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Tag Archive for: digital storyteller

Storytelling

It would feel morally wrong to write an article about storytelling and not tell you how our company came to be… Digital Storyteller starts with our Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Amanda Rogers.

In 1997, when the actors union was on strike, Amanda taught herself how to code from a book. (Yes, these were the days before WordPress, Squarespace, and WIX—scary times…)

Anyway, Amanda’s martial arts teacher was an 8th degree blackbelt teaching amazing Tang Soo Do in New York City—and had only five students. Amanda knew he needed a website—so she taught herself to write HTML, CSS, and Javascript to try to help him build a studio.

A year later when Amanda moved to Los Angeles, the studio was thriving. In fact, 80% of the students came to him through the website. She was hooked.

After a few twists and turns, Digital Storyteller was born—an organic digital marketing agency in Encinitas, California.

Today, the team has grown from one to nearly 15. On our team, we’ve got content specialists, social media experts, a client success manager, SEO team, as well as a website and graphic design team to continue what Amanda started.

That’s our story.
If you haven’t already recognized the importance of storytelling within a business, we’ll continue on for you. Better yet, we snagged the CEO and Owner of Digital Storyteller to chat about storytelling on camera, Andrew Marr.

What is Storytelling? 

At its core, storytelling is (you guessed it!) about telling stories. Yoast tells us that storytelling is “about using stories to engage your audience, or to make something more clear.”

As humans, we’re wired for story. From each of our early days, it’s likely we recall our parents and the people around us sharing and telling stories. We love to read books and see movies and musicals—why? Because people are addicted to stories.

But what does storytelling look like when it comes to marketing for your business? When it comes to marketing for financial services companies, we see storytelling as making what you do and the services you provide:

  • Relatable 
  • Easy to understand by your audience

Why is Storytelling Important in Marketing?

Storytelling builds trust. Here are some of the stories you can share in your marketing strategy as well as how you can share them:

  • Share your stories on your website
  • Share your origin story
  • Share how you’ve grown
  • Share the challenges your business has faced (How did you overcome these challenges? Did any positives come out?)
  • Share how you help your clients (A lot of companies don’t share how they help their clients. Come on, boast a little!)

As the old adage goes, sharing is caring… Communicating your story with your audience.

A Word of Advice from Our CEO and Owner

So, how important is it to share your company story with your digital followers? (i.e. prospects, people in similar industries, current clients, etc.)

According to Andrew, it’s extremely important if you want to build trust and if you want to build a following. We believe in the power of storytelling. In fact, we start all of our partnerships with a Brand Storytelling Session.

Picture this: You go onto a website. For ease, let’s say it’s a digital marketing agency. You’re looking at their services, considering partnering with this company but you don’t find anything about their story.

There’s nothing about their employees or how the company came to be. Does that make you want to partner with that company even more? No, of course it doesn’t. That’s not the way things go.

For those who feel like it’s weird to talk about yourself or what you bring to the table as a business, for fear of coming off as arrogant or boastful, think about it… It’s your website. That’s kind of the point! 

Let go of the taboo you were taught in grade school, that it’s bad to talk about yourself.

In business, it’s important that you share your success stories and tell people how you help them.

Lastly, share your company culture. People want to know what it’s like to work with you. People wanna know if your employees are happy. Are they going to do a great job for them if they decide to partner with you? Share stories, story after story.

Interested in learning how to build more trust with your prospects and clients? Check out this article on how pricing transparency builds trust.

Holiday Traditions

It’s the holiday season—hooray! At Digital Storyteller, we love our team (and no, it’s not just because our bosses got us boujee gifts like custom tumblers and embroidered Lululemon hoodies…)

With Christmas right around the corner, we’re sharing the opportunity to get to know the parts that make our team who we are. I mean, our team is awesome! We hire for people, which yes, we know, is a little unconventional these days… But hey! It’s working for us. We pride ourselves on having amazing company culture. Want to take a peak?

Keep reading to hear some of our team’s favorite holiday traditions, Christmas songs that make them cringe, and for FUN holiday photos!

The Founders

Q: What is your favorite family tradition?

A: “My mom took me to see the Nutcracker every year at Christmas at Lincoln Center in NYC (where I’m from) we’d dress up and go out in the cold and take the subway up to the theatre. We did that every year for 30 years.  Now, I take Ella, my daughter every year.  The best part is the time together and being unnecessarily judg-y about the dancers! I also love to go get the Christmas tree and decorate while listening to Christmas music and having eggnog with bourbon.” 

-Amanda Rogers, Founder Chief Creative Officer

Q: What do you like most about Christmas?

A: “What I like the most about Christmas is opening gifts on Christmas morning.  I haven’t learned how to ask for something in a way that doesn’t end up with 5 of them.  But I kind of like that. Amanda bought me 5 cashmere sweaters last year. I had mentioned that I’d like a cashmere sweater… We live in San Diego.  Just saying.”

-Andrew Marr, Owner, CEO

The Content Team

Q: What is your favorite family tradition?

A: “My family spends every Christmas Eve cooking up a huge meal! We make tamales, turkey, ham, pepian, and many other yummy traditional Guatemalan dishes.”

“After cooking, we feast on all of the dishes we worked so hard to make together while catching up with family we haven’t seen in a while. We chat, reminisce over old memories, and play games until the clock strikes midnight. Once midnight hits, all of the kids (yes that still includes me) zoom to the Christmas tree to open presents. We’re all usually up until 2 am playing with our new gifts or still chatting together.

“It’s one of my favorite family traditions because it’s rooted in spending quality time together and making more cherished memories.” —Beatriz Carias, Content Specialist

Q: What is a funny family tradition of yours?

A: “My family always wears these glasses when they pick me up at the airport!” —Kelsey Arvidson, Content Specialist

Q: What is your favorite family tradition?

A: “My favorite holiday tradition is on Christmas Eve all the young cousins sit together in the master bedroom and read Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (which over the years has been not so subtly turned into a drinking game for adults participating…) We read the story as we listen for Santa’s bells. When we hear the sleigh bells ring, all the kids race down the stairs and run down the driveway to try to catch Santa and the reindeer and find what presents he left them on the front porch. It’s a tradition that I’ve done my entire life and have loved to share with my little cousins since.” —Devin Aubert, SEO Manager

Q: What is your favorite family tradition?

A: “My favorite family tradition is something my family calls ‘family baking day!’ Every year in December, my family heads over to my Grandma’s house early in the morning to bake over 1,000 cookies! We bake every kind of cookie you can think of. My favorites are the ‘Turtles’—pretzels, topped with a Rolo and a pecan. Then, we package up the cookies for teachers, family, and friends. It takes all day!” —Becca Jones, Content Specialist

Q: What is your favorite family tradition?

A: “My favorite family tradition during the holidays is Christmas morning. Ever since I was a young girl, we would wake up at 5 am and wait in one of the siblings rooms for our parents to call us down. We would run out of the room, my parents with a video recorder in hand, with grins from ear to ear. After we finish opening up our gifts, my mom starts making breakfast and the smell of bacon flows throughout the house.” —Jackie Berens, Client Success Manager

The Design Team

Q: What is your favorite family tradition?

A: “My favorite holiday tradition is decorating my home and Christmas tree with my family! Every year, we light the fire pit, blast Christmas music, hang garland and streamers around the windows and staircase, put ornaments on the tree, and drink hot cocoa. And of course, the tradition wouldn’t be the same without our dogs going insane and trying to eat all of the decorations in the process!” —Magdi Cook, Graphic and Web Design Manager

Q: What kind of holiday shopper are you: Black Friday? Christmas Eve? Yearlong hoarder?

A: “I’m a year-long shopper because most of my gifts end up being handmade, and that takes time. So, if it’s a cross-stitch, painted ornament, or re-covered book, it’s a year-long process to get it planned and looking good!” —Shay Larby, Junior Graphic Designer

The Social Team

Q: What kind of holiday shopper are you: Black Friday? Christmas Eve? Yearlong hoarder?

A: “Holiday shopping is my one excuse to shop because it’s all on sale, but that doesn’t stop me from shopping all year round of course… ;)” —Caroline LoPresti, Social Media Manager

Q: What is your favorite family tradition? And what Christmas song makes you cringe?

A: My favorite family tradition is taking snowy walks in the city to get hot chocolate when I go home to Boston. The Christmas song that makes me cringe is… nope, can’t think of a single one they are all amazing…especially the Michael Bublé Christmas album (obvi)!” —Chris Preller, Social Media Coordinator

Q: What is your favorite family tradition? 

A: “My favorite family tradition is our white elephant gift exchange that we have on Christmas Eve. Everyone contributes very random gifts, some good and some bad. My favorite gifts that I’ve ended up with were the Snoop Dogg cookbook and a blanket hoodie!” —Madi Lindley, Social Media Specialist

Are you in desperate need of some last-minute gift ideas? Check out this article where we detail holiday gifting strategies for B2B businesses!

User Generated Content

From IG stories to reviews, there are endless ways to demonstrate client satisfaction! Are you taking advantage of User-Generated Content?

SEO and Content Marketing

Today, there is no excuse to not be using SEO and content marketing to your advantage. But how can you effectively combine the two?

Organic Content Creation

To succeed as a business today, you need to engage your clients and prospects by creating quality, organic content.

Digital Storyteller Team Photo

​​Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!

When it comes to digital marketing for financial services companies, many professionals believe they live in a very transactional world. These financial professionals, however, are under the wrong impression.

Most modern consumers today are looking for more than just a transactional service.

The financial services industry is a competitive and unique industry to market for. We know that those in the financial services industry navigate the difficult terrain of regulatory and compliance hurdles while seeking to successfully market their products and services.

So, here are a few insights into the importance of digital marketing for financial services companies, and why you should be marketing your financial services business right now.

It’s Time to Get Real

Let’s be honest. Financial services aren’t always the sexiest arena to market.

How do you make commercial insurance appealing? What about wealth management? While challenging, it’s not impossible.

Learning how to market in the financial industry can be tricky, but before you market to your client, try BEING the client/prospect…

For example, if you were a prospective client visiting your site, Instagram, or other social channels, what would catch your eye off the bat? Would you be intrigued? More importantly, what would turn you off? Approach this exercise as if you’re a recruiter, looking for any reason to say NO about your own business.

This observation will help you look at your current strategy and identify its effectiveness. Be honest! By doing so, you will be able to understand the big picture of what your clients require to be loyal.

Effective digital marketing in the financial services industry is important as it ensures you not only attract new clients but also retain existing ones.

Digital Marketing

Build the Relationship

This step is arguably the most important. Oftentimes, people think of gaining clients as very transactional. This, however, is where businesses go wrong.

When it comes to digital marketing, your goal in the financial services industry is to build trust and a connection. Your objective is to establish a loyal client base.

Let’s consider banks for example. Unfortunately, according to research, “92 percent of millennials don’t trust banks.” Constant stories in the news of “data breaches, various crises, and financial institutions misdeeds” fuel the fire of distrust. Yeesh!

But of course, people, and millennials especially, only want to do business with financial companies they trust. And how could you blame them?

Financial institutions need to create trust with their consumers arguably more than any other institution. You are, after all, handling people’s money on some level.

It’s difficult to approach a consumer as a stranger and gain their trust. Here are some ways you might build trust with your clients  and prospects:

  • Establish and showcase your strong company culture
  • Gather positive reviews and referrals from your existing client base
  • Promote values that speak to your target demographic
  • Solidify your digital presence
  • Improve your online user experience (UX)
  • Customer personalization
  • Consistent email marketing

The bottom line is that there needs to be a relationship between you and your client—an understanding of your clients’ needs before your market to them. Then, use your insights to inform your marketing material.

Embrace Social Media

Who runs the world? Social media!

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter… These platforms are no longer just used for sharing photos with your friends. Companies are—and are expected to be—active on all social platforms today.

Social media is a great way to create strong brand awareness while connecting with current and potential clients.

Keep in mind that millennials and Generation Z (Gen Z) are becoming a larger portion of the population. They, as a whole, use social media more than older generations.

Capitalizing on cultivating a social media presence that targets younger generations will aid in negating the hesitations they feel about banks (and other financial institutions!)

Additionally, social media is a place where you can share the story of your brand. It can, and should be, a fun place! You could:

  • Post user-generated content (UGC) from your consumers and followers
  • Utilize the ever-growing reels feature!
  • Share behind-the-scenes photos and video
  • Repurpose already existing content for social
  • Follow trends or start your own using hashtags
  • Post video testimonials
  • And more!

Trust us, your prospects are looking at your social channels, or lack thereof, waaaaayyy before they even decide to get in touch with you. Don’t rule yourself out as an option because of your limited social presence.

Read on to find out what social media platforms your business should be on.

Leverage Technology

Traditional marketing is outdated and just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Artificial intelligence (AI), intuitive customer relationship management systems (CRMs), analytics, email automation, chatbots… Technology is evolving more than ever before these days!

Financial service companies cannot afford to fall behind.

At Digital Storyteller, however, we recognize that you can’t just dive headfirst into the world of technology today. You must craft a clear strategy before adopting these new technologies.

An additional note: Your mobile site needs to mirror these wicked fast technological changes! This means it needs to be SEO optimized with a speedy loading time.

Did you know that if your site doesn’t load within three seconds, it’s likely your user will return to their search engine to find their information elsewhere? Yikes!

Content Marketing is King

If you haven’t heard of the importance of content marketing, at least you know you’re in the right place! Earlier on, we talked about how 92% of millennials don’t trust banks, and this statistic extends beyond banks to many other financial institutions.

Content marketing is a great way to regain trust. Research shows that by educating customers, you gain client loyalty.

But what is content marketing? An effective content marketing strategy provides value to prospective customers through an assortment of “relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media,” either shared or created, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

If you’re an expert, then act like it! We understand that discussing financial information with businesses can be difficult, as these topics are typically kept private. As a company, however, you must gain your clients’ trust before you offer them a service.

Show them that you are an expert in your field!

Read on to learn how long it takes for content marketing to work.

Show Them How It’s Done

People know that managing their finances will lead to their success, whether as an individual or a business—but very few know how to do it. Learn the language of your prospects and use that in your advertising to them.

As experts in the financial world, share your information and educate your clients to help them understand what they need to do to succeed.

Bring in the Marketing Experts

When you partner with a financial services marketing agency, like us, you don’t have to rely on what limited internal resources you might have access to.

At Digital Storyteller, we have the team and tools to boost site traffic for your financial services business using a variety of digital marketing strategies.Need help crafting an effective marketing plan for your financial services company? Contact Digital Storyteller today to learn more!