Even in Non-Fiction, Authentic Storytelling Matters

Written by Dominick Sirianni

this is the participation age christoph trappe


All the buzz around the newest Star Wars release made us take a hard look at what movie production companies do right. Namely, telling terrific stories.

But you don’t have to have a 100 million dollar budget and a bunch of characters from outer space in your story to help your business grow.

The Internet Marketing Association’s Internet Marketer of the Year and author of Get Real: Telling Authentic Stories for Long-term Success Christoph Trappe (@ctrappe) proclaims sagely:

“This is the participation age.”

People want to feel connected and entertained. They want to engage with you. They want to feel heard and understood. And the best way to do this is by sharing real stories and true facts about yourself and your company.

Communicate stories about the real ‘you’ and invite a dialogue.

Look at TV shows like the Real Housewives of Orange County with “characters” – but also real people – like Heather Dubrow. Heather has gained widespread notoriety from authentically sharing her life. A life of family, success, wealth, and drama. Sure, it may be exaggerated and edited so as to enhance the elements of excitement and conflict, but the heart of the show’s success lies in that people watch, are entertained by, and feel connected to the story and the characters.

Like General Electric (GE), Heather is now also using podcasting to engage with her audience.

Heather Dubrow’s World saw immediate success in part due to her taking some advice she received from Dr. Drew Pinsky: “Don’t worry about how many guests you have on, people just want to hang out with you for an hour.”

With 140,000 downloads within the first 3 days to prove it, Heather’s success reveals that your audience wants to feel like insiders. Give them the opportunity by sharing authentic stories.

More on actionable steps to take this to the next level in Part 4. Stay tuned, IMA!

Part 3 of 6 (Part 1 and Part 2)

Top 5 Internet Marketing Trends of 2015

Top5InternetMarketingTrendsWritten by Erik Leist, IMA Internet Marketing Evangelist and Hall Roosevelt, IMA Content Manager

2015 is coming to an end and we at the Internet Marketing Association take a good look at the past in preparation for the year ahead. Internet marketing is constantly changing, growing, and moving in all directions and it is vital for marketers to be flexible, and embrace all ebbs and flows of the digital world. Trends are known to gain momentum quickly then burn out even faster, but it’s safe to say that these top Internet marketing trends of the year will certainly have a strong presence in 2016.


MOBILE   has accelerated faster than ever. Mobile is changing the delivery, message, interaction, consumption, and transaction of products, services, and information. All happening in the smallest windows of time these mobile moments take place while walking into a meeting, waiting in line, taking a break etc.. Internet marketers must capitalize these fragments of time by being instant, relevant, engaging, and quick to convert.


DIGITAL CONTENT   is everything. Consumers no longer stand to be flooded with information and sales pitches. Digital content is the culmination of text, audio, video, images and other graphics created to engage consumers and guide them through a seamless, self-guided experience. Content is key to any Internet marketing formula and when done correctly, businesses will see an increase in audience, brand loyalty, and sales. Companies like Curalate are bridging the gap between need awareness and purchase by making images interactive, products merely a click away.


IoT (Internet of Things)    You may be tired of hearing about IoT, but this is not just some buzz word. By 2020 there will be 50 billion inter-connected things, with $19 trillion in profit and cost savings. IoT is currently being used in factories, businesses, and healthcare; the next few years will see a trickling of these technologies into households and everyday use.


PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS  Putting big data to big use. Culling massive amounts of data and being able to compile key business statistics and produce predictive analytics is completely shifting the Internet marketing paradigm. This gives companies with any market size the ability to know their customers and understand how and why they buy their product. To be more personal to each individual customer yet increase the size of your market is the secret that predictive analytics can unlock.


EMAIL  is not dead. In fact email is more alive than ever. Newsletters are engaging, interactive, predictive, and personal. They effectively reach out to loyal and supporting customers, and are able to create or pick up conversation. Email should not be left out of the Internet marketing mix, as an effective campaign can bring huge ROI and overall positive customer experience.