Digital Storytelling for Small Business

Every business has a story.

Storytelling is the act of sharing stories—a engaging form of human expression. While everyone can tell a story, a successful storyteller can fine-tune their message for greater impact. Using story, you can capture an audience’s attention and define the way your business is perceived by the greater community.

As an extension of traditional storytelling, digital storytelling involves sharing a narrative through digital content—video, animation, photos, images, and sound. This format engages viewers and usually focuses on life-changing events or turning points in people’s lives.

It can also be used to attract customers with the story behind a business.

Due to the captivating nature of stories, audiences are more likely to engage with and respond to marketing that tells a good story, making digital storytelling a key component of successful marketing campaigns.

So what should you include in your business story? Two vital ingredients are conflict and resolution. In terms of conflict, try to convey how you overcame challenges to get to where you are today. This sense of conflict and the way you surmounted it is what will engage and resonate with your audience. It’s true that many businesses are hesitant to share anything that could be viewed as a weakness—but your audience will struggle to relate to perfection. Powering on in the face of conflict with humanise your business and keep your audience hooked to the end of the story (and beyond, we hope).

Don’t forget to include a resolution at the end. This doesn’t have to be picture perfect but show how you overcame the conflict and the ways your business is working to accomplish its mission now. This could be accompanied by a call to action—a kind of Help Us Out—or it can end as a story of strength that inspires trust in your brand.

A warning for the small business storyteller: don’t accidentally turn your business’s real story into a highlights reel. You can do that separately, marketed differently, but this is your brand story. Remember, overcoming adversity is what people will relate to—a journey of highs and lows that brought you to where you are today.

The authenticity of your business story lies in its ‘voice’. Who is telling the story and how will they convey emotion? Authenticity is all about being genuine and acknowledging the human behind your brand. This also means you don’t need to make your story grander than it really is. People like the truth, even if it’s humble!

Once you’ve determined the best angle for your story, decide which digital format will be best to tell it. A video with an interview? A written post with supporting images or illustrations? A podcast? Each format has its own strengths and weaknesses, but whichever medium you choose, remember that a human focus will capture and maintain your audience’s attention.

For more information on digital storytelling, book in with a Digital Solutions mentor and discuss the best approach for your business.

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