Digital Marketing Boot Camp Takeaways: Storytelling, Strategizing & Humanizing

By: Nikki Little

“Why use social media? Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” – Seth Godin

Amen, Seth. Amen.

I recently attended the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber, and storytelling was a top theme discussed during the event. For those of us who are in the daily digital marketing grind, this may seem like a no-brainer. Yet sadly, there are countless examples of brands who still can’t quite figure out how to weave that ever-important storytelling component into their marketing programs.

For example, compare Arby’s Facebook content with Dell’s Facebook content. Eric Thomas from Saga MKTG showed these two pages as a perfect example of one brand killing it with content and one brand falling flat.

Look at how the majority of Arby’s content ties into a bigger story, concept or trend. Then check out the post engagement. While we can’t see how many posts have paid advertising behind them, comments from fans expressing their love for the brand (and its marketing!) are off the charts.

Then there’s Dell. Ohhh, Dell. The content is lackluster. It’s dry. Frankly, it’s boring. While you can’t compare the two brands apples to apples, there is tremendous opportunity for Dell to up its game and leverage storytelling to put some pizzazz into their content.

Aside from storytelling, here are quips from the conference that most resonated with me (and what we are really focused on at Identity for our agency and client programs):

  • Email is all too often the forgotten marketing tactic, yet it’s one of the most powerful.
  • Your website is your home base. Not Facebook. Not Snapchat. Your website is your owned channel.
  • Focus on quality versus quantity when it comes to number of channels your brand has a presence on and frequency of content publishing.
  • Define your audience. Your audience is not everyone. You cannot effectively market your business and its products or services until you’ve defined your core audience.
  • Evoke passion through your marketing. Enough said.
  • Set goals, strategize and plan, execute, measure. Adjust as needed. Repeat.
  • Humanize your brand. “Humanize” was one of those buzzwords (along with “engage”) at the advent of social media, but I believe we’ve come full circle. Humanizing your brand through digital marketing efforts is of utmost importance – now more than ever, since we have brands vying for our attention on every single social platform. Want to cut through the clutter and get people to take an action? Connect with them on a human level.

Here are a few other nuggets of wisdom from the event:


Did you attend the Digital Marketing Bootcamp? Share your takeaways in the comments!