Key Tac­tics for More Ef­fec­tive Dig­i­tal Sto­ry­telling

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Content - By Lynn El Bizri | @lnlne

Most of to­day’s brands ap­pre­ci­ate the im­por­tance of sto­ry­telling in this so­cial, high-tech and con­tent-driven era, un­der­stand­ing how in­spi­ra­tional sto­ries can bring a brand to life and cre­ate a con­nec­tion with peo­ple. Dig­i­tal sto­ry­telling re­lies on col­lect­ing, cre­at­ing and shar­ing com­pelling sto­ries through a range of in­creas­ingly so­phis­ti­cated tools, which help brands to cre­ate more vis­ually and emo­tion­ally en­gag­ing con­tent that im­pact larger au­di­ences. By telling th­ese com­pelling, hu­man­ized sto­ries and un­der­stand­ing their au­di­ence(s) thor­oughly, brands are putting peo­ple first and cre­at­ing stronger and more mean­ing­ful bonds with their con­sumers. With so many tools and plat­forms avail­able to­day, the sto­ry­telling op­por­tu­ni­ties are end­less, yet there are spe­cific tac­tics that en­sure brands reach and en­gage their au­di­ences bet­ter.

Tac­tic #1: Un­der­stand Your Au­di­ence

To craft and de­liver a suc­cess­ful, en­gag­ing and mean­ing­ful dig­i­tal story ex­pe­ri­ence, brands must first thor­oughly un­der­stand who their tar­get au­di­ences are. This in­cludes know­ing their con­sumers’ habits, what they want or need, how they in­ter­act with the brand, what they say about it, how it af­fects their lives and how much they know about it. Since their dig­i­tal story will res­onate only with those who un­der­stand it or find it mean­ing­ful, brands need to know who they are ad­dress­ing their story to, be­fore any­thing else.

Thank­fully, data makes it pos­si­ble and eas­ier to un­der­stand ex­actly what con­sumers re­ally want or seek to­day, fa­cil­i­tat­ing the per­son­al­iza­tion of sto­ries in or­der to of­fer con­sumers an ex­pe­ri­ence that is rel­e­vant and res­onates with them. Us­ing data to drive sto­ry­telling not only leads to bet­ter sto­ries and con­tent, but also en­ables brands to be­come bet­ter and more ef­fec­tive sto­ry­tellers.

Tac­tic #2: Con­vey a Clear Mes­sage

Iden­ti­fy­ing a clear mes­sage or ‘morale of the story’ is crit­i­cal to the suc­cess of dig­i­tal sto­ry­telling cam­paign. It car­ries the im­age the brand wants to por­tray, the emo­tions it wants to in­still and the in­for­ma­tion it wants to con­vey to its au­di­ence(s). Dig­i­tal sto­ries come in sev­eral difffff­fer­ent forms, from tes­ti­monies and in­ter­views, to doc­u­men­taries and drama, which should be cho­sen based on what the brand wishes to con­vey. When it comes to the mes­sage it­self, less is more; the sim­pler the mes­sage, the eas­ier it will be to con­vey and trans­mit within the story and the more re­lat­able it will be. The mes­sage should give con­sumers a rea­son to pay at­ten­tion, re­main en­gaged and walk away with a deeper un­der­stand­ing of the brand.

Tac­tic #3: Show your Brand’s Hu­man Side

For a brand to con­nect with con­sumers, it must show its per­sonal side. Dig­i­tal sto­ry­telling al­lows brands to re­veal their hu­man side through shar­ing what their team mem­bers are do­ing, what they’re learn­ing or even giv­ing au­di­ence(s) a look be­hind the scenes. Brands can also hu­man­ize their mes­sage and story by cre­at­ing char­ac­ters that their au­di­ence can iden­tify with and have an emo­tional re­sponse to. Emo­tions in dig­i­tal sto­ry­telling are pow­er­ful be­cause peo­ple tend to take ac­tion when they ex­pe­ri­ence sen­ti­ments such as anger, em­pa­thy or hap­pi­ness. The best ex­am­ples of emo­tional sto­ry­telling are those associated with gen­uine emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ences to which the tar­get au­di­ence can re­late and that de­pict a vi­sion of how the brand can pos­i­tively en­rich the lives of con­sumers.

Tac­tic #4: Em­brace Technology

The vast changes that technology has brought about have af­fected not only the way brands in­ter­act with con­sumers, but also the way peo­ple get in­volved in the sto­ries of their fa­vorite brands. There­fore, mar­keters need to em­brace technology and choose the form that best en­riches the story they are try­ing to tell, in or­der to reach their au­di­ence on var­i­ous plat­forms. Vir­tual re­al­ity, aug­mented re­al­ity, ges­ture control, multi-screen ex­pe­ri­ences and gam­i­fi­ca­tion are all great op­por­tu­ni­ties for dig­i­tal sto­ry­telling g. They al­low brands to cre­ate in­ter­ac­tive anda im­mer­sive mul­ti­me­dia sto­ries wherew users have the abil­ity to control thei ir ex­pe­ri­ences or even make choices as to how the story un­folds. Cho­sen wisely, technology gives mar­keters the op­por­tu­nity to be in­no­va­tive; change the way their sto­ries are cre­ated, ex­pe­ri­enced and shared; and bring their con­tent to life.

Tac­tic #5: Cre­ate a Cross-chan­nel Pres­ence

While brands may have a spe­cific plat­form in mind for their mes­sage, they must also think about how their story trans­lates across chan­nels. By shar­ing the story on the most in­her­ent plat­form first, brands can guar­an­tee their story is told in a nat­u­ral and cap­ti­vat­ing way, be­fore adding new lay­ers to the story through dif­fer­ent modes of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Con­sis­tency is al­ways key and espe­cially im­por­tant as the voice, call to ac­tion and mes­sage should be co­her­ent across all plat­forms. Nev­er­the­less, brands must choose plat­forms that make the most sense for their story con­tent and not just add ev­ery plat­form imag­in­able. Once the dif­fer­ent plat­forms have been cho­sen, each one can add a new per­spec­tive or dis­tinc­tive an­gle to the story.

Sto­ries of any form can ed­u­cate, en­ter­tain, en­gage and in­spire. They bring value to things, con­nect peo­ple with one an­other and trans­port au­di­ences to an­other world. Through pow­er­ful sto­ry­telling, brands can not only change their sta­tus in the mar­ket but also com­mu­ni­cate the val­ues and vi­sions that dif­fer­en­ti­ate them. With the help of the ad­vanced technology and dig­i­tal tools avail­able to­day, cus­tomers can be made to truly feel like they are a part of the brand story, across all plat­forms, chan­nels and de­vices. n Find more ar­ti­cles re­lated to dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing un­der our weekly OMDspon­sored se­ries ‘ The Power of Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing’ on the Arab­net web­site.

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