Media attention and total Google domination are usually at the top of any business owners’ list when asked what they hope to accomplish from online marketing, social media marketing and digital branding. These are admirable goals and ones that can be achieved with hard work, brilliant marketing and persistence. Yet your highly-paid SEO expert and your PR guru know that fabulous media coverage and great search engine ranking can be unlocked by one thing: a fantastic story.
How many times in the digital age have we witnessed a nobody, small-time-brand hit the jackpot after getting picked up by a news outlet or blog? And how many times did the previously hard to find product or person or place suddenly become easier to find thanks to a good story? About a billion times. Unlike the days of press releases, our good stories can now get carried off to the right person with less effort and in a faster time frame.
A non-profit arts organization that I do social media and PR for recently discovered the power of good story potential. After being picked by the local paper for not one but two different and unique stories, the organization found itself on the top of the Google ranking. Pushed up with constant social media updates, the organization had a legitimate top Google ranking — not because of some crazy promises made by snake oil salesmen, but because of good stories published on well-read sites. Likewise, I’ve seen miracles happen for businesses who reached out to well-read blogs which in turn ran a story about the business; suddenly, people started talking and the rankings improved. Food blogs are so powerful and well-read that restaurants and food companies should pitch to blogs first to see fast results.
But what makes a good story? In short, you make a good story. Whether it’s your cutting edge product, your somewhat wacky yet loveable staff or your crazy low prices, there’s a story in there. In fact, there are tons of stories in there. So the question I pose for you this week, dear readers, is simple: What’s your story?