The Art of Digital Storytelling in Content Marketing
- June 25, 2020
- Brand storytelling, Branding, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Digital Marketing, Digital Storytelling, SEO, Social Media
In the previous blog post, Team Script touched on the importance of digital storytelling in copywriting. In today’s post, we will delve deeper into its role in driving marketing impact.
We live in the age of content oversaturation. The means of content creation has become more affordable thanks to the onset of Web 2.0 and other digital advancements. Subsequently, content marketers are now facing a tougher road ahead in formulating marketing strategies that can grab the audience’s attention.
While some companies have managed to thrive in the spar of creativity, others are facing difficult times. Indeed, the competitive market ecosystem has pushed most companies into overdrive—pressuring them into producing and disseminating content across multiple platforms for the mere sake of visibility. Such a myopic goal can result in the drop of quality for their content strategy, with repetitive and recycled media communications shaping up the future trend.
Also Read: How To Use LinkedIn Polls Effectively For Content Marketing
Cutting Through The Clutter:
It is estimated that a staggering 24,000 gigabytes of data are being uploaded on the Internet in a single second every day. To cut through the clutter, marketers need more than just the necessary infrastructure to produce content. More than ever, they need to utilise their communication tools to drive the company’s brand value to the target audience.
You may ask, how can marketers accomplish such a task? With the endless deluge of content, consumers and important industry leaders now have become more selective and insofar susceptible to the typical advertising tactics riddled with jargon and ingratiating promises. To deliver an impactful, yet authentic message to drive the brand value, companies must leverage the power of digital storytelling.
What is Digital Storytelling?
Storytelling is an inseparable part of human history. From the cave paintings in the prehistoric dwelling place of our ancestors to the modern-day entertainment, such as books and plays, humans have used stories to convey information to each other.
In marketing, storytelling is defined as the act of contextualising an event in a cohesive, descriptive manner to help the audience establish an emotional connection with the story. It is an integral component of a successful content marketing strategy as it allows you to expand your outreach more organically by as much as three times more leads than paid advertising. Content marketing also yields better organic SEO than its paid advertising counterpart with some research even showing results up to 5.66 times more effective.
Invoking Emotions, Creating Actions:
Digital storytelling empowers the brand to communicate their values to their target audience on a more fundamental level. Brands can utilise storytelling to shape the public perception of the principles that they stand for, the products and services in their offerings, and even the events they are trying to organise. Digital storytelling, therefore, pertains to how the brands shape the constellations of their journey across their digital channels to let the audience infer information in a desirable light.
Your stories have the power to spark an emotional response in your audience, from sadness and anger to humour and nostalgia. As such, a good story takes the audience into a journey through varying degrees of emotions in hopes of prompting tangible actions. Researches have gone above and beyond to test this hypothesis out.
In 2006, a team of researchers from Spain have discovered that words and sentences that carry metaphorical meanings may activate several regions in the brain besides the language-processing areas. For example, words that describe motion, such as “He kicked the ball”, have activated parts of our brain devoted to motor abilities. This also applies to the part of our brain responsible for the sense of smell. Certain words like “perfume” and “coffee” trigger the areas of our brain that regulate our olfactory sense. Such a strong correlation between linguistic process and the decision-making process in our brain indicates that good storytelling can drive the audience to take actions.
Also Read: Mastering the Art of SEO Copywriting
The Components of Digital Storytelling
Impactful stories come in many forms. Some are able to make us laugh, while others move us to tears. However, every impactful story possesses certain narrative components that allow the writer’s creativity to thrive. Here are those components:
The Main Character:
We all have heard the saying “every story needs a hero”, and so does your story. It is the primary medium that guides the audience through your entire narrative. The inclusion of one or more characters helps the readers pivot their perspective on the storyline—driving impact.
Researchers have found that regardless of the forms of storytelling, a story centred on conceptualised characters invokes emotional responses from the readers. These characters alongside their intentions, motivations, beliefs, and actions can strongly influence the audience psychologically. Such an influence can translate to a host of marketing impacts. It ranges from a change in perception of the brand to a series of actions in the marketing funnel.
A Good Story Arch:
Every story needs to have a well-structured arch. It helps depict the main character’s journey in identifying and then overcoming the central conflict of the story. The presence of conflict itself is necessary to draw in the audience’s attention and keep them engaged. It derives from the elements that the audience can relate to. In the context of copywriting, its existence is one inspired by the pain points that the audience faces in their day-to-day activities where you—as a marketer—have solutions to offer.
Every story arch also needs a satisfying resolution. This is the part of the story that describes how the conflict has reshaped the main character. It also showcases how such development leads up to the resolution. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula that you need to follow to create an impactful ending as it is a culmination of other elements of the narrative.
This is the part of the story that hugely determines the success of your content strategy. The introduction needs a strong hook to keep the audience engaged throughout the story. Conversely, the ending serves as a confluence of all the story elements. It is the part where the audience can deduce what the author wants to convey to the audience. A good ending isn’t necessarily a happy one. However, it is one that can stir the emotions of the audience and invigorate them to take actions. This is the perfect opportunity for you to summarise your brand message and the values that your company believes in.
Digital Storytelling in Copywriting
The three components of the story above are clearly not exclusive to content marketing only. Every good story in existence has one or more combinations of such components. Nonetheless, digital storytelling in marketing differs, in that it is strategically positioned to convey the brand value to the masses. The story seeks to create a stronger relationship with the existing consumer base.
There’s no better way to drive a point home than to explain it by using a real-life example. Let’s take a look at how the international beauty brand Dove wields storytelling to convey its values:
Dove is among the new wave of beauty brands that seek to dismantle the unhealthy beauty standards imposed by years of sexist and stereotypical portrayals of women in the media. In its endeavour to celebrate inclusivity and body positivity, Dove has launched several campaigns that bring up real stories as a focus of inspiration.
In the #MyBeautyMySay campaign, Dove leveraged its content marketing expertise to capture the stories of everyday women. These women have managed to rise above the challenges against harmful female beauty stereotypes. The stories are personal and genuine to inspire the readers to be the agents of change in society.
Watch also a short video of the campaign below:
If you think your business needs a little help to boost your content marketing game, then you’re in luck. Script Consultants is your trusted content marketing and copywriting agency committed to helping you create an incisive content strategy. We proudly deliver exceptionally high-quality copy that simultaneously meets your target audience’s needs and your company’s marketing objectives. Book a free consultation with us today via email@example.com!
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