Mozcon 2016: Kindra Hall

Kindra Hall at Mozcon 2016

DISCLAIMER: This post is written as a live blog from Mozcon. There may be typos and grammar to make my high school English teachers weep. Please excuse those … it’s a fast-paced conference with back-to-back sessions and no time for proofing or even proper writing.

Opening up day three of Mozcon 2016 is Kinda Hall to chat about strategic storytelling.  She’ll be horrified by this post as I dont’ ahve time for a story in liveblogging.  You’ll just have to hear her speak to hear a good tale.

Kindra begins by telling us about a story she wrote about gravity to fill space on a physics essay.  When she got the paper back she got an A for talking about the real-life application of a physics principle.  She uses this as an example of what we all do – we come up a page short and tell people the facts without the story to apply it to them.

Why does story telling work so well?

Neurologies Paul Zak did a stufy on the brain chemistry of peopel before and after a story.  People after being told a story had higher cortisol (improves attention and focus) and oxytocin (known as the “trust hormone” – increases empathy and emotion).

In a study done on social media a test was done in telling a story vs pushing a call to action.  The stories did 56% better on conversions and 87% on view-throughs.  They gave people the promise of a story in the ad and told the story on the site.

So storytelling works because it’s science, it is an action and they are memorable.

What is storytelling?

  • It is NOT a tagline
  • It is NOT a list of features and benefits
  • It is not catchy copy
  • It is NOT high level principles

What is it?

  • Happens at a particular moment
  • The is a beginning, a middle and an end
  • There are emotions
  • There are characters to care about & something at stake

The biggest story telling mistake: We allude to a story but we don’t actually tell it.

It’s not about the magnitude of the story that matters it’s your ability to tell it.  So let’s talk strategies…

Finding the story is the hardest part.

  1. Make a list of differentiators – what makes you different
  2. Make a list of clients and their transformations (not clicks –
  3. Make a list of objections – why don’t people work with you
  4. When we the idea born (origin stories)

You need to be persistent as people will keep telling you what they’ve always told you.

Crafting the story:

  1. What was the norm
  2. Talk about the explosion
  3. Illustrate the new normal

Amplify your story:

  1. Focus on one story
  2. Set the scene
  3. Include emotions
  4. Offer a directive

Brands doing it well:

  • Budweiser
  • Apple
  • Save The Children
  • AirBNB

Places to tell stories:

  • Videos
  • Website
  • Social media, blogs and email campaigns
  • In-person meetings and presentations