Stories are valuable, magical and timeless.
This is especially the case when educating, inspiring and persuading people. Even in the digital world.
They tap into our subconscious mind and emotions, and they provide mind-food; for people to consider, ruminate and often rebirth. The underlying feelings of a story often cling to the reader and they reemerge – as a somehow familiar moment – making the story part of their own.
Since ancient times, sharing stories and unifying metaphors have created commonality that contributes to shared meaning.
It’s for this reason that storytelling is an invaluable method used in writing and marketing. People adopt stories and the ideas they contain far easier, quicker and with less resistance than just facts.
People are hardwired to listen to stories, even in the internet age.
The rise of digital communication has led to a concurrent rise of digital storytelling.
Digital Storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling. Digital stories derive their power by weaving images, music, narrative and voice together, thereby giving deep dimension and vivid colour to characters, situations, experiences, and insights. Tell your story now digitally.
– Leslie Rule, Digital Storytelling Association
Digital storytelling is a new term, arising from a grassroots movement that uses new digital tools to help ordinary people tell their own ‘true stories’ in a compelling and emotionally engaging form. These stories are usually short (less than 8 minutes) and can be interactive.
It also covers a variety of new forms of digital narratives – web-based stories, interactive stories, hypertexts, and narrative computer games. Digital stories are most often autobiographical ‘mini movies’ created and edited by people like you – using computers, cameras, scanners and photos.
Due to the power of the method and the new digital tools available, ‘digital stories’ now refers to any type of film-making. This medium is often used for advertising and promotional work for both commercial and non-profit enterprises.
Brands are now expected to act and be like people.
Stories can form the fabric behind brands, building powerful attitudes, behaviour and characteristics into the brand itself – giving it human characteristics.
But storytelling (digital or otherwise) isn’t just about pushing messages.
As metaphorical tools they are power tools and must be used responsibly. Don’t just push; it’s about building a feeling, a mood and a relationship of some type that is valuable to both parties involved.
‘Framing’ is a technique used in communication and storytelling that selects and highlights certain aspects of a situation over others – so that one meaning is accepted over another by listeners. A good ‘framer’ carefully highlights the meaning in a situation that serves their vision best.
For those wanting to use stories to metaphorically support an idea or brand, find stories where your ‘frame’ is built into the story. Build up a stock of effective stories when working on your storytelling. Try mining history, myths and legends for examples that people can identify with and embrace.
Bring your benefits to life with a story, because people believe stories, not lists of facts.
Nothing else draws a reader like an engaging story.
Photo via stock.xchng user jaylopez