As humans, we are designed to absorb stories better than anything else. Stories allow us to connect and relate. It’s a very inexpensive way for the listener to enjoy the experience without having to invest anything at all. Stories allow the listener or the audience to feel emotions and relate closely to the teller.
As a business, we are all looking at new and effective ways to attract more customers. Every business in the market is like a different individual, it has a different story. Customers today are interested in knowing that story. The story allows customers to find emotions in an otherwise mechanical process. Your business’s story allows your customers to see your journey and relate to it.
Isn’t that what we want as business owners? A trustworthy connection with our customers! This is why brands have been including storytelling in their marketing campaigns. Top businesses in the market are using narrative blogs to stay fresh in their customer’s minds. It allows businesses to form a bond with their customers that is unique and makes them choose it over their competitors.
Storytelling is such a subtle yet effective way of creating a group of cheerleaders for your brand, without having to invest much. A genuine brand story helps your business to see your ethics and what you stand for in the market. You could create a video to sell your idea, curate content, or design infographics to tell that story.
So what is digital storytelling?
Storytelling can be done in multiple mediums. The mediums have changed significantly over the years. Back in the rock age in 30,000BC, our forefathers did visual and oral storytelling. This gradually shifted to written storytelling in the form of newspapers & books etc. And now we enjoy storytelling on the digital platform.
It allows audiences to engage with your business promptly
Digital storytelling, when done right, can change your business’s reputation instantly. The audience is fast yet fussy today. She is scrolling through the internet hungry for information and will consume any relevant and interesting story. If your storytelling is on fleek, you are in luck!
Storytelling can change perspectives
Digital storytelling allows your customer to see your point of view, in just a glimpse. A good example of this is the Indian brand Amul, a cooperative brand from Gujrat. It uses a great storytelling method to connect with its audience, the regular Indian. It converts news headlines into digital stories that are relatable.
It’s interesting to see how brands are blooming by busting age-old myths and other such quirky methods. This goes a long way to show how having a personality as a business can do wonders for you.
Digital storytelling brings in emotions.
Digital storytelling allows elements to be relatable
The other day I came across an Ad by Target and loved seeing a couple of things that I already own. It made me feel good and my choices were validated.
Digital storytelling educates and informs
Let’s move on to understand how to do digital storytelling perfectly.
Here are 5 ways to use digital storytelling to your advantage:
Know yourself as a business
It’s surprising to know how difficult this can be for a business owner. Most business owners know what they want from their business and their turnovers and profit margins etc. However, most overlook the importance of knowing what their business is about; their personality. To begin with, imagine your business to be a person. Now think about what will be its voice like, its personality like and what values would it stand for.
You need to have a clear idea about what problems you are trying to solve in order to be able to design a brand story.
Have a clear vision and stick to it adamantly
Now that you know about your vision as a business, things will fall into place easily. You must stick to it and stay consistent. For example, if sustainability is part of your business’s identity, you can not be using plastic for your packaging. At least, not without having an explanation for why things do not align. Your actions will speak for your business better than your words. Start from the beginning and start with good intentions.
Having a vision statement that includes your brand’s values and future prospects is a good start.
Know your audience
You can’t stitch a dress without knowing whom you are stitching it for, right? It’s the same with content. You can not curate content without knowing your audience. Check with your team who your ideal audience is. Note their locations, their age, gender, preferences, etc. The more you know about your audience the easier it is to curate content specifically for them.
And specifically curated content is more likely to touch a cord than randomly strewn content, isn’t it? People like it when you know about them without them telling you anything. This has been one of the oldest, most reliable customer service hacks in the books.
Things around us are complex as it is, nobody needs more of it without reason. Keep your brand story simple, ask and answer simple questions. This becomes even easier when you are not trying to hide anything from your customers. Simplicity makes it easier for them to relate to your business.
Brainstorm on why you create something, how are you bringing in a change, etc. People are interested to know those basics and do not care about complex algorithms.
Like I said before, imagine your business as a human being. Have a tone and voice that goes with your brand’s personality. It could be witty and funny or just authoritative. See to that, that it goes with your business’s identity. And stay consistent, as an ideal human would.
Tell stories about why you started and how you did that. Understand that your audience wants to see the people behind your business and to know what motivated them. This will help you to ask questions about their needs directly, making things easier for your business.
About the Author
Shantanu is the SEO expert and founder of Page Potato, a digital marketing agency in Melbourne. He helps small-scale businesses strategise smart content marketing solutions tailor-made for their specific business needs.
Other than work, Shantanu also loves trying new recipes and spending lazy Sunday afternoons playing with his kitten, Smokey.