Brands must learn to master the art of short-form storytelling.
Technology enables it; and consumer attention spans demand it.
Whether it be a 6 to 15 second video, a single photo, or 140 characters of usefulness, there’s no doubt that companies must learn how to tell their brand story quickly and efficiently.
But with all the hype about short-form storytelling, too many brands often forget about the longer brand narrative, and they are making a big mistake by doing so.
Here are two reasons why your brand must not abandon long-form content.
1. The continuing power of search
Even with the rise in social media, an incredible percentage of real people still use the good old-fashioned search engines. Google is the home page for millions globally.
When is the last time you saw a tweet or Vine video in the search results? I would guess never, unless of course you are searching for a specific account or person.
And I guarantee that you’ll never see a Facebook status update or Instagram photo in the search results … for obvious reasons.
We use search daily, and when we do, we’re on a mission.
It’s not like Twitter or Facebook where we scroll through our feeds causally and check our @replies, messages, and follower count. And then mosey on over to LinkedIn to see who’s been stalking our profile.
When we use search, it’s because we want something and want it now. It could be movie tickets, information about a vacation destination, or research in the latest data center technology.
The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not your content is actually surfacing in the results. If your focus and financial investment is purely on short-form storytelling, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new people, sell additional products and demonstrate thought leadership.
2. Demonstrating your expertise
One advantage of using social media in the B2B space is to demonstrate thought leadership.
Hopefully, you have some really smart engineers, scientists and product managers that work for your company. And they most likely have a very specific point of view about technology, which can be used to start conversations and influence people.
Data from the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer tells us that — when it comes to trust and credibility — “people like yourself,” “subject matter experts,” and “employees of a company” always rank highly when people are seeking information about a company.
But is it even possible to demonstrate thought leadership in a tweet?
Of course you can … by using a series of tweets or videos, yes. But this is assuming that you have an audience and that they are actually paying attention to you.
But what about the CIO of a company that’s interested in investing in new data center technology? Yeah, they may go to Twitter and browse their feed, that’s a given.
But I guarantee you this …
They are going to a search engine because they know, just like you know, that Google knows best. They want information and they want it now.
Striking a balance
There’s a content surplus online today.
And with that, there’s also an attention deficit in the minds of consumers. This makes it extremely difficult for you to reach them with your brand message.
Short-form storytelling is important. It’s your attempt at reaching those busy consumers and breaking the clutter with compelling creative and visual content.
So I ask you this: Why not try to make their lives easier by allowing them to reach you?
You can do just that by spending a little more of your time and resources telling a complete story that’s more than just 140 characters long.
Flickr Creative Commons image by Steve Lodefink