From the very beginning, marketing has evolved along with the technology of the times. Traditional print campaigns have given way to elaborately short television advertisements, which have morphed into fifteen-second hooks that appear in the middle of social media videos. As the variety of interactive media has increased, so too has the opportunity to reach potential clients in new, increasingly creative ways.
As a business professional, creating a consistent and interesting voice is vital to building your brand’s reach. It’s not enough anymore to simply post articles or updates. Customers are looking to engage with brands on a more human level — and the most authentic way to do so is through digital storytelling.
What Is Digital Storytelling?
People are natural storytellers; it’s how we connect and share experiences. The components of what makes a good story hasn’t changed much, but how we tell stories has evolved over the centuries. Digital storytelling is the method of using a wide array of technologies and mediums available to tell your brand’s story to customers. Digital storytelling isn’t confined by traditional formats; through a combination of music, animation, recorded footage, and text, you can create nonlinear and interactive materials.
What sets digital storytelling apart is that it doesn’t just placidly place your company or product in front of a customer in the hopes that they will be interested enough to learn more. Digital storytelling invites your audience to respond and engage with their own perspectives and opinions. Not only will customers feel heard, but you will gain important data and insight into what’s working and what could be improved upon.
Digital Storytelling Strategies
Like all marketing efforts, your digital storytelling strategy should be grounded in research. Using accurate data and feedback will help you to better inform what type of content is most relevant to your audience. The most successful marketing strategies — digital or otherwise — are built on an understanding of who your ideal customers are. If you are constantly posting material that doesn’t engage with your audience, you’ll lose their interest.
It’s also important to know the ways in which your audience engages with your company’s online presence. Do they mostly interact with you on Twitter? Facebook? Do you have a wide reach with your newsletter? Tailoring your digital storytelling efforts to specific platforms can increase your reach and encourage more participation and dialogue.
Not Just ‘What,’ but ‘Why?’
Digital storytelling is a facet of inbound marketing — the strategy of providing relevant content and valuable experiences to customers in order to draw them into engaging with your company. It’s a departure from the more traditional outbound marketing strategy, where companies simply create advertisements that promote their products to customers with no relationship building. As customers find more and more of their online time being claimed by companies, they are looking for more meaningful opportunities to engage. Digital storytelling doesn’t just tell someone what you’re providing; it answers why someone needs it, as well.
One example is this video that Fetal Care Center Dallas made for Spina Bifida Awareness Month. It highlights the personal story of a baby with Spina Bifida who was helped by FCC Dallas. By couching their services within the framework of celebrating baby Uriah’s successful surgery, FCC Dallas is able to connect with their audience on an emotional level without coming across as too promotional or as an advertisement.
Content-Driven Digital Agencies: The Experts in Digital Storytelling
When it comes time to develop your company’s digital storytelling strategy, a content-driven digital agency is the key to success. Made up of a wide range of professionals from journalists to web designers, a content-driven digital agency is able to bring a unique and innovative perspective to your marketing strategy.
Content-driven digital agencies want to understand the why of your business — who you are, why people need you, and what sets you apart. From there, the agency can use digital storytelling to plan, design, and distribute dynamic media that will reach your ideal client base effectively. Not only will your company be positioned as a thought leader in your field, but your customers will find value in interacting with you in the digital space.
Identifying the right content-driven agency for you is the first step to taking advantage of digital storytelling and developing meaningful, long-lasting relationships with your customers. Learn more about how madison/miles media can support your company today.