Digital Storytelling to Inspire Action in Your Business
In our fast-paced, digital world, it’s essential to make your mark and establish a presence through different online and social media platforms. Every day in the small business worlds there is a lot to prioritise with your marketing efforts. Master digital storytelling is another way to help your business expand these efforts, its reach and engage your online audiences with the digital media available at your fingertips. In other words — if you’re worried about your social media presence, and don’t know how to make it better, digital storytelling is an excellent strategy to consider as your solution.
What is Digital Storytelling?
“Storytelling” is often used loosely as a term for good writing. Yes, granted it’s a borderline cliché buzzword. And, like “content marketing,” at times can be ambiguous. If you are wondering what digital storytelling is, here’s a quick explanation. Digital stories are made of multimedia content by way of photographs, videos, animation, music, text, sound, to tell a story to your clients.
Using digital storytelling principles helps your website, social media audience and potential customers become familiar with who you are, what you stand for and why you do what you do first. Business offerings and promotions, second. In this post I want to help you discover the magic of digital storytelling; learn essential traits and tips for good digital storytelling practice, and in turn, hope to ignite action to get you creating your own magic!
Read on for the 5 steps you need to achieve this excellence:
Live to Tell a Unified Story
The first step to your digital storytelling mastery is living to tell a unified story. You might have seen this called “brand story” or “brand purpose” or “purpose statement”. Formulating a unified story is a one-sentence summary of the difference you make in the lives of your customers. To determine what your unified story is, listen to your employees, clients, and partners.
– What consistencies and patterns do you hear over and over again about your brand?
– What words do they use to describe the quality you bring to your audience?
– What do your current visitors and customers tell their friends about you?
Choose Your Platforms Wisely
The second step to your digital storytelling mastery is choosing your platforms with purpose and choose them wisely. You need to be clear and know who you are marketing to and where you are marketing to the audience you want to attract. More importantly, who your business is speaking to most often.
Do your research and understand how a day in the life of your ideal your client plays out. Derive everything from this one person, not from current media channels and trends. Keep in mind that having fewer people more richly engaged is better for your brand than being everywhere and trying to be everything to everyone.
Think in Chapters
The third step to achieving digital storytelling mastery is channelling your favourite author. This idea may seem confusing — are you building your business, or writing a book? Putting it out there, why don’t you do both.
Does the flow of your business brand make sense like the plot in a book?
Can your clients jump around within your brand’s story, or does it have to be experienced in a particular order?
If you were to write an inspiring book about your business what would it be – think the title, forward, who it is for, content and 12 core chapters it will include?
Equally as important as thinking in chapters is planning — you know what they say, fail to plan, plan to fail. Planning is accurate in business as it is in other areas of life. Take out a pen and paper or pull up a Google doc — it doesn’t matter how you get it down, but you must have a plan. At the very least, you need the unified story and a complete picture of your audience and the topics they are interested in. Break these topics out, including social media, videos, blog, and research you can use to write this section of your plan.
Fireworks and Campfires
The fourth step is what I call fireworks and campfires. Hold on — let me explain. Interest and excitement in a digital story come from the ebb and flow of the plot — it should go from excitement to stability. Too many “fireworks” or too much excitement in your brand story is off-putting for your clients. “Campfires” are the steady sections of your brand story that keep the “fire” or interest of your clients burning. They should provide comfort, but still a few snaps and crackles to surprise them.
Building excitement and calm is important: the point of fireworks is to inspire vision, a new way of thinking, or allow your clients to come up with a “what if?” idea; the campfires will keep them moving through the decision-making process.
Connect with non-digital platforms
The fifth and final step may seem counterintuitive but hear me when I say — it’s the most crucial to obtaining to retain clients and mastering digital storytelling. This step is to connect with non-digital platforms. What? Yes, you heard me right. Take that piece of paper or Google doc you created and base your entire brand and digital story on it. Taking your connections offline ensures that your story is a story and not a sales tactic — and believe me, clients can tell the difference. A phone call, a meeting, industry networking events, exhibiting at a tradeshow, speaking engagements all play a pivotal role in building your digital assets and brand power. Ultimately, keeping the purpose of your business to help your clients at the front and centre of your brand at all times will always win.
To recap, to ignite excellence in your digital storytelling greatness, build your brand, and ensure that your visitors are getting the right message from you and across all media. A way to do this is to have a unified story, platform purpose, ‘chapter’ thinking, fireworks and campfires, and non-digital platform connections.
If you’re keen on learning more about digital marketing, head over to our Marketing page and see where a diploma in Social Media marketing could take you.
Author: Despina Karatzias