People love stories. Furthermore, the love of stories seems to transcend economics, cultures, and geographic boundaries. Given the degree to which humans embrace and connect to storytelling, it only makes sense to leverage it. Combining this concept with the Internet realm yields the basis of digital storytelling as a marketing tool.
In the digital age, relaying your company’s vision in a soft-sell manner that informs and engages is much better received than yesterday’s screams of “buy us!” The need to understand digital marketing and communication beyond “how-to” guides and algorithms is rising. Make sure you’re here for it.
Discover the magic and master the art of digital storytelling – learn essential traits and tips for the best digital storytelling practices, and in turn, ignite action to get you creating your own digital magic!
Like any good story, we’ll start from the beginning: What do we mean when we say “digital storytelling?” It’s often used loosely as a term for good writing, granted it’s a borderline cliché buzzword. And, like “content marketing,” it can be ambiguous at times. At its most basic, the digital storytelling process involves using a mixture of content and digital media to bring a narrative to life.
These campaigns combine multimedia, such as audio, images, animated clips, and more all to tell a compelling story. There’s a big difference between a direct product pitch used in digital marketing tactics and storytelling. The former can often be ignored or lost in the constantly rising sea of information, while true storytelling builds a compelling, memorable vignette that has a lasting impact on your audience.
What do all great stories have in common, aside from having a beginning, a middle, and an end? They all have that special “something” that makes the reader care, connect, remember, share and come back to it. In the present quick-paced and excessively robotized culture, the web continually compensates us with accommodation and immediate consummation, making the human touch increasingly rare and desired.
As a marketer, you’re a digital storyteller. It’s all up to you to weave a tale that attracts your target audience and gets them to truly care about your brand’s message. And, when you do it right, you can avoid creating just another marketing campaign. Instead, you’ll build a genuine, long-lasting connection with your customers.
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 to your product or service for longer. Storytelling in digital marketing addresses the needs of a fast-paced society in which people cut through the fluff and look to receive information faster.
Grabbing the attention of your potential customers is an important step towards reaching one of your main goals – gaining your customers’ loyalty. That is why storytelling has become an SOS of digital marketing. It sets apart vibrant brands from simple businesses and loyal consumers from one-time, stop-in shoppers.
Here are three ways storytelling impacts digital marketing and how you can benefit from it:
Most consumers have mastered an art of their own — ignoring sales pitches. These days, people are inundated with marketing ads. This has conditioned the brain to skim information and dismiss anything unattractive, simple, and mundane. Digital storytelling, however, can engage them in a manner that leaves them more receptive to marketing efforts.
If you’re a digital marketer, cutting through the noise and capturing your audience’s attention is going to take a more compelling narrative than a traditional ad would contain. It takes a creative story that goes above and beyond the vanilla to catch the eye of a reader. And it’s what digital storytelling does best. This is what makes it an art every digital marketer should master.
Cookie-cutter marketing doesn’t help you form a bond with consumers. Instead, it’s information-packed and bland content that often reads like assembly instructions. Storytelling is much more profound. It addresses consumer pain points on a deeper, more intimate level and doesn’t give off the cold and impersonal vibes of a hard sell.
People want to know that you actually have their best interests in mind, not just your revenue. Digital storytelling persuades not only the brain but the heart as well.
Actions speak louder than words for today’s consumers. Using digital storytelling to demonstrate how your company is dedicated to your mission, as well as your customers, can help you prove that you’re in it for the right reasons.
Taking people on a journey and letting them know how your business evolved, the experiences you’ve had, and how this helped you provide solutions to their problems will capture your audience’s attention and personify your business. In other words, it will make your brand and its products or services more relatable, meaningful, and distinct.
By turning your brand into an unforgettable experience that your audience can engage with and consume, it will help them connect with your business, stay loyal and recommend it to others. Here are some thinking paths for developing new digital storytelling ideas which reflect the new frontiers of storytelling tied with tried-and-true tips for mastering the art of great storytelling:
Before you can build a truly effective and engaging story, you must first understand what keeps your prospects up at night. What dilemmas are they facing and how can you uniquely resolve them? For effective digital storytelling, start with what your customers truly want or need. After all, it’s their journey. The stories you tell should always be about them, with your business in the background as the end solution.
A brand story is a narrative that connects with a consumer emotionally while also providing information. Rather than inundate a consumer with details, it should answer the most critical question of all: Why is your brand on my screen?
Let your digital story be simple, understandable, written in everyday language, easy to memorize, and re-tell. Remember, you are talking to actual people, so it’s important to humanize it. If it sounds unnatural and forced, change your approach.
And don’t forget – people remember emotional stories. Don’t just tell to sell. Focus on creating the right emotional tone for your story. It doesn’t matter if the emotion is pain, happiness, or if you just made your readers laugh. What is important 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.
An adage in novel writing reminds authors to “show, not tell.” A great digital story follows this principle – it’s highly visual. It may be tempting to over-explain your story. But, as the battle for capturing audiences’ attention increases, your story must be presented compellingly. The written word isn’t going away, but these days, we have so many engaging mediums at our disposal.
Great storytellers know how to involve their listeners — connect with them and trigger the desired response by using every element at their disposal. A great digital story weaves together text, background music, and visuals to present a unified experience. Infographics, animations, images, and videos are all ways to reach and engage your audience and allow your readers to interpret and experience the thoughts and emotions for themselves.
Don’t pull a bait-and-switch maneuver and change your narrative. Make sure that your story flows through from start to finish and your message remains consistent throughout the advertisement. Otherwise, consumers may smell foul play, which is an easy way to lose a consumer’s trust. Consistency across all platforms and campaigns is also essential. Confusion prevents conversion.
Gone are the days of boring scripts and information overload. Instead, people seek advertisements that cut through the digital noise, engage them and resonate with them on a personal level. Does your company have a story to tell? Have you implemented methods of storytelling that go beyond the written word of “Tell to Sell” in your digital marketing?
There’s a world-changing message inside of you. Use it to tell your own story and share it with the digital world!
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