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‘Story’-telling, old artform, new platform

Firstly, hi! My name is Rich, and I have recently started here at Thrive as an Account Manager. My background is in marketing within the health, fitness and well-being sector.

Now, if you’re reading this and you’re already familiar with the team here at Thrive, you may well be thinking something along the lines of, “Isn’t there already a Rich?” and “They have a Richard too, don’t they?”

Yes! That is right. In a team of 14 (Sammy Dog included), thanks to my addition, 3 of us are now called Richard – but that causes no confusion for a team of communication experts like ourselves! You can call me Rich S, New Rich, Richard the 3rd, or if the other Rich isn’t around, just Rich!

Anyway, enough about my own story and more about my first blog topic, ‘story’-telling, old artform, new platform…

Storytelling, an entertaining artform which has been around for thousands of years. Combine that with the extraordinary changes in technology and the rise of social media in recent years, and the result is a new platform for the ‘followed’ to communicate with their ‘followers’.

Nothing on social media is as eye-catching as good video content. With a multitude of social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube (to name just several), statistics surrounding video engagement are set to boom in 2018. Already, at the end of 2017, it was reported over 500 million (half a billion!) people watch video on Facebook every day.

During recent years, we’ve seen the development of new technologies, allowing for a wide variety of video formats. 2018 is likely to see increasing amounts of 360-degree videos, as well as live streams (e.g. Facebook Live) being used in digital marketing campaigns. However, it’s tipped that a particular type of video content is set to catch the eye of marketers this year – the ‘story’.

The story format allows users to capture their best moments from a day, before posting them on social channels for a set period of time.

Despite being pioneered by Snapchat, Instagram have created Instagram Stories, YouTube has released a stories format of their own called “Reels”, and WhatsApp and Facebook also facilitate.

Fear of missing out ‘FOMO’ plays psychological tricks on users, encouraging them to keep up-to-date with the ‘stories’ of the people they follow throughout their day. The list of unwatched stories acts like a checklist, with users typically carrying out housekeeping on their list to ensure that nothing remains unwatched. Combine that with the fact that in 2017, Instagram reported that 250 million people were using their stories every day, and you have a platform in which marketers can ensure the message which they’re looking to communicate will be received.

Fashion retailers are a perfect example of the story format being utilised for marketing. Multiple videos and photos will be uploaded to their stories throughout the day. Helping to get their messages about their products in front of their target audience: their followers.

2018 will, without doubt, see a rise in organisations using story platforms as a marketing tool. If you’d like any advice, or just a point of view, feel free to get in touch.

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