Increase brand awareness, reach and followers with digital storytelling on social media.

digital storytelling and social media

In today’s digital world, information is everywhere and attention spans are short. Digital brand storytelling is essential to reach and engage potential consumers on their preferred social sites.

Creating compelling brand stories is a longtime staple of marketing. The big difference between digital storytelling and its traditional print-based counterpart is how stories are created and where they are distributed. The potential of digital storytelling on social platforms is huge. Marketers can now use multimedia and develop content on the social platforms their target audiences use.

How to master social media through storytelling

  1. Know your brand’s vision and its audience
  2. Be human and persuasive
  3. Create opportunities for customers to share their experiences with your brand
  4. Leverage data to tell compelling digital stories
  5. Keep your digital brand stories short, consistent, and varied
  6. Experiment with design

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What is digital storytelling in marketing?

Digital storytelling is the modern way to tell a brand’s story. In this case, modern means using multimedia tools — like video, audio, images and infographics — to create and share compelling brand narratives designed to attract a target audience’s interest and engage them. Digital stories can be used to share a personal experience, explain an idea or make the case for something. Done well, they bring a brand’s story to life.

Benefits of digital storytelling

  • Digital storytelling cuts through the noise of ads and pop-ups to help you reach your target audience.
  • Digital storytelling builds trust. Your brand story can show your target audience how you can solve their problems and create a personal connection.
  • Digital storytelling draws your target audience to you. It is a critical tool in effective content marketing.

Digital storytelling and social media marketing

Storytelling is at the heart of social media marketing. It’s what can give a brand a voice, enhance your presence on social channels and engage audiences by sharing relatable experiences that connect on a personal level. The goal is to tell potential customers what your brand is about and build trust.

More than 4.5 billion people around the world use social media. That’s 57.6 percent of the world population!

Six digital storytelling best practices for social media

1. Know your brand’s vision and its audience

A clear sense of self is essential to develop brand stories that will earn an emotional connection with your target audience. Who are you in terms of your values, your mission and vision, and why should people care? This goes well beyond providing information about your products. Equally important: understand your audience, their pain points, interests, where they conduct online research and how they like to consume information. Now you can start creating digital stories that will show who you are and deliver value to your target audience.

2. Be human and persuasive

No one wants to be told what to do. The most effective and resonant stories show readers what the author wants them to see and know. It’s left to the reader or viewer to interpret what they are being shown, which invests them in the story. This helps build an emotional connection – a critical influence when it comes to making a buying decision. The quickest way to appear out of touch to consumers is to talk at them rather than to them. Humanize your digital storytelling by putting yourself in your customer’s mindset and relating specific experiences that highlight your brand values.

Brand storytelling is a conversation between you and your target audience designed to build trust. It is not a hard push for a direct sale.

3. Create opportunities for customers to share their experiences with your brand

When it comes to building trust and confidence, customer-generated storytelling is the equivalent of customer reviews and recommendations. While where we shop has shifted from in person to online, we are still looking for ways to reduce the uncertainty around the purchases we make. We turn to reviews and recommendations and rely on other customers’ experiences. It’s important for brands to provide a platform for customers to share their stories.

A few fast facts about the power of reviews:

  • 92 per cent of consumers read at least one review before making a purchase.
  • 88 per cent of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • 97 per cent of consumers say customer reviews factor into their buying decisions.
  • Reviews for local businesses influence up to 10 per cent of the search ranking.

4. Leverage data to tell compelling digital stories

Digital marketing best practices are always changing and adapting to keep pace with emerging technologies and consumer trends. Use data to create the type of content you know is most likely to resonate with your target audience. Create a feedback loop with your target audience to better understand their needs and how you can meet them through your digital storytelling strategy.

Text isn’t the only way to tell a story. Use high-impact visuals to better capture attention. 

5. Keep your digital brand stories short, consistent, and varied

A growing body of research shows attention spans are getting shorter. If you’re telling your brand story via video, the first 15 seconds are critical. This is all the time you have to capture the viewers’ interest if you want to keep them hooked. Once you’ve got them interested and looking for more, make sure your brand’s value proposition is clear. The format and what you choose to highlight may change, but the overarching brand story should be consistent. If it’s not, you risk eroding trust.

Remember, marketing has many levels. Your brand story is not one stand-alone narrative. It’s composed of many digital stories that reflect different goals and share different perspectives and experiences that are relevant to your target audience.

6. Experiment with design

Use A/B testing to try different versions (A and B) of content to see which performs better with users. Key elements to test are headlines, images and descriptive text.

Everywhere they turn, consumers are inundated with ads and brand messaging designed to drive sales. Digital marketing uses empathy to build an emotional connection with people and show them what your brand is about and how you can help. In today’s environment, it’s a critical tool to stand out from your competitors and build trust with your target audience.

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