How to Land Your Story on the Moon

Great marketing has always been defined by great storytelling. The characters, the setting and the struggle — when mixed with the right amount of interest — can captivate any audience. But we know that the balance of these elements is delicate. In today’s world, social media and the internet can sometimes make it even harder to tell good stories. Informational overload also makes it hard to make those stories memorable. But what makes a good and memorable story? Let’s discuss the story of the Moon landing.

We’ve recently marked 50 years since the landing Apollo 11. This is one of the greatest stories in the history of humanity. However, if you are in my office, you will see the cover of Time Magazine of the episode before they went to the moon. I received it from my wife, who gave it to me, wanting to inspire creativity in my office. Most of the headlines that we keep and show to others say “We landed on the Moon,” in the past tense, when the story is over. But what about the excitement and anticipation? We don’t get the chance to think that we are a part of something that has never been done before because we’re missing key elements of the story.

When we tell stories on social media, we often neglect to tell the beginning and choose instead to we tell it post-mortem. How many times have you seen posts that thank people after the event has wrapped up? These posts could be more powerful if we give our followers the chance to join us along for the story. What if we show ourselves getting our aprons on to be ready for the soup feed? What if we show the preparation and hard work it takes for pulling off an event of this size? What if we share a goal with our followers and then show them our efforts to achieve it? Our stories should start at the beginning.

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”

– John F. Kennedy

The fact that we went to the moon is an amazing historical accomplishment, but the story shouldn’t start at the end. If I’m creating a short documentary about going to the moon, it will end with Neil Armstrong, but will start well before that. I might highlight the concerns of Neil’s family or share one of the most memorable speeches President Kennedy ever gave — the famed “We Choose to Go to the Moon” speech. Sharing stories with the right elements in the right place help to make connections to our listeners and build community the right way.

While we might not go to the moon at this year’s ABA’s Bank Marketing conference, but we will be hosting a pre-conference workshop that covers more on storytelling. I hope you’ll join me for Build a Trusted Lending Team on Social Media — we’ll be covering how to tell your story, how to engage your lending teams and ways to your marketing and sales can work together to tell memorable stories. You can join me for this preconference session at 8 a.m. or 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, September 22.

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