2 Sep 2021 Strategy

Digital storytelling: What it is and how it can work for you

Digital storytelling uses multimedia tools to bring narratives to life. Typically using videos that combine audio, images and video clips, digital storytelling is used to explain a concept, make an argument, show behind the scenes in a business, or even show support for a businesss loyal customers.

The conveying of a message through a creative style has become increasingly successful for brands. Therefore, the need for all brands to use some form of digital marketing has become increasingly necessary for brand success. This is particularly impactful when it focuses on an element of the product that is current and popular. For example, TROVE, a client of LikeMind, emphasise their vegan-friendly processes in developing the product.

TROVE vegan friendly wallet instagram post

Why is digital storytelling important?

By establishing a more personal link to the consumer and allowing them to connect to the brand on a more personal level, it ingrains brand loyalty into the psyche of the customer.

The joy of digital storytelling is that you can touch on all the important details of your product while creatively expressing those unique elements of your brand, using videos and gifs as a means through which to promote your product. This is important for two reasons.

Firstly, the average adult spends two hours a day on social media, and the average teenager spends nine hours. This equates to a crazy amount of information and advertisements that are consumed. Companies, therefore, need to do more to catch the eye of consumers among the vast quantities of information people consume nowadays.

Secondly, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, meaning businesses that are using more creative means to promote their product are making a far more significant impression on their customers, and are growing faster than their competition.

Some successful examples of storytelling – how you can try them

Show don’t tell

This concept is among the most tried-and-tested methods for drawing in readers. Rather than saying what is valuable about the product, showing the process of production will make customers realise the value of your product on their own.

This behind-the-scenes shot from Murphy’s Ice Cream from TikTok put them on the map, accumulating more than 1 million views, and represents how digital storytelling, when done right, can truly grow small businesses.

@murphysicecream

How do you like your eggs in the morning? We like ours as ice cream 🍦 #murphys #murphysicecream #fyp #foryoupage #icecream #eggs #egg #handmade

♬ Black Eyed Peas Imma Be – uh

Celebrating your supporters

Another meaningful type of digital storytelling is rewarding existing fans. One company that does this particularly well is Airbnb, for whom their super-hosts do a great deal of their marketing for them.

Airbnb celebrate their help here with a giveaway – a fantastic way to interact and bridge that gap between company and customer.

Air bnb instagram post about tesla

User-generated content

Integrating with your existing customers is a fantastic and easy way to secure brand loyalty. Hershel Supply does this element of digital storytelling better than most by connecting to their #CommunityOfTravellers and telling stories of their followers on their Instagram page.

Not only does this help Hershel Supply connect to their followers in a more impactful way, but showing their products being used in a natural environment increases the sales of their products.

herschel supply instagram post

Building Anticipation

Building hype for an exclusive ‘drop’ for a product is a fantastic way to make customers want your product and is something streetwear brands, such as Supreme, BAPE, or Palace, do really well. Here, Supreme are driving up hype for their latest drop by telling the story of how the clothing was designed and some background of the band ‘Butthole Surfers’ involved in that process.

supreme network post building anticipation

So far, I’ve used some examples of storytelling primarily on Instagram, as that is perhaps the most successful and cost-effective method of storytelling for smaller businesses.

However, digital storytelling does encompass more than just Instagram, so now I’ll focus on a few other examples of digital storytelling that have been successful for other businesses and organisations in order to engage with their audience.

Imperial College‘s COVID timeline

In a year in which digital news and stories have become increasingly dominant in society, Imperial College stood out with its stunning timeline of the first six months of the pandemic. The ability of organisations to stay current is meaningful to supporters, and this timeline is a quality example of bringing together such a complex narrative about COVID, with some stunning structure.

Dove’s ‘Beauty Portraits’ series

As a world leader in body positivity and promoting personal well-being, Dove’s ‘Beauty Portraits’ series is a great example of the type of content that provides value for customers which goes beyond the utility of the product or service. Dove’s celebration of individuals’ bodies is now a crucial element of Dove’s success as a brand.

These examples and the success of these brands speaks towards the importance of digital storytelling in the modern age. In particular, bridging the gap between company and customer through many of the techniques listed above establishes brand loyalty that goes beyond the quality of product or service.

When looking at the success of digital storytelling, particularly for small businesses, you should look no further than the success of companies like Murphy’s Ice Cream, who have grown to 33,000 thousand followers on TikTok.

Having followers is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it makes a brand appear more trustworthy. After all, if a brand has only a few dozen followers, they appear less authentic and customers are less likely to take the account seriously. So, it is important to have as many followers as possible.

Those who have more followers can engage more in affiliate sales. This is when another company asks someone on Instagram to market and sell a particular product or service. Naturally, the more followers someone has, the more potential customers that account is going to have, meaning there is more scope for large affiliate marketing and sales programs.

Finally, and most importantly, an Instagram account with more followers means there is the opportunity to interact with more people. Ultimately, the purpose of a social media account is to interact with people and customers in a social way. The more followers an account has, the more enjoyable this is going to be.

When done right, digital storytelling can add to any existing digital marketing your company does already, and LikeMind Media can help you take that next step for growing your company. Want to know how digital storytelling can help you? Get in touch.

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