Originally posted on Social Media Today.
Who doesn't love hearing a juicy story? Whether sitting around a crackling campfire, listening to a horror story, or even just a phone call with a friend venting to you about that bad date last week. We all love listening to a great story, one that both captivates and holds us speechless for a moment in time.
Since the first cave drawings were discovered, over 27,000 years ago, telling stories has been one of the most important means of communication. Human beings are natural storytellers, it's intrinsic to our genes. Everything from religion, to science, to love needs a story for people to find it believable. It only makes sense to marry the elements of storytelling and social media marketing-leveraging one of the most basic aspects of human nature. For social media and content marketers, "when you present your content in new, engaging and interactive ways, it stands out in a constant stream of competing information."
The question then is, what storytelling tools are out there that you can use to enhance your social media marketing? Here are a few of my personal faves:
Interactive content, such as interactive online videos, are giving rise to an age of true storytelling for marketers. People are no longer impressed when content is unapologetically pushed at them. For marketers and social media managers wanting to reach out to their audience, they must produce content that consumers want to see, hear, and most importantly, can take part in.
Apester is digital storytelling platform that offers tools for brands to create polls, surveys, personality tests and video quizzes that they can then embed in their articles, whether on owned media, earned media, or paid media. They recently launched a new interactive video feature for digital publishing that's meant to engage and involve readers everywhere. Brands can use this tool to engage with potential customers and ask their audience questions, ask their audience questions in order to gain knowledge about them, whilst providing them with information related to the content. The questions pops up natively within the video offering a series of answers users can choose from. In this way, readers become active participants in a brand's storytelling experience.
New video technology allows viewers to move beyond passively watching a video to actively participating in their content experience. Apester is the first to show us that video is no longer just an asset; it is now an immersive storytelling experience that has finally caught up with the digital world.
Storify is not just your average content curation tool-it has more than one trick up its sleeve. It's a social network service that allows users to create stories or timelines via social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Users can create stories by importing content from various forms of media into one place, then pull single elements to create a story. They can also rearrange the elements and insert text to give readers more context. This tool is one of the best when it comes to narrating and curating an event from what people share online. You can transform what people post on social media into fascinating stories embedded into your WordPress posts and pages.
Social media plays a crucial role in breaking news stories. When GlobalPost, covered the Oscar Pistorius case in 2014, they created a Storify which was inserted into their article. The news about his trial was flooding the web and people turned to social media to express their views as well as sharing live updates. When a big story comes out, for instance a pro-athlete's trial, it can be difficult to cut through the clutter. A storytelling tool, such as Storify, aided Globalpost to summarize the highlights of this event and draw elements from a variety of sources to build a unique narrative.
For content marketers, the platform is an innovative way to curate and streamline your content production process and for social media marketers this means more shares!
2015 has been a year dominated by visual content-marketers have been leveraging images to increase blog traffic, social media engagement and conversion rates. A picture is worth a thousand words and each image that is shared online tells a story. ThingLink, is part of this visual phenomenon.
ThingLink is an interactive media platform that empowers marketers, bloggers and publishers to create engaging content with tools that call for image interaction and sharing online. The platform enables tagging things inside an image, called Rich Media Tags, with links back to videos, products and more. The platform was created to combine online information and stories with physical object in the real world. The image tagging tool allows anyone to add content to online images, creating their own stories, which can then be shared all over the web.
With Thanksgiving behind us, OceanSpray celebrated the festive time by providing engaging content to their customers through an interactive table spread, powered by Thinglink. By hovering over the tagged points on the image, I'm able to feast on the fun facts, recipes and how to videos about Thanksgiving, which are all linked to other social networks, blogs, news and commerce sites.
Put simply, digital storytelling is an innovative way to engage users by making them feel like they are part of the brand experience. If marketers can seamlessly integrate this entertaining, enjoyable tactic into their social media marketing efforts, I'm confident that their user engagement rates will soar. Essentially, it's an easy, innovative way to not only drive traffic and user engagement but also to distinguish your brand from the overwhelming amount of content that's out there.