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Updated by Erin Yarbrough on Sep 12, 2017
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53 Ways to Tell Your Story Beyond a Press Release

Let's make a toolbox together for all of the ways you can advertise your brand via content marketing.

1

Silent Films

Silent Films

More than 85% of videos watched on Facebook are viewed without sound. That way when your boss is walking by they don't know you're watching videos instead of making spreadsheets. Videos with captions or text on the video is a great opportunity to reach a broader audience.

2

By the numbers videos

By the numbers videos

Videos that require stats and figures seem to do best when displayed simply and uniquely. Take this video about gun violence that was created simply with a top-down camera, printed black and white charts, and a red sharpie. It's a powerful tool to explain complicated statistics. Check out this video here.

3

Kickstarter-style videos

Kickstarter-style videos

Kickstarter videos all seem to have a similar style - simple uplifting music, 1-2 narrators, starting with the problem and moving to what the future could be with their amazing creation. Who's to say this style wouldn't work for a new product launch for a company? Use a unique call to action that perhaps helps your audience feel connected to the project just like Kickstarter.

4

Kickstarter Project

Kickstarter Project

Speaking of Kickstarter, let's just go there. Companies large and small are taking to Kickstarter to bring awareness to their product more than just raising capital. Let's say you have a new product line ready to launch and you don't NEED backers, per se, but you do need advertising. Set up a Kickstarter project (I'm pretty sure even my 1.5 yr old can do this), some exciting backer rewards, and try something new to gain attention for your launch.

5

Go Fund Me Project

Go Fund Me Project

Let's say you have an announcement about a charitable project or organization. Instead of going the "announcement" route, let's get the community involved as well. Set up a crowdfunding campaign to help drive awareness and community support. Gain volunteers, contributors, and media attention all in one place.

6

Documentary

When I say documentary, I don't mean an academy-award nominated two hour film. A documentary could be a short video series on YouTube or even a vlog. Show the behind-the-scenes information and what it takes to get to where you are now.

7

Testimonial Videos

Testimonial Videos

One of the oldest type of self-created videos are customer testimonials. But, they no longer have to be the stoic and awkward testimonials of our past! Check out these inspirations for testimonial videos.

8

Animated Short Videos

Animated Short Videos

And the Oscar for animated short goes to... Okay, so you may not be aiming for an academy award, but animated short videos are making a splash in advertising videos. With a little budget you can create a custom animation that goes far in unique storytelling. From kinetic text videos to animated characters, animated videos have a wide variety of styles. We do a lot of our animation in house now, but in the past have used Camp Pixel out of Oklahoma City for some excellent work.

9

Cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs

It might not tell a big story on its own, but for branding or as a tag-along piece to an article, cinemagraphs get a LOT of attention for their unique style. See what OU has been up to on Flixel.

10

Adobe Spark Stories

Adobe Spark Stories

Adobe Spark allows you to create posts in all kinds of ways - video, stories, etc. We love using the story feature to tell a story with beautiful photography and slick parallax. See what we did to showcase the first home game of the season on Adobe Spark.

11

Photo Album Articles

Photo Album Articles

Articles and photo albums have been around for quite a long time, but the New York Times and many others are doing wonderful things by combining these two things into a new medium for photography-heavy articles. Instead of one page with a lot of text and photos, NYT is using a photo album and captions to tell the full story. By using captions as short article snippets we're able to read a full article through the format of photos.

12

One photo stories

One photo stories

Think "Humans of New York" and their ability to use one photo and a short story and how that generates world-wide empathy towards humans we wouldn't normally know. Use a photo album to tell one story per photo. This works especially well when profiling a person.

13

Emoji Tweets

Can you tell your story in 5-10 emojis? If so, Tweet away and see who can guess the headline. After all, an emoji is worth a thousand words... or something like that.

14

Quizzes

Quizzes

How did our most feared part of undergrad become our most favorite part of social media? The quiz is back with a vengeance and we're all paying attention. Let your audience test their knowledge about something they're passionate about and tell your story at the same time! All the results could point to the same promo or pick a different product/promo to feature for different personalities. The options here are endless. Check out the OU quizzes at Playbuzz.

15

Snapchat Geofilter

Be it your BFF's bday or an event for work, Snapchat filters are fun, cheap, and incredibly easy. Set a time, location, and image to show up in snapchat and now your brand or BFF's face can be a geofilter for anyone in that area. I set one for the Confluence Conference for 2 days for $20.

16

Partnership Commercials

Partnership Commercials

You may not have a budget or reason for a full-out branding spot, but maybe one of your vendors does. If you have a good relationship with someone like Cox Communications, for example, you might be able to work with them to give you a testimonial spot in their next commercial. Then you can promote your business without a full-fledged spot. Check out this Salazar Roofing + Cox Business commercial.

17

Targeted social media posts

Do you have something to say to a specific audience? Don't waste money advertising to everyone or energy promoting to media who won't be interested in such targeted messaging. Use promoted tweets and exclusively target specific audiences.

18

Sample Boxes

Sample Boxes

The idea of creating your very own version of a Birch Box works extraordinarily well for a wide variety of businesses. Universities are sending them to alumni, small businesses are sending them to local bloggers, and you could be sending them for any kind of opportunity. Imagine you're planning a grand opening for a new boutique store. Would your vendors donate small samples or items to include in the boxes? Perhaps your neighbors would include discounts to coffee or food. The sky is the limit when it comes to sample boxes.

19

Personal Emails to Reporters

Instead of sending off a press release to every reporter's inbox, let's think about what they might be interested in and how we can inform them of an event or announcement in a much more personalized way. Send a personalized email with some bullet points on your announcement and link to videos or photos that will get them more excited than a traditional press release.

20

Presentations

Presentations

There's no time like the present, people! Get out there and hock your goods and services by telling your story at conferences, as guests on podcasts, and in other public forums. If public speaking doesn't send you to the trash can to throw up then you can do this! Write a presentation and submit it to local or targeted conferences.

21

Host a Conference

Host a Conference

One of the best ways to show your expertise on something, beyond presenting, is to host an entire conference on a specialized subject. If you're the subject matter expert then you want to show that you know who the best in the industry are and showcase the topics that are most important to you. Are you trying to publicize the plight of honey bees in America? Host a conference! Are you promoting the fact that you're the digital marketing specialist? Host a conference!

22

Enter Awards

Enter Awards

Awards are an excellent way to get your name out there about an expertise you have. Whether your company creates commercials, trades commodities, or educates, there are awards out there that will help you showcase what you can do. They're not always cheap, but a bookcase full of awards is an amazing story to tell.

23

Community Contest - Name Something

Community Contest - Name Something

The Oklahoma City Zoo hosted a contest in 2015 to name their new baby elephant, Achara. Braums Ice Cream hosted a contest in 2016 to introduce new ice cream flavors. What could you ask your community to help contribute to in order to garner excitement?

24

Free T-shirts

Free T-shirts

This just sounds obvious, but t-shirts work! They work even better when targeted toward college students or for kiddos. When you can get inexpensive shirts for dirt cheap, order hundreds and give them away FCFS. The One University Store at OU gives out free t-shirts every year and people have seen them across Norman, OKC, the state, and even in other countries! Don't overestimate the power of a t-shirt cannon in a big crowd, either.

25

Event Sponsorship

Event Sponsorship

This isn't typically a cheap or easy task, but it can be very effective! Our Sooner Orientation Weekend at OU is packed full of vendors here to advertise to students and it works! Find an event that targets your audience, get some VERY cool giveaways, get out from behind the booth, and introduce yourself to everyone. The best way to take advantage of a sponsorship table is to make people want to come to you (gimmicks work) and then get out there and use your newfound audience.