The fact that you’re reading this sentence to the end shows that LinkedIn’s Global Content Marketing Leader, Jason Miller, is right when he says the “eight-second attention span” is a myth that’s making us dumb down content.

That one sentence takes more than eight seconds to read. In fact, Jason, who was speaking at Marketing Nation’s recent London show, says that we actually use our attention spans far more efficiently than at any other time in history.

We need to in order to sift through the impossible amounts of information competing for our attentions. And it means that we’ll read long-form content, if it’s useful.

So, the internet hasn’t diminished our attention spans (besides, not even goldfish really have short attention spans). It’s just that the sea of noise from brands means we waste so much energy looking for truly useful content that we’re too exhausted to properly read it, i.e. not just skim it.

But the right content is the key to engaging with customers, and Michael Brenner thinks that you need to focus on storytelling, as he said in his presentation on “Storytelling in the Engagement Economy.”

Write what you know and what customers want

He defines storytelling as “the overlap between what customers want and what brands know.” It really just goes back to the basics of content marketing – your customers are looking for advice or information, and you’re in a unique position to provide it. Make it about them not you, but develop the right voice.

What do your customers want?

Storytelling was a hot topic a few years ago but it fizzled out. So why is it back? Because we have the technology to make it work. Brenner says you can no longer use the excuse that you don’t know what customers want. We have the tools to find out. And it’s possible to get the right content in front of them, at the right time, so that they’re more likely to consume it.

Volume doesn’t equal value, and we all know it

Marketers all know they need to deliver ROI, and they hope that volume equals value. But they know it won’t work. They feel overwhelmed. Brenner says that storytelling is the antidote to marketers doing more, more, more. When you get storytelling right, you can convey important pieces of information while making your customers the heroes.

Your people know people

He also fired off the stats that employees have 10x more connections than the company they work for, and 3% of a company’s employees are generating 30% of clicks. When everybody’s so overwhelmed by brand messaging, is it really a surprise that they respond to actual people? What does it mean? That B2B brands need to embrace Social.

How do you tell the right story? Get in touch and we’ll show you.

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