People have been telling stories since forever. At REC., we train and launch storytellers for the digital world of today and tomorrow. But why is telling stories so important? Here are the reasons why we think digital storytelling is an interesting skill for content makers, marketeers, journalists and creatives.
Storytelling might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of business and marketing, but it is a skill to be reckoned with. Why? Because our brain is wired for stories. People are much more likely to remember a story than cold hard facts. So as a content maker or marketeer, you should tell the story behind your product or service. Do not sum up reasons, facts and data why your product is unique, but tell it with a story. People like seeing people. They do not want to receive a list with information about your product, they want to see how other people use it, why your company is helping people. By telling stories, you avoid the pitfall of coming across as someone who is only interested in sales. It allows you to distinguish yourself from the rest and to engage with your audience.
Beautiful Destinations, for example, is the creative agency behind different travel companies. The agency makes online travel videos on Facebook, Instagram stories and YouTube. Beautiful Destinatons often makes videos with influencers, showing their personal travel experiences. They sell experiences, not trips.
In this age where journalism and social media are intertwined, it is important to make an article which makes people stop scrolling through their newsfeed. Every news item contains a story. Data journalists can use storytelling to bring facts and data to life. Stories make a news item relatable to your readers. They will be more likely to share your news item on social media if it contains a good story. A news item without a human aspect will have a fair amount of shares and likes, but add a personal story, and you will see a boost in your engagement. One way to boost your engagement is using video. Journalists increasingly use video as a stoytelling tool.
Today, news items are covered in one of the following two ways. The first way is called 'embedded journalism', where the journalist is portrayed as the main character of the story behind the news item. The journalist is more than a reporter. His or her opinion and emotions play an important role. The second way in which news items are covered does not focus on the journalist, but on a strong characters. People for whom the news item plays a role in their every day life.
Here are two examples focussing on people who have a strong connection with a particular news item:
The Guardian made an online video series on YouTube and Facebook about the Catalan independence referendum. With 'I am Catalan', the newspaper tells the personal story behind the news item. The series consist of five videos, every video tells the story of a Catalan inhabitant.
The New York Times followed ambulance workers during the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in Liberia. This video shows what they were confronted with:
Through digital storytelling, creators can use the internet and social media as a canvas. Before the breakthrough of social media, artists worked exclusively analogue. Digital storytelling opens up new ways for creatives to break loose from their ‘analogue’ skills, such as dance, video, drawing, plastic arts... 'Online' becomes a new platform for their creative outlet.
Digital storytelling is a way to break the fourth wall. Artists are in immediate and constant interaction with their audience. Social media and digital storytelling have changed the way people experience art. Social media users can immediately interact with art. For example, they can make their own choices in video games, take part in an interactive documentary, experience Virtual and Augmented Reality...
Musketon, a young Belgian graphic designer, tells his creative story through social media. He posts videos of his creative process on YouTube and Instagram. He also answers questions and shows parts of his personal life on Instagram stories.
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