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Most people view social media as a break in their busy schedule. They escape from whatever they’re doing and start scrolling. But the endless toilet paper roll of content makes it difficult to standout with your messages. Therefore, you need a secret weapon for your content marketing.

Eric Munn of Onion Labs, the in-house ad agency for satirical news source, The Onion, explains how imagery and humor is the king of content.

He always begins by finding the truth in the story.

For instance, with Bacardi’s #RealCocktail holiday campaign, he said the truth is that people drink because they’re sad, lonely or at a sucky party, not because their jovial and filled with good cheer. The campaign honors this universal truth through humor.

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He calls this kind of content marketing “thumbstoppers,” because the goal is get your audience to stop their scrolling on your content. Here is his 3-part recipe for successful digital storytelling:

1. Powerful visual
Digital is a visual medium and your imagery should tell a story

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2. One-line joke
Make your headline easily understandable and relatable

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3. Call-to-action
Unless you’re just going for awareness, don’t be shy: ask your audience to do something, like share or reply

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Onion Labs does a nice job of telling six-second stories with its Vine videos. Munn says that viewers on average will watch the same looped video four times before they move on. This one actually features a story in three acts: set-up, conflict, resolution. This is the DNA of every story, even six second ones. Check it out.

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Above all, Munn encourages you to keep your digital storytelling simple. People don’t have the time or patience to decipher your content. Delight them with something quick and humorous, and then let them move on. You’ll make your brand more appreciated and memorable in the process.

Listen to Eric on this edition of the Business of Story podcast. And do me a huge, would you? Please rate and review our show on iTunes. It helps me share it with the world, and I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for listening.