At Post Advertising, we talk a lot about creating engaging content that audiences not only seek out but also share with their friends. This type of "talkable marketing" is often referred to as Word of Mouth Marketing (WOM). I recently had the opportunity to speak at the School of WOM to give a behind-the-scenes look at the methods we use to unearth brand stories — the most shareable form of marketing.
When we feel like we are the target of marketing, our arms fold and we close ourselves off to the message. But when we listen to a story, we open up, lean forward, and listen. No one has 30 seconds to be marketed to, but everyone has 30 minutes to hear a great story.
The power of brand storytelling doesn't end with acceptance of the message or even the seeking out of specific branded content. The power resides in how far a message can spread, for free, via fans. When audiences find content entertaining, useful, or both, they'll add, syndicate, and share their own content (comments, links, ratings, and new versions). This is the power of WOM — it creates a talkable brand.