<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1982098388738790&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Learn More

It’s a Storytellers’ World, and Were Just Living in It: Why Digital Storytelling is Functional Storytelling

What the reader will be learning by reading this pillar page:

  • A complete understanding of the elements of storytelling
  • Frame storytelling creates
  • The different mediums to tell your story
  • Why telling your story is important

Table of Contents

Digital Storytelling Defined

What would you do if you were told you had to tell the story of your greatest hero? You’d be instantly stressed out. You would ask yourself, “How do I tell this story? How do I tell this story while giving this person proper justice and credit for all they’ve accomplished?” There would be a lot of “how” questions. But if you have the right tool box of ways to tell your story, then the story becomes all the more powerful, simple, and impactful. This is what digital storytelling does for our stories. The goal of this pillar page is to show you the ins and outs of Digital Storytelling. We will define Digital Storytelling, explain why it is a helpful method for marketing brands, show you what Digital Storytelling looks like, and explain how you can incorporate Digital Storytelling projects in your brand marketing.

Digital Storytelling is storytelling that is told with all the tools of technology. Digital media production is best used in addition to traditional storytelling techniques. Digital Storytelling is basically using the digital medium to the best of its ability by enhancing everything traditional storytelling has taught us. Instead of just telling a story orally or with text, digital storytelling uses computer-based images, text, recorded audio, video, animation, music, etc. It’s like instead of just having to have a pencil to draw a picture, you are given the most radical and complex toolbox filled with paints, pastels, charcoal, different kinds of paper and canvas, crayons, markers, and a pencil. Imagine how much better your art, and the story you want to tell would be? This is the core of digital storytelling.

Using digital storytelling in marketing exemplifies how powerful a brand can be without the old-fashioned advertising technique of shoving a product in potential customers face and hoping they respond positively. The invasive technique of guessing and shoving advertising into the market’s face does not consider that the impact of the object and the elements of storytelling is monumental. How can we enjoy things like James Bond? We go and buy that thing because we are not buying a watch, but we are buying a lifestyle, an aesthetic, and a story. Stories cause hormones and endorphins to be released from the brain and make you feel a certain way. Digital storytelling projects are functional because you understand with further depth than traditional storytelling, that you can be a great strength, write down your stories, and then index the story into an unlimited plethora of mediums the digital world has to offer.

The hook is quite possibly the most important part of digital storytelling because of the amount of content that is created through brand marketing, catching someone’s attention has become a difficult feat. The hook is why a piece resonates with an audience. If you create something that doesn’t resonate, people will not feel anything towards the center digital storytelling and your brand. Feeling something is why storytelling in marketing is a crucial part of using the digital medium to make your story heard.

We rarely take the time to properly deconstruct success when it comes to storytelling because it is such a part of the human experience. But in order to develop and evolve, we need to look at where we’ve been. We need to be able to accurately deconstruct success in order to have the best chance of replicating it. This is where the history of storytelling becomes important. When we look at hooks that truly grab us, and stories that are compelling, we can get in the mindset of what works and what doesn’t work. We fall in love with stories if they have proper hooks that spark your attention. Storytelling and hooks are the intersection of writing, creating, and thinking about how storytelling intersects with personal life. It is the cross pollination of life, art, and brand.

Infographics-01

Back to the Top

Creating Your Story—Start with a Topic Cluster

A Topic cluster is a sprouted and expandable idea is where your story is rooted. But from there you need to plan. When creating a topic cluster, these are the things to ask yourself and consider when creating your story.

  • Does the topic you want to rank for have enough search volume to be worth the time and effort?
  • Do you already have content covering the topic? You may be better off using what you have and adding internal links
  • Is the topic something you want to cover in detail? Is this a story you want to be the one to tell?

Then:

  • Map out 5-10 of the core problems that your buyer personally has (survey, interviews, research)
  • Group each of the core topics with subtopics using keyboards
  • Map out content ideas that align with each of the core topics and corresponding subtopics
  • Validate each idea with industry and competitive research
  • Get started; create, measure, design

Tips when creating yours story:

  • Create a list of broad topics that are important to your business. Then fill in each topic with potential keywords business. Then till in each topic with potential.
  • Make sure you have longtail and short tail keywords
  • See how competitors rank for each of them—this will allow you to find gaps in their search strategy and single out important words and phrases to aim for the pillow
  • Create a tracking document to keep track of your existing content and cluster strategy. New is gold.

Back to the Top

Digital Storytelling Tools

As bigger platforms like Facebook and Instagram began taking center stage in the world of social media storytelling, people began spreading out information to each other faster than ever before. Now as these platforms have gotten bigger, they have given brands and influencers the chance to connect further with audiences with live streaming features that have been the catalyst for new content focused on visual storytelling.

With immediate social media, people can now gain a more personalized insight into the previously unreachable world of the brands, stories, people, and events around us. Any major event or life achievement can now be witnessed live by the masses, with popular public figures gaining thousands of views whenever they get online to stream. This allows highly influential companies and public figures to increase engagement with their fans while also building a connection with them. Live feeds build a more personal bond with the viewers as they feel as if they are taking a small part in a developing story. Viewers are able to ask questions and make comments they hope the streamer will react to, giving them the chance to feel linked in some way to the streamers despite the large distance that separates them.

As a trending feature focused on building a stronger connection with people, it not a surprise that we are seeing more and more brands use streaming as a cost-effective marketing tool to spread notoriety.

Users are so drawn to streaming, that 82% of audiences prefer engaging with live videos from a brand than the casual social media post. Live-streaming videos in general are already establishing itself in the market by increasing ad growth 113% each year and giving brands more reason than ever to try out streaming.

This new era of social media users is responsible for this growing trend in storytelling in marketing. Having brands promote themselves on live media creates an interpersonal relation with audiences that are typically turned off by conventional forms of advertising. Nobody really tolerates pop-up ads nowadays, as it interrupts the constant flow of entertainment.

Promoting yourself with visual storytelling through live media helps influence viewers to engage more with your content since you are giving people something worth being invested in instead of skipping. Audiences will now get the chance to feel as if they’ve created a more personal bond with your brand, just as much as they would with any famous streamer. 

Live video has given audiences the opportunity to take part in social storytelling in many different ways, but it's important that you know your followers well before you start streaming.

Back to the Top 

Digital Media

Storytelling has traditionally been told through word of mouth and print media. But there are pros and cons to both print and digital media, and a lot of them are based on what an audience is looking for in their reading experience.

The motivation behind print reading is more intimate. Unless you are in a book club or cutting newspaper clippings to share with friends, print reading is a more personal experience that helps the reader create personal stories. Print publications are tangible objects that you can move in your hands. You actively touch the pages, dog earring the content you like. Maybe you can even smell the ink on a page. It engages some of the senses that are impossible to engage through digital media.

Digital media on the other hand is a more social experience. Maybe you watch a movie with friends or share a story across social media. We retweet, like, or pin the things that we enjoy and revisit them later. Digital is more about the engagement aspect.

These associations with the type of experience an audience is looking for when they choose between the print or digital medium explain why higher memory and comprehension is attached to print but higher engagement is associated with digital.

Print

Most standard print advertising is intrusive, but one method for capturing your target audience's attention creatively with print ads is through advertorials. Advertorials are advertisements disguised as editorials, so they blend in with the rest of the content within a print magazine.

When it comes to creative storytelling with print, the advantage is that there are fewer internal distractions. Unlike digital, which has outside links, millions of pieces of content and digital sidebar ads, the reader is able to more actively pay attention to the content being presented in a print publication.

For content this means that the importance is on the narrative and telling a good story all at once.

Digital

The digital and print worlds are very different in terms of what creative techniques capture people’s attention. The human attention span is at an all-time low. While we might be able to stretch that for print when there are no other off topic content, embedded links, or sidebar ads; we really see the effects of our short attention span in creating digital realm.

With so little time spent by viewers on each piece of content, digital storytellers have only a few seconds to get their story across to their target audience.

The good news is that with digital stories and the digital literacy of your audience, you don't need to tell your whole story all at once. Social media allows you to weave digital narratives across multiple platforms, a method called transmedia storytelling. This technique not only can you cater aspects of your story to the intended audience on each channel, but you can also modify the medium in which you convey that message.

Digital media excels in visual storytelling. In addition to graphics and illustrations, it can utilize motion graphics like videos, gifs, and animated photos. Some social media platforms, like Twitter, also cater to sharing user-generated content which can be a compelling way to share customer testimonials.

Sponsored content is at the forefront of digital advertising. Native advertising uses ads that are designed to blend in with native content on websites. The difference between content marketing and native ads is that native ads are paid advertisements that are designed to look like content, as opposed to actually being it.

Back to the Top 

Storytelling Tools and Techniques

Storytelling is as old as humanity. It is an art that has fluctuated and has never been stagnant. The art of storytelling is an important human quality that dates back to oral tradition. While storytelling has primarily been a means of entertainment, it has concurrently been a way to discuss complex ideas. The ancient Greeks used storytelling techniques to persuade action. The Greek's invention of fables created a tradition of convincing people of some lesson or moral by disguising it as an engaging story. By the 20th century, humanity had molded the fable into the idea of the Narrative Paradigm Theory. This theory supports the idea that all meaningful conversation among humans is done through storytelling and brings forth the sedimentary nature of storytelling.

So how can we utilize the power of storytelling in modern rhetoric to improve our persuasive capabilities?

According to rhetorical theory, the basis of rhetoric is broken up into five sections; invention, arrangement, style, delivery and memory. The art of storytelling can be implemented into each of these to take advantage of humans’ natural tendency towards stories.

02 (1)

 

See What Makes Your Story Connect

 

Back to the Top

Storytelling Software

Certain stories resonate with particular types of people differently. When crafting a message, whether it be in the form of advertising or a marketing campaign, it’s important to keep in mind who your intended viewer is in order to make it as engaging for that group as possible.

Your target audience is an overarching term representing everyone who might be interested in your message. It’s important to note that the population that makes up your target audience is not all alike. People are attracted to messages for different reasons. Your target audience is made up of all your audience data, which means it’s made up of different kinds of people with very different motivations and needs.

It’s unrealistic to think that a company should cater different messages to every single data point that makes up their target audience. This is why audience segmentation is important. If you take a look at the different segments that make up your target audience and what resonates with those different groups, you can A) cater marketing messages to the most profitable segments and B) make sure no important groups are being left out of your marketing efforts. 

The best way to approach this is to look for patterns within your target audience in order to help you reach the largest and most profitable segments of people. The patterns that come about from your audience data reveal sub-audiences. Each audience segment is a different “type” of person, called a customer persona. Each persona represents a group of people within your target audience that share similar wants, needs, and motivations regarding your product or message.

From a marketing perspective identifying these different segments is crucial because certain segments of your audience are more profitable than others. When creating marketing campaigns or other targeted content it is important that you are creating things that are most engaging with those segments.

Once marketers understand the different segments of their audience, they can use it to make optimal decisions regarding advertising, marketing, and content creation.

7 tips to telling your brand's story

Back to the Top

Digital Storytelling Techniques

A social media management tool helps to manage how to tell your stories in the most efficient way possible. Different tools differ in how much they assist with the social media management process. This scale goes from basic manual platforms where you can manually schedule tweets and other social media posts all in the same place, to AI platforms implement content and deployment strategy to help improve engagement and click through rates. 

Content and deployment suggestions are where social media AI's really shine. The first step in using social media effectively is knowing when to post and to which social account to get your target audience to see it.

The second step is putting together the best post that grabs the attention of your audience so that it doesn't get lost in the sea of other content on social media. Many elements come together to form the most engaging piece of content. Social media platforms are different in terms of audience and ideal content. It’s important to recognize these differences and use each social media channel in the optimal way.

In addition to making the process quicker and easier, it is also effective in raising social media engagement numbers.

Back to the Top 

Videos

Branded films are a key way marketer capture the attention of their target audience in an indirect and engaging way.

Brand films are videos that are created in order to indirectly talk about aspects of brand story. Although these movies are usually only a few minutes in length, they are approached stylistically as a short film. Brand films can be useful to marketers as a means of engaging a target audience. It’s a method of connecting people to a brand through a story that the target audience is interested in.

The first thing to consider when making a brand film is what your brand goal is when creating a brand film.

Are you doing it to connect with your audience on an interpersonal level? To show off a brand narrative or interest? Effect audience emotions?

Brand films are not necessarily about the company itself. In fact, it is recommended that your brand be a feature rather than the focus of a brand film. Think of them almost like brand sponsored product placement rather than a direct marketing campaign. Although brand films shouldn't be centered around the brand, they should capture the brand essence.

Put AI to Work for You

Your brand narrative differentiates you from other competitors that sell similar products or services. It’s the special aspect of your brand story that forms a shared purpose between you and your customers. In the case of Lyft, their brand narrative is heavily influenced on the relationships that are formed in the ride sharing community. It’s this aspect of their brand narrative that makes them stand out when compared to similar services like Uber. 

Humor is one of the key ways we made brand personas feel more human. In this case, in addition to the video going viral and gaining huge amounts of brand awareness because of the humor, it also framed the Metro transportation center as a funny character as opposed to an un-interactive entity.

Cinematic fiction films are stylistically the most like an actual movie and sometimes features well-known actors. They are essentially a 10-minute movie that features a product front and center. By crafting a story around an inanimate object, you can make it come to life in a memorable way.

digital_storytelling

Back to the Top 

Photos and Social Media

A brand story is important in telling people why they should care about your company. Why when we have millions of other choices of similar products, services, and employers, we should choose you.

But, what is the role visual storytelling plays in telling a multidimensional brand story across social media. While visual content can include videos and infographics we will be diving into the importance of photos.

Building Your Story on Social Media

Building a story across social media directly relates to the idea of transmedia storytelling. It’s the concept of weaving your brand story across multiple media platforms in order to tell a more complete story. This method of digital storytelling allows your audiences across your social networks to interact with all of the integrated pieces that make up your overarching story. When using it to tell a visual story, the high-quality photos you choose need to create a visual narrative that back up your overarching one.

Transmedia storytelling is useful to marketers because it helps develop your brand personality as a full character. You want to be able to show different sides of your brand on different social media channels, much like a human would.

While any single piece of visual content and each of your social platforms should be able to stand alone, together they add a multidimensional aspect to your brand story. By using different medias to tell your story you can and should cater content to your different audiences across your different socials and play to the typical strengths of the different medias. 

Despite the use of different posts and different channels, all the messages should work together to form one cohesive story. Your overall story told across the whole of your social media channels should simultaneously be non-redundant and non-contradictory. This means that while you are posting different content to each site, none of the elements should send opposing messages.

Your individual posts on each social media channel come together to tell a story across one social, and all of your socials come together to tell one overarching story. All three of those elements come together to tell your brand story. 

02-3

The Overarching Story

The overall brand story should be the part of your brand identity that connects with people. What is the “shared purpose” that you and your consumers can work towards together. 

Your overall brand story should demonstrate a couple things about your brand. It should show the company vision, communicate its strategy, and embody the culture. Every brand narrative is a little different, yours should be authentic and make sense with the history of your company.

Once you identify your intended overarching story, stay true to it through your visual storytelling on social media.

The Story of Each Social Media Channel

Social media marketing is an important aspect of sharing your digital story. Since the audience on each social media channel within a brand is slightly different, you need to cater the specific aspect of your story you want to share on each particular social media site. When it comes to photos there are certain trends of types that do well on some social media channels but do poorly on others.

It’s also important to remember that every photo you post is an opportunity to expand on your brand story. Brands, like people, should be multidimensional. While everything should come together to back up your brand narrative, you can tell different aspects of your brand story on different socials.

6 Ways Brands Tell Their Stories Through Social Media

Instagram: What Are You Passionate About?

Instagram is a great place to tell the world what you are passionate about visually. When you look at the Instagram of Coca-Cola for example, a lot of what you see is people together as a community happily sharing a drink. This demonstrates the aspect of Coca-Cola’s brand story which is that they are passionate about bringing people together. You don't necessarily need to know the tagline “share a coke” to see from their Instagram that this is what they care about.

Facebook: Who Are You? Where Have You Been?

Across all your socials your “profile pic” will remain consistent and be very brand specific, usually your logo. This is because you want people to be able to immediately recognize your social handle.

However, on Facebook in addition to your profile picture you can also have a cover photo, which allows some room for creativity. While a brand profile picture will rarely change, your cover photo can be changed up as often as you please to demonstrate who you are now and where you have been.

Twitter: How Do You Interact with People?

Twitter is awesome because you can retweet user-generated content and post original tweets with images. Retweeting photos that happy customers post is a great way to engage with your followers and show the kind of communication you strive for.

LinkedIn: What Do You Do?

This is where you can tell your audience why you are passionate about what you do professionally. You can share visual news here like photos of collaborations, panels, or professional events. The photos that get shared on LinkedIn should show the people within your organization living up to company values and working towards your collective goal.

Snapchat Stories: What’s going on behind the scenes?

This is the most casual of the social media channels. It is great for “behind the scenes” photos of the office or company events. Influencer “take overs” are also a good way to utilize photos on snapchat. Let a brand influencer take over your snapchat story for the day to engage with your customers.

The key to what to post to social media is understanding the different audiences you have on each of your social channels. There are some very general commonalities of the types of information you should share via visual storytelling on your different socials. However, the science behind what is most engaging goes much deeper.

Each industry has very different spans of audiences and each brand itself has different segments of audiences on different social channels. The best way to know for sure you are posting what is best for your audience is by analyzing the audience data for you, competitors, and your industry.

Learn More About Using AI to Boost Engagment

The Story of a Post

If we learned anything from National Geographic's photos of the year, it’s that even a single photo can tell a powerful story. This is why choosing the correct high-quality images is important. Each individual piece of content adds important information and social media channels that allow more than one photo to be posted at once can often tell a compelling narrative. 

Twitter and Instagram both allow you to share multiple photos at once, but in a different way.

For Instagram, a multi-photo post must be viewed in a specific order, meaning you can use it to show a narrative or sequence of events. When you share multiple photos at once on Twitter, it shows up at a collage of the multiple photos in your audience’s photo stream. This means that a single post can share a story, but it isn't a forced narrative. 

Snapchat vs Instagram colorful-01

Back to the Top

Graphics

As the world has gotten smaller and more technologically innovative, it has become necessary for the average consumer to adapt to seeing more information and with more frequency.

Attention spans are shorter and when followers read a blog post, they usually lose interest after the first few paragraphs and start to skim or assume they got ‘the gist’ and move onto an entirely different post. This is mainly because people nowadays want information that is easy to digest and is straight to the point.

Making bullet points can be one way to make information more accessible, however this can be just as boring to get through as if it were a whole page of text. In a world where companies struggle to get people’s attention for more than a few minutes, using infographics is one of the more fun and imaginative ways you can draw in an audience. 

Tell a Story

People love a good origin story, but these days it’s hard to tell a strong origin story when 79% of people skim through text rather than actually read it to completion. A strong title can catch someone’s immediate attention, but that attention is fleeting. In reality, they will just end up skipping around and skimming after the first paragraph.

So why not accept step-by-step instructions and try to implement a new way to create content?

Why not create infographics as a way to tell your brand's story?

With infographics, an interesting narrative is told in a simple and colorful way. The visual aspects become just as much of the content as the actual writing. A good infographic can make people feel more engaged because it gives them a unique experience. Your creative format can sort of work as a short comic with graphs.

You can decorate it with colorful characters or settings that will keep your audience invested longer than if it were translated into long tedious pages of text, while also giving them a visual representation of what you're trying to say with images. Important chucks of information can be told through visual content that portrays interesting and intriguing situations that helped build up your company from the ground up.

Remember not to be afraid to try something unique with your stories, even if it might sound cheesy (trust me, there are many people out there that will enjoy it regardless).

Showing the Big Picture

Designing infographics are the best way someone can present their ideas in a clear and creative perspective. There’s no better way of putting things into perspective through infographics. It is the best way you get put large amounts of information into a simple concise format that can be both creative, thought-provoking, and easy to understand.

Simplifying a Complex Topic

An effective infographic can instantly make a boring and complex topic interesting by putting large chunks of information into a format that’s easy to follow and understand. Full Plate Living is one organization that successfully used infographics to teach kids the complex idea of what to eat and portion sizes.

For a kid, the idea of having a balanced diet isn’t something they’re too eager to learn about, and most of the time it’s taught in such a boring way that it won’t really convince any kid to change their eating habits in the long run.

Infographics help put this complex topic into a clear perspective for the reader, helping them see the bigger picture through visualization and graphical elements. 

Make Any Topic Look Interesting

There is no such thing as a boring concept when creating infographics. You can make it as silly and creative as you like, as long as you convey your ideas in a way that makes a more complex idea simplified by graphics. Hootsuite, a program for managing social media platforms, used the holiday season to create an infographic based around a Christmas themed concept.

They tracked user mentions of a company on various social media platforms and blog posts and based on the percentage of positive and negative mentions the brand was put on the naughty or nice scale. Through their data they managed to find out the average positive/negative rating for 8 different industries ranging from retail to technology, giving audiences a quick and fun look at how people think of certain companies.

Always aim to create something that is visually and graphically unique, especially one with the potential to be shared across social media. Keep in mind that just the right infographic design can captivate your followers and attract new attention towards your brand. 

Digital-storytelling

Back to the Top

Gifs

People like to laugh. It’s plain and simple. A little humor can go a long way when turning an ordinary story into an enjoyable one. However, when it comes to digital storytelling, sometimes it can be hard to get humor across without tone or nonverbal cues (anyone who has ever sent a sarcastic text only to have it horribly misunderstood can probably relate). That leaves us with the question of how can both people and brands harness the power of humor to tell better digital stories. The answer is GIFs. 

Frankly, if you don't know what a GIF is by now then you are missing out on a genuinely enjoyable culture. For all the Patrick Stars out there, who live under a rock, I’ll briefly explain the concept of a GIF. GIF stands for graphics interchange format. While technically a GIF is a file format that any animation or static image can be put in, much like a JPEG or PDF, it means something a little different when its used as cultural jargon.

For our purposes the term GIF or animated GIF refers to any short animation that runs on a loop. Sometimes they are from homemade videos, but more often than not they are pulled from pop culture like movies, TV shows, famous figures, etc. The on-trend GIFs come and go, but the most popular ones are usually harness a specific kind of mood. They show a relatable feeling or action that is better described through animation than words. All caught up? Good. Find the concept of a GIF a little ambiguous? You'll get what I mean when you see some examples.

giphy (2)-4

In the storytelling arena, GIFs are used to enhance a story told in a digital medium. Think of them as emojis 2.0. They add exact moving emotion to a story and lead to a more accurate portrayal by the storyteller.

They are so good at conveying stories that sometimes they can replace the written part all together. Who needs to tell their friend about the four breakdowns they had from studying all day when they have a GIF of Kim Kardashian crying that conveys what they're feeling better than any words ever could?

In addition to working in a conversational setting, GIFs can also stand alone with just a title. This method works similar to memes. The caption of the GIF provides the context of the story. These GIF stories are relatable because of the that situational context. It’s something a majority of the audience has experienced and therefore we can relate to the mood of the GIF.

giphy-22

Finally, GIFs don't have to be used exclusively by the storyteller. They are a great way to show a response or reaction to a story accurately. Reaction GIFs are contingent on whatever else was said in the context, not internally within the GIF. They demonstrate nonverbal cues that the storyteller would have been able to see on their audience if the story had been told face to face.

GIFs are widely loved and enjoyed for a couple of reasons. They are extremely short, recognizable, relatable, and probably most importantly, they can add humor and reliability to any situation.

Visual Storytelling

As humans we are drawn to visuals. The human brain processes images significantly faster than text. In fact, around 60,000 times faster. This tendency of people to crave visual content is reinforced by the wave of visual social medias such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Snapchat. Culturally we also lean towards storytelling as a means so sharing information. The method for telling stories called visual storytelling is extremely effective because we can easily and quickly process it. A moving image tell a complete story in only a moments time in a way that’s easily understood by our brains.

See What Makes Your Story Connect

Short n' Sweet

The average adult spends 2 hours a day on social media, and the average teen spends 9. That’s a crazy amount of time for the consumption of content. Statically the amount of information we are being presented with is drastically going up, and on top of that, our attention spans are quickly going down.

In 2018, and the average human has an 8 second attention span and millions of options of actual content. This makes it really hard for marketers and content creators to even get a single message across to viewers before they swipe on down. GIFs are highly concentrated with engaging information and only take a few second to view. This makes them an ideal way to form a quick but significant relationship with your audience.

giphy (1)-8

Humor

A GIF is an inside joke between the storyteller and audience. If you don't know the animation or don't relate with the context you won’t understand the humor. But if you use GIFs with your intended audience in mind, the results can be quite positive. They can also foster themes and ongoing narratives between a brand and consumers.

How Brands Can Use GIFs

GIFs aren’t just for interpersonal storytelling. They can be a powerful tool in content marketing to connect and engage with your audience. Content that contains GIFs have higher click-through rates than those without. As mentioned above, the 3 main uses of humor GIFs in storytelling are telling a stand-alone story, in conversation, or as a reaction. The place where brands can build this content web is with their audience is on social media.

GIFs are an effective tool for engaging with your social media audience. By incorporating GIFs in your content, you can subtly tell stories about your brand that entertain your audience and push potential customers towards your landing page.

So how do brands pick the perfect GIF?

Using quality GIFs is important if you want your message to be clear. Giphy is a great GIF search engine for finding already made GIFs. Although they do have a setting where you can make your own, this website specializes in pop culture GIFs and keeping up with what’s on trend. It has a GIF keyboard where you can search for GIFs by emotion or action, using keywords like “happy” or “sorry”. They also have a homepage where they update trending GIFs. 

Using pop culture GIFs are a great way to connect to a younger demographic in an engaging way. But here’s the thing, if you are going to use pop culture GIFs you need to know the pop culture context. Be careful to pick GIFs that come from shows or characters that still align with your brand image. When brands use GIFs it’s about more than just being funny. It’s about enhancing your brand story, so choose wisely. 

One way to avoid this challenge all together to create GIFs based directly off of your brand. A GIF maker like gifs.com is great for creating GIFs. You can use videos of important company people (like videos of the CEO or other employees), brand TV commercials, or other snippets of your brand to create an engaging GIF of your own. This has the added benefit of being directly related to your brand story as you are the actual subject of the GIF.

You can even bridge a brand image or video with a pop culture GIF by using GIF stickers, which as the name suggests is a cutout GIF that you can drag and drop on your own piece of content. Instead of using just a text context in the form of a title, stickers use the visual context of whatever image you are attaching them too. They also can be added to Instagram stories and snapchat stories, which expands what socials you can use GIFs on.

Branded GIFs can have many uses outside of humor, they can be an engaging product preview, short video infographics, or even just a visually pleasing piece of content. But since our focus today is on using GIFs to add some humor to your story, let’s look at a couple of examples of branded GIFs that do this well. 

03-2

Back to the Top

Virtual Reality

There is an entire new medium for Digital Storytelling—virtual reality. Ever since virtual reality headsets started to gain popularity, audiences have had the chance to hop into their favorite games and experience exciting new worlds. While this technology has become a growing trend in video games, I believe people often forget the impact virtual reality can do to our own reality. Slowly but surely, this technology has begun to influence our culture and is changing the way we can participate in different events. I think it’s a matter of time before we start seeing virtual reality make an impact on different aspects of our lives, so here are some major changes it has made so far in the real world.

Artists have always been at the forefront of creative expression. From Van Gogh to Picasso, artists have keenly kept an open mind to trying out innovative techniques that can enhance their creativity and ultimately give their audience something unique. This is why many new artists are looking into using a virtual environment as their new canvas.

Applications like Googles Tilt Brush are doing just that by using your own room as a portrait. This gives artists a large virtual platform to create 3D artwork with a dynamic palette of colors and textures such as snow, fire, and even smoke. The art is also given a new perspective as it can be viewed from many angles, giving people the chance to even walk around inside the artwork to gain a close-up view of the brushstrokes.

However, some artists are using virtual reality devices to go far beyond just making 3D drawings. 

If virtual reality can make big changes in how we experience and create art, museums will likely follow along with the same immersive technology. Museums like the Franklin Institute are jumping in on this trend by using virtual reality as a new medium for exploration. Some of their exhibits now contain immersive films that transform different settings into an educationally immersive virtual reality playground where people can explore deep oceans, go far into outer space or even get a closer look inside the human body.

Back to the Top

Engaging with your target audience is not a single step process. In order to really captivate the attention of your social media audience it requires a stellar overall content strategy, optimizing individual posts, and posting them when and where your audience will see them. Artificial Intelligence can play a role in each of these individual processes to captivate a brand’s audience in the best way possible. 

analytics-and-digital-storytelling-9-638
 

A Great Offer, Just a Click Away

Understanding posting patterns that lead to better - or worse - performance on social will help any brand in finding the best way to reach their audience online.

SocialTimesBook-1

Subscribe by Email

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think

B2B Marketing Zone