One of the benefits to telling a story through digital media is its ability to allow a storyteller to weave it together from multiple medias. The idea behind transmedia storytelling is that you can tell a wholistic story by sharing individual parts of the story in a non-chronological way in different forms. By linking the aspects of your story together, an audience can find their way to other parts of the story and discover for themselves the meaning behind it.
A brand story in particular, benefits from this web of storytelling. Digital media allows a brand to show different aspects of their personality and tell stories that back up their brand narrative in different ways. While doing this, they can use links to provide further depth for an individual story, and help build up an overarching narrative.
A brand story is not one single story. It’s how all the individual stories come together to back up one narrative message. Digital links help make this possible. Read on to learn 6 ways that hyperlinks help weave a digital story together.
Here on the Cortex blog we have talked extensively about how different digital media platforms cater to different messages. In order to tell a story that resonates with the most people, it’s important to take into consideration how different messages are received on different platforms.
This is not to say that there is not some overlap in audiences on digital medias. Many of us are on multiple social media platforms and websites. We move swiftly from one to the next. Linking together different stories on different medias helps provide a cohesive overarching story.
Digital linking weaves together a company website, their blog, their socials, and any other digital marketing platforms that are in use. These digital links come in many forms.
The most obvious one is a classic hyperlink through the body of the text in a piece of written content that takes you to another site.
Hyperlinking images can also connect web sites and blogs to social media by including social buttons.
Digital linking weaves a story together through embedded images, videos, or other social content directly into a long form story.
When it comes to the long form, written content tells a brand story, such as a brand website or blog, and each written piece represents a different “chapter” of a brand story that all come together to tell the overarching narrative.
Weaving together a digital story is only possible because of digital links. Weaving goes back to the idea of transmedia storytelling and the non-chronological story. No matter what brought the audience to a company website or blog, they should be able to easily access other sections of the brand story.
Digital linking tells an audience where to go next. It shows how the different chapters overlap and what the reader should read next depending on their interests. Hyperlinks allow an audience to easily click to related stories which helps tell a complete story. By weaving multiple aspects of your story together, the audience gets a better idea of the narrative as a whole.
Showing an audience where to go next also has the added benefit of developing a brand story more deeply. Through digital linking you can guide people down the marketing funnel by moving them to articles that are more deeply related to a brand product.
Emails allows a storyteller to communicate directly with their audience and send a message straight to their inbox. Very little of a brand story is told in the body of a marketing campaign email.
Using links in an email help move an audience into different stages of considering a brand. The main goal of email marketing is to get people’s attention so that they will want to click through to where your story lies.
When it comes to email marketing, the most important part of digital linking is making the links engaging and inviting.
Hyperlinking images is one way to do this. People engage with visuals more than text alone and are more likely to click on an image link than a textual one. Another way is to create a call to action button that stands out.
Email campaigns are best kept short so digital linking has the added benefit of being able to provide additional information to those who want it. By hyperlinking the text to certain topics, people can know exactly what you are talking about while keeping the text in the actual email relatively short.
Finally, you can link to socials in an email. Hyperlinking social media information is more effective than simply writing out your user handles and expecting a reader to look it up. Embedding tweets or other social content within an email is a good way to capture the attention of your audience.
Digital links are extremely useful in clarifying topics in your story that the audience may or may not understand.
Instead of having to disrupt the narrative voice to explain something in depth, you can internally or externally link to something that gives more information so that only the members of the audience that need the information need to click the link.
One of the great things about social media is its ability to tell a shortened story in a visual way. Social media posts typically tell a shortened version of a story for the sake of keeping text to a minimum.
But sometimes a full story is needed to truly understand a message. It’s hard to think of a single social network that doesn't use linking to outside stories as part of their storytelling process. Digital links mean you can use visual elements to capture the attention of an audience and then connect them to the full story.
Finally, digital links are an important part of building SEO. SEO is highly related to topical authority. Linking to articles that rank with high authority on necessary topics builds up the authority of your page as well. Internal and external links to key topics help you cover multiple topics in one piece of content. This in turn helps a piece of content rank higher in search engines.
By choosing the text of a hyperlink with SEO in mind, the storyteller is able to use it as part of a strategy for building content ranking, and therefore influencing the amount of views. The most useful digital links in terms of SEO are when the text of the link key word surrounding the topic you are writing about.
Another added benefit to including internal links is that people will spend more time on your website reading other articles on your blog, which increases the SEO value of those pages as well.