Modern Brands are looking for ways to connect with their audience digitally through user-generated content/digital storytelling.

At times brands enable them to share their stories as some of these stories are inspiring and communicates the persona of the brand.

This form of digital storytelling is the most effective way of sharing stories and imagination to the world and build brands.

Digital Storytelling, which is a new practice of sharing a story with digital tools, has been gaining popularity among Brands.

Several digital storytelling videos inspire people to go beyond their limits.

People on their own are sharing their stories every day on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other social media platform.

It doesn’t matter who you are and what you do, what matters is that how you share your story, who are the characters, what role they play and how that story connects thousands of people with its message and elements.

Digital storytelling has become the most effective way of conveying stories to the public with its vivid colours of characters, experiences and situations.

A study by Wilson (1) says that digital storytelling is the most influential educational approach developed for students in the academic field.

This shows that digital storytelling is just not popular on social media but on academic levels, too because of its strong approach and compelling storytelling.

What is Digital Storytelling:

Digital Storytelling is nothing but a modern, technologically evolved version of the ancient art of storytelling. Initially, storytelling used to be verbal, and then it transformed into a picture followed by videos.

Today Brands are using digital tools to create the digitised version of stories relevant to its audience.

To add drama to the story, Brands use scanned images, videos and sound to bring alive past and create a compelling story.

Digital Storytelling Application in the world today

Digital storytelling refers to a new form of digital narrative, which includes web-based stories, presentations, games, etc.

It is a format of 2-8 minute video through which the public can present their stories, including several tools like multimedia tools, video, audio, animation, graphics, etc.

Best Examples of Digital Storytelling

Generally, these videos are compelling with true stories which emotionally engage people with long-lasting effects, but imagination is also an essential part of this format.

The beauty of digital storytelling is that you can spice up your real-life stories with imaginations to express your ideas all over the world.

It is an art of telling stories with the power of knitting music, images, graphics and narratives together in a beautiful form of creative dimension.

1 Story of Joy with Ultimate Driving Machine: Digital Storytelling Examples

BMW is an Ultimate Driving Machine, not because it is an ultimate car, but because Ultimate people drive it.

Here is a Digital Story of Helmut Schlosser from Germany, who bought a trashed car from a street-side vendor, who claimed that it was a BMW.

The seller, who sold him this car did not even know the model of the vehicle.

He just knew that it was a BMW. For some strange reason, Helmut bought it and brought back home to the utter dismay of his wife and rest is an inspiring story.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=6_5HS483q28

Digital Storytelling Formats

Digital storytelling has different types of formats in which people can present their stories to the world in the form of:

1 Data Visualization

The videos which contain data presented with the help of different visual patterns like bar charts, pie charts, fever charts, sparklines and maps to present raw data into an effective form for analysing.

2 Virtual Reality

These are the videos made by using virtual images and videos with a 360-degree camera. It creates an illusion in viewers mind as they are the part of the video and experiencing things in real life.

3 Listicles

In Listicles videos, facts and figures are presented in the form of a list. One can use a caption to describe different frames in these videos.

5 slideshows

A slideshow is a video format containing different pictures and graphs in a certain format to describe some information or story, mostly used in official presentations.

6 video records

A video record is a format where already recorded videos are used to form a story and to present it to the audience.

7 Photostories

Digital storytelling video can be created by the compilation of images in a logical format and proper story structure for appealing storytelling.

8 Animated infographics

Animation infographics are the videos made of designs, cartoons, images, and text to describe or present a simple idea or story to the public in a realistic way.

Free Digital Storytelling Tools for Students & Journalists

There are several free digital storytelling tools available in the market for storytellers and teachers so that they can effectively present their stories-

Digital storytelling websites

  1. Bubblr

Bubblr is a tool where people can create comics or comic’s strips by using photos from flickr.

You just need to upload pictures in a format and add caption on the bubbles appeared in the photograph.

  1. Comic Master

Comic master is a tool where students can create their own comics.

It is easy to use the app with drag and drop options. People can have different layouts, characters, dialogues, and props while making their own comic strips.

  1. PicLits

Piclits is a tool which matches pictures into your list according to the words you select or insert in the application.

Words should be in a proper story format where each picture make sense on after another and form a beautiful story which inspires people.

  1. Storybird

Story bird is a tool which helps people in making visual stories in seconds.

They help writers in creating creative stories with the help of pictures, graphics, etc. to become a good storyteller.

  1. Smilebox

Smilebox helps in creating slideshows for free as it believes that every person has some stories to share.

You can build slideshows, invitations, greetings, collage, photo albums and scrapbooks. You just need to select elements like templates, music, dialogues, etc.

Best Digital Storytelling Apps

Here are a few free digital storytelling apps:

  1. Adobe Slate

Adobe Slate helps you turn your newsletter, report, invitation letter, or any other marketing communication material into a visual story that delights a user

      2. Puppet Pals

Puppet Pals helps you create shows with animation & audio instantaneously.

How to Do Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling has given a privilege to the audience to tell their own stories to the world and share their experience to increase literacy and human development skills, but the biggest challenges for these videos are engagement.

The benefit of these videos on an online platform can only be seen if they can engage people and can establish an interactive relationship with them.

The stories which are presented should have a proper storyline, climax, emotions and real facts so that people could relate themselves with the story.

For that people need to create there digital stories creative and effective with some of these suggestions –

1 Real stories are always heard

Life is almost same as everyone with some exceptions, and they believe in the stories which happen.

So, try to be real with real incidents as the more it will be your own real experience, the more you will be able to attract engagements.

2 Short and Crisp

Too long and complicated stories are always ignored, people like fast bullets which strike them with minutes or seconds.

So, the shorter and crispier is your story, the more hits you will get.

Short things are easy to understand and imagine as people cannot be in a single emotion for a very long time; that’s why stories should be shorter with longer effect.

3 Understand the audience and their values

It is very important for you to understand your audience first.

Their beliefs and values should never get hurt due to your emotions.

First, analyze the audience you will be sharing your story with, then construct your characters and scenes accordingly.

As understanding them will eventually help you to deliver good stories with effective messages.

4 clear goal

Before you deliver some videos, you should be clear in your mind about what you want to tell to your audience and why.

When you will clearly state that in your video, it will be more productive and effective.

5 Reality+ Imagination=magic

Some videos are magical, which somewhere strike some points or facts which people imagine and love to see.

If you create your video with real pictures, incidents and imaginary/animated characters, it can create magic in the minds of viewers.

Sometimes our viewers want to come out of reality and experience some imaginations to escape from their problems. Help them; tell stories with little addition of imaginative colours.

Why is Digital Storytelling Important?

Digital storytelling is an essential part of the digital world.

This is a hope for the people who are struggling with their problems and trying to find people who went through the same situations and fight back.

The success stories, travel stories, love stories, hate stories, lost and found stories every aspect of life is somewhere connected with some other real-life stories.

When people get these types of stories, they get inspired, happy and motivated to do well and also learn more about real life and its challenges which people are facing worldwide.

Some benefits of digital storytelling:

• Inspire peoples

Stories move house to house, place to place, which means one story can inspire a lot of people with different aspects.

• Emotional response

These types of stories help a person to know about other emotional side and stories through comments and feedback, which helps people in understanding their audience.

• You can be a reliable source of information

People’s confusions getaway when they get the proper information from the right experienced source. You may become a constant source of information for some people facing a similar problem or are in the same situations which are depicted in your stories.

• Listeners of your story

You always want someone to hear your story sometimes and give feedback on them. Digital storytelling is a format through which you can find some relevant listeners for your story.

Conclusion

Digital storytelling is an art which inspires people some time to do better in their life.

This is the most effective way to make people walk with you miles with your exciting stories and the best educating pattern for students.

Companies are now actively sharing their employee’s success stories or brand success stories with the audience and are gathering a lot of engagement for their benefits.

It has become a success tool for many peoples and brands, which is proof of digital storytelling benefits.

Creating them is hard as well as a fun process with many new free tools available in the market, which can help you making your story effective but rushing through this process can create a confusing story.

So, for becoming a good source of information and to find a relevant group of listeners, digital storytelling should be realistic with a lot of emotions and life facts.

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Author Avinash Chandra

Branding, Integrated & Digital Marketing Wizard and Founder of BrandLoom Consulting (A $1m startup). I help companies generate more revenue through digital marketing. I have successfully led Business and Marketing operations of several Large & Small; American, European, Chinese & Indian Brands and Startups. In totality, I have worked with over 100 Brands during my 17 years of professional career with a proven track record of Building Sustainable & Profitable Businesses.

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