be achieved through storytelling, video, images and even games. Rebecca recommends you start by identifying your brand’s story.

    The third point Rebecca had for the audience is making content viral. I often hear folks say creating ‘viral content’ is impossible, it either goes viral or it doesn’t.

    However, I would argue with this.

    If you are creating content based on brochures, pure product information etc, it will never go viral.

    Why would it? No one is going to forward dry product information to peers or friends. But, if content is entertaining, funny or thought provoking they will share it with others whether their friends are interested in that product or not. It’s the creative people want to share (benefit to the marketer is that you are getting more eyeballs for that content for free).

    The benefit of viral content is that it is opt-in. Once something sparks a users interest, they will go find more. I wasn’t quite sure what the Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates commercial were all about but I was interested enough to search for more of them online and draw attention to them to peers to see what they thought.

    Overall, the keynote was thought provoking, funny and entertaining, which is what made me want to share it with you.

    Rebecca will be participating in a Geek Out breakout session at 1:45 in the Soo Line room, so if you’d like to continue the conversation on Advertising and Content, be there or be square.