Once Upon a Time…

There was a very beautiful, kindhearted, and unhappy girl. She was always grimy because her wicked stepmother forced her to do all the housework. One day, the royal family invited every girl in her village to a ball at the palace. They were seeking a bride for the prince. The girl wanted to go to the party more than anything, but she had nothing to wear. Her stepmother refused to help. What could she do?

She was clever, this girl. She got online and Googled: “dress for a royal ball no money.”

Fairy Godmother’s Blog

The search results lead her to a blog called How to Dress For a Royal Ball for Free. It was on a website for a non-profit called Fairy Godmother Inc. This blog spoke directly to her situation, and gave her practical advice on what to do. She learned that Fairy Godmother Inc. gives girls, just like her, ball gowns, for free.

The girl shared this blog on Facebook immediately.

About Us

And then she clicked around on the site to learn more. On the About Us page, the girl watched a video from the founder, Fairy Godmother herself, about how passionate she is about helping young women build confidence. She does that by helping them dress for success in any environment, from the ballroom to the boardroom. In the video, Fairy Godmother told the story of how someone had given her a new wardrobe when she was a girl and the experience had been transformational. That act inspired her to build an enterprise dedicated to helping girls of low or no means get the clothing they need to improve their own lives.

Call To Action

All over the site there were calls to action in big bold letters:

For a Free Ball Gown, say “Fairy Godmother” 3 Times Fast

So she did it and POOF Fairy Godmother appeared in her bedroom, with a stunning new outfit. The only catch was, to limit the organization’s liability, she had to return the dress by midnight.

She went to the party, and she had the poise not of a princess, but of a queen. The prince made a beeline for her and they danced all night. Just before midnight she ran home, and in her haste lost a shoe. The prince used the shoe to track her down (he put a picture of it on Craigslist missed connections). They were reunited and got married. The Princess used her new wealth to give a huge grant to Fairy Godmother Inc.

Guest Posts and Social Media Promotion

The Fairy Godmother business was able to scale up. They hired more staff, and they got better liability insurance so they could do away with that unfortunate midnight policy. The new princess wrote a guest blog for Fairy Godmother Inc’s website that tells her story, with lots of pictures (that could all be pinned in Pinterest). That post got shared on social media thousands of times.

An Educational Center

Fairy Godmother now does short videos every week in which she answers questions about entrepreneurship and fashion that real girls send via the website, social media accounts, and email. The educational center on their website offers a variety of free resources, from infographics to downloadable PDFs to podcasts and videos that they created from those crowdsourced questions. And now they host free workshops in which they help girls learn how to make their own clothes. They post blogs about these workshops on their site, with videos, which they share across all their social channels, and they send out press releases, all of which has generated a lot of coverage. Their site traffic is up and girls are saying “Fairy Godmother” three times fast more than ever before.

The Moral of the Story…

To achieve growth through online marketing today you’ll have to create useful, engaging content that that tells your company story, with stories that illustrate your impact in the world. Successful content connects with real people.

Oh, and in the story I just told you, what’s the name of the young girl who became a princess? Come on what’s her name? Shout it out.

Of course it’s Cinderella!

Even though Cinderella is one of the oldest folk tales we know of, you know her name and her story. You’ve heard it at bedtime, seen it in movies, on television screens. Maybe you’ve read it to your own children. It is human nature that when we love a story, we pass it on.

To learn more about Cinderella, and the art of telling stories online, read Mandy’s article Storytelling Content Marketing & You in Capital at Play Magazine.