Do you want to start your own digital storytelling adventure but you don’t know where to start or how to get inspired?
I have a suggestion for you. Hopefully, it will make you start your digital storytelling easier.
Digital storytelling has become a must in any successful marketing campaign as it sets out to achieve wider engagement from your target audience and make your customers cling onto your product or service for a longer period of time.
That is why more and more companies are creating their own digital stories. Assuming that is something you’re aiming at as well, I suggest you start thinking about your story as you go through the most important aspects of the creation of a successful digital story.
First of all, a good story will stand out from a bunch of campaigns such as “Oh no, it’s Monday” or “Oh yes, it’s Friday”. And not only that, your magical story will naturally attract a lot of attention if you tell it originally and truthfully.
The story you come up with has to catch the eye of your potential customers who’ll hopefully identify with it. Bear in mind that every person has their own story, and the reason behind sharing those stories with others is a possibility of connecting with another person. In this case, a connection you wish to achieve is the one between a brand and a consumer, as well as among consumers themselves.
Grabbing the attention of your potential customers is an important step towards reaching one of your main goals – gaining your customers’ loyalty. And that is why storytelling has become an SOS of digital marketing helping the sales and the engagement of the buyers.
Here is an example – Anatomic pillow.
Imagine an ad like this:
“Anatomic pillows – made out of the most modern fibers, with a wide range of patterns and the finest natural filling. Amazing price! Call us and order before the end of the promotional period!”
In this case, you aren’t selling anything more than a pillow, and if a person doesn’t need it, they won’t pay attention to your ad. There simply aren’t enough engaging details your target audience could relate to and react to.
But, if you are selling quality sleep – sleep that you had as a child when you would wake up in the middle of the night and just jump into your parents’ bed – you are not selling a pillow anymore. You are selling the feeling, the emotions, the experience, and a solution to a problem.
If you really want to sell this awesome pillow – you must have a story! A story about pleasant dreams, health benefits, the perfect rest. In other words, a story that will open your customers’ eyes and help them.
Five ways of starting your Digital Storytelling
(The Inverted) pyramid structure of the story
The inverted pyramid is a metaphor used by journalists and writers to illustrate the hierarchy of the important information. The pyramidal structure of information is a good way to understand what the basic (important) information of your story are.
The widest part of the pyramid consists of the most important and the most interesting information. These you should give to your readers right away in order to attract them immediately. As you move towards the top of the pyramid, you share more and more details and reveal more background information. In this way, your target audience gets hooked on your product straight away and learn more about it by staying tuned.
Simple, emotional, realistic and truthful
Let your story be simple, understandable, written in an everyday language of your target audience, easy for memorizing and re-telling. Remember that you are talking to actual people, so think about how you would normally tell this story to a friend, your family, etc. If it sounds unnatural and forced, change your approach. And don’t forget – people remember stories that are emotional.
So, focus on creating the right emotional tone of your story. It doesn’t matter if the emotion is pain, happiness, or you just made your readers laugh. It really doesn’t. The one and only important thing is that you provoke emotional reactions.
And yes, the story you are telling really did happen. At least that’s how you should approach it. Tell your story like it’s happened to you, or like you have witnessed one, or as if you are simply sharing a good story you heard from someone else.
And another thing, true stories are those that make the strongest connections. Test yourself: which story stayed in your mind longer and which one you wanted to tell someone? The Bake Rolls or the Johnny Walker story?
Adjust your story to your target audience
How to know what your audience’s story is? Well, you need to do a research and find out. A first step in discovering the direction your story will take should be imagining your perfect client. It is them you are actually talking to when telling your story.
Are these imaginary clients grown-ups? Are they busy people? People who work a lot of hours per week or maybe those who do difficult jobs? People with health issues or allergic problems? Think about it and adjust your story to them.
Talk globally, but act locally
“But my target audience isn’t the people from my environment!”
Maybe they are not your primary target audience, but still, acting locally will lead to an increase in your brand awareness.
“And why would I act locally at all?”
Because you always need to start from what you are already familiar with, wherever you go in life. Whatever your story may be, it is always best to speak from your own perspective.
Take a look at an example of one famous flower shop in America that makes exclusive flower arrangements for weddings and celebrations. During the night shift, they select all the leftover flowers and give it away to people who live in elderly homes and shelters.
Isn’t that a great story? And what’s more, isn’t that a great promotion for a flower shop?
Situation, Complication, Solution
Also, there is a simple model that you can use to help you structure your story:
S – Situation
C – Complication
S – Solution
Try to remember the first Topshop ad that comes to your mind.
For example, the one with a nervous woman. In the ad, you see her using a blender. She’s in a great hurry, and it all seems so complicated. It’s unbelievable just how clumsy and unhappy she looks. (Situation).
Parts are falling off, her milkshake is spilling, the blender is hard to wash. (Complication). Just a second letter, you see the same woman with a smile, in bold colors. She is using this revolutionary product that makes her life easier, and you even see her raising her children and walking her dog to demonstrate the simplicity of life. All these things that don’t actually have any connection with the product are somehow improved by it. Funny, isn’t it?
That is where the second letter S is hiding (Solution). The solution is very simple – buy a new model from our ad and you won’t spill things, make a mess in your kitchen, and you’ll spend more time with your children. In other words, everything is going to be much better and you’ll be happier.
If you rely on this concept (S-C-S), it will help you to develop your story step by step. A story that would primarily be likable to your target audience, a convincing story that brings value to your brand.
What you need to remember is to highlight the primary usage of your product, define a problem, and give a solution.
There are many great examples that could inspire you to tell your own story in every field of interest (marketing, education, etc.), as well as a number of free websites you could explore to get your creative juices flowing. This ad, in particular, is an example of a useful model that you can use in a much creative way. And I have no doubts that you will.
So, it’s now time to start your own story!