Marco Santana

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The military has gotten best at telling its story. Learn from them.

I am not sure if you think storytelling when you think of the U.S. military.

But the Department of Defense seems to have found a groove when it comes to using the Internet to its advantage and business owners should take lessons from its effort.

In a regular feature that posts on its blog, the department highlights its personnel through multimedia packages that include videos, stories and pictures.

What I found interesting and, more importantly, helpful is that the storytellers do a few really important things that businesses can emulate.

First of all, they chose a specific division in this piece [snipers] and put a hyper-focused lens on it.

If you have departments in your workplace or at your startup, try to duplicate this for an exercise.

Next, they selected a handful of individuals who could contribute to the piece.

It doesn’t take long to think of two or three questions that you can ask multiple people in the department.

That should lead to enough information to create a piece of content [in a future post I will walk you through what makes good content] which, as I’ve said before, is something you can distribute all across social media, websites and other avenues (newsletter, anyone?).

Here’s the tl;dr version of why this military story works:

  1. It begins with an anecdote, which draws a reader’s interest. If a story or post starts strong, it’ll hold attention longer.
  2. Multimedia. Of course, not all stories will have the variety of photos and videos available. But if there is any way to get something to accompany your story, do it. Hell, it could be as easy as taking your iPhone (or device of your choice) and recording yourself reading the post.
  3. Real people’s quotes. This reinforces that what the unnamed narrator is s saying [that’s you] is supported by other people. If your post says your business has workers who care, what better way to support that by having one of your employees say they care? I mean, be genuine, of course. People can see through BS.

Here is the original story:

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