Iliyana's Blog

What Really Makes a Good Story?

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Sep-2016 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Storytelling

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We speak a lot about storytelling nowadays.

It's become an important part of any marketing or communications initiative because we struggle to reach our audiences and keep their attention. There's way too much noise out there so standing out is almost impossible. 

Being able to tell good stories is what allows you to be seen and read, it's how you show up in the newsfeed. 

But telling a good story isn't easy. It's an art in itself. An art that when backed by a bit of science and practice can be mastered. 

So today I want to dig a little deeper into what actually makes a good story. What is that science-backed essence we need so that our storytelling stands out?

As it turns out, there are seven key things your story needs: 

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Agency Storytelling 101: The 6 Types of Stories Agencies Should be Telling [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 09-Aug-2016 08:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Storytelling, Agencies

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As a marketing agency consultant at HubSpot, I've so far worked with over 150 agencies. The one thing the majority of them struggle with is their own content. Yes, their own marketing.

I know, sometimes this does sound funny since that's exactly what these agencies offer to clients - marketing services . Surely, they should be able to be doing this for themselves, right? Yes, able they are. Not always committed, though. Why? Because client work comes first. And so does winning new business. 

But the most successful agencies I've worked with, have learned how to find the time for their own marketing and are nailing it. They experiment with their own stuff rather than with those for clients. Basically, they become their own best client. 

To get to this point is not impossible. You just need to treat yourself like a client. Get the goals, sign a retainer of activities, develop the marketing plan (including buyer personas, content plan and schedule) designate an account management, get this on a project management tool and then stick to it. Review, rinse and repeat. That's it. 

Okay, hold on a second, maybe it's not that simple. 

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Inbound Storytelling: The Art of Capturing Hearts and Minds

[fa icon="calendar'] 27-Sep-2015 10:00:05 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Storytelling, Inbound Marketing, Inbound PR

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The world is going inbound.

Yes, I’m still biased after the INBOUND15 conference but everywhere I turn, I see how powerful and sophisticated ordinary people have become, how they really own what they want to hear, see, touch and experience.

Outbound and the world of push messages is dying. Quickly.

For communicators and marketers that’s a big deal, especially for those still used to the old techniques like TV and online ads or direct mail. I’m not saying these don’t exist anymore, they are just not really relevant.

One example comes from a research by Fractl and Moz: over 54% of people don’t click on ads and 58% use add blockers. So advertising (i.e. push messages) is not an effective way of attracting people to your business. What is effective is offering content that people are truly interested in: according to another research, 55% of consumers are more likely to buy from you if they like your story.  

Why is that? Because that type of content is relevant; because these are stories that we want to hear, we want to make them part of our lives. Only through them we allow brands to speak to us. Yes, ALLOW because we can now make that choice, it’s within our power, it’s only what truly attracts us that we consciously choose to pay attention to.

Welcome to the world of inbound storytelling. 

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9 Reasons to Start Creating Infographics Now

[fa icon="calendar'] 21-Jun-2015 07:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Social Media, Storytelling, Marketing

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I absolutely love, love, love infographics! They are such a great way to transmit a message and engage with people, don't you think? 

You could say that I am addicted to them because even though I don't have any design background, I've already created seven distinct infographics. (You can check them out on my SlideShare and Visual.ly profiles.) 

It's all about being inspired, having an idea and getting creative. And there are so many tools you can use today - go Canva, Piktochart or even PowerPoint. I've used them all. 

Infographics are a fantastic marketing tool. Leveraging this type of content can help you extend your reach, drive traffic, increase social sharing and engagement as well as help you stand out among all the noise out there. 

I've said it before: visual content is king. Infographics can not only boost your traditional comms efforts, but also take your digital content marketing to the next level by being able to create content that truly fascinates.

 Here are nine crucial reasons why you should start creating infographics now:

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The 7 Best Storytelling Infographics You Need to Check Out Now

[fa icon="calendar'] 18-May-2015 07:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Storytelling

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Do you like TV ads? How about magazine ads? Do you pay attention to them or do you just skip them?

Now let me ask you another question: Do you like stories? Do you enjoy being immersed into an exciting narrative allowing you to escape reality and enter a new world?

I like stories. I like to let my brain follow the imaginative flow of a good story and visualise the narrative, the heroes, the actions and happenings of what I am reading, watching or experiencing. 

As a marketer you are probably used to relying more on hard facts and lists of benefits rather than engaging stories. That might have worked in the Mad Man era, but in the world of real-time, non-stop social interactions and online content it no longer does.

Don’t believe me? Check out some facts from a Nielson study:

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