What is storytelling in digital marketing

Digital storytelling: tell and experience

Stories are carried away and let what is told become tangible. You can also take advantage of this in marketing - with digital storytelling you can reach your audience better and convey your content more easily.

Marketing is always about reaching the addressee with your own message. It does not matter whether you want to convince a potential customer of a new product, whether the brand loyalty of an existing customer is to be strengthened through a campaign or a company wants to attract potential applicants. Because only when the message is heard and understood can it have an impact. So the question is: How do I get my message across? A tried and tested method is so-called storytelling - but what exactly is this term? And does this remedy always work the same or are there special features to consider when it comes to digital storytelling? Answers to these and many other questions about digital storytelling can be found in the following article.


What is (digital) storytelling?

In marketing, storytelling is a method in which the message is embedded in a story in order to better reach the target group. In comparison to "bare" facts, stories activate additional areas of the brain so that the recipient is reached on an emotional level and can experience the whole thing. This helps to build a bond, to make connections and information easier to understand and thus to better convey the message.

In the digital age, this method can be transferred to various channels, such as social media or your own company website. This of course also makes new elements such as images, sound and videos available - and thus new possibilities.


What are the differences between classic and digital storytelling?

In terms of their basic effect, the classic and digital versions of storytelling are very similar, but the latter has a lot more design elements available. In classic storytelling, the focus is on the text: the recipient reads it and experiences the story along with it. In the digital area, stories can also be told using images - individually or in the form of a series of images - audio formats and videos. Text can still play a role in this, but it often takes a back seat as the brain can process images, language and music more quickly and these trigger emotions more easily. It's even easier to get the story across.


What can digital storytelling achieve?

Marketing measures must not be selected arbitrarily just because they are perhaps “hip” at the moment - the focus must always be on the benefit. Therefore, when it comes to digital storytelling, you should always ask yourself: What do I want to achieve with it? And what can I achieve with it?

Digital storytelling can be counted as content marketing, i.e. informative or entertaining content is used to achieve a specific goal. Which one this is of course depends on the company's particular situation - but there is actually no thematic limitation. Classic goals such as increasing sales or acquiring new customers are just as conceivable as trust-building measures, advice, recruiting campaigns or an explanation of complex issues. As long as you can find a suitable story for it, virtually any marketing goal can be implemented with digital storytelling.


How do you tell a story correctly in digital form?

If you want to use digital storytelling successfully, two things are particularly important: The choice of the right medium and a good dramaturgy. If you want to tell a story, you should first consider the best way to convey it. Is a video the best form or is a single picture enough? The available budget can also play a role here. Telling an elaborate story in a video could be too expensive - a good narrator reading the story is much cheaper, but can be just as effective.

The second important element in digital storytelling is the dramaturgy. Your story must thrill the listener or viewer and have a completed story arc. It should follow the classic structure of a script - it consists of three acts: exposition, confrontation and dissolution. So first there is an introduction, then it comes to the central problem, which is followed by a resolution at the end.


Which platform is suitable for digital storytelling?

Since digital storytelling is an extremely diverse method of marketing, it can also be used on a variety of platforms. For example, a film on the company website would be conceivable, but also a video on YouTube or Facebook, a podcast, a blog or vlog post or even an email or a newsletter.

The same applies here, of course: Choose the platform that suits your story and the goals you are pursuing. If you only want to reach existing customers, the newsletter would be a good choice. If, on the other hand, you want to address a broad audience, your own website or YouTube would be more suitable.


Data explained simply: data-driven storytelling

Complex facts and data are often difficult to convey. The topic is often very dry, and the context requires the full attention of the listener - problems are often inevitable. Digital storytelling can also be a valuable tool in this case. If the data is packaged in an exciting story, the connecting elements are easier to understand and the data is better received by the listener. In the case of particularly complex data, data-driven storytelling can also be used very well in combination with other means, such as instructions or infographics, in order to convey the information more easily.

This special form of digital storytelling, data-driven storytelling, is particularly suitable for preparing challenging topics and is therefore often used to present specific projects or measures to potential customers.


Examples of digital storytelling

In order to give you a clear picture of the possibilities of digital storytelling, we have selected two successful examples. First of all, there is the YouTube channel from MySwitzerland.com, the Switzerland Tourism website. In order to arouse the visitor's desire to travel, there are a number of videos on the channel that tell in small stories what you can experience in Switzerland. The personal touch gives the stories special emphasis.

The online retailer Galaxus, on the other hand, relies on the entertainment value of its stories on its YouTube channel. Various products that are available at Galaxus will be presented and tested - not in a boring and dry way, but rather packaged in a funny story. For example, a mobile pizza oven is being tested by an Italian pizza maker, who compares the result with the pizza from the oven at home.



Even in the digital age, storytelling has lost none of its effectiveness. Rather, the various new ways to tell stories have made it even more effective and versatile. Tell your story too - and use digital storytelling to reach your audience.


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