Why Your Business Should Invest in Digital Storytelling

Your business should invest in digital storytelling because of its proven success on a small budget. You want a Big Bang for a Few Bucks?  Digital storytelling reaches potential customers on a small marketing budget.  

Entrepreneur Magazine points out that “Video engages people in a way that photos and text alone can't. For small-business owners, using video in your marketing can bring faces, voices, personality and heart to your operation, while also demonstrating your authenticity”.

An Online Publishers Association study revealed that 81% of online users recalled viewing a website video ad while 46% of them visited the site.  

The Rockefeller Foundation report titled “Digital Storytelling for Social Impact” concluded that digital storytelling on social media platforms allows companies to connect with people by sharing their stories and engaging conversations.

The Power of Storytelling

Storytelling works well in marketing because it arouses emotions. Positive emotional responses to your story builds trust and strong relationships.

Storytelling as a marketing tool also allows your audience to identify common ground with you. Making your audience know and like you and your brand results in more sales over time.  

Build Your Brand on Social Media

Now days, the two most important ways to build a brand involve:

1. Reach; and

2. Frequency

Reach means how many people in your target market your message (brand) influences.  

Frequency means how many times you reach them.

Awesome Storytelling Enhances Social Media Frequency on a Limited Budget

Successful marketing doesn’t require a lot of money. Digital storytelling arousing emotions saves money by increasing reach and frequency on social media with a low budget.

What do you think costs more to advertise? A newspaper ad? A magazine ad? An online banner ad? Or, a social media post?  Why pay tons of money on traditional advertising when it costs little or nothing to post videos on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram?

Increased Frequency Means Greater Reach

What’s the cost to post your new storytelling video promoting your brand on numerous social media platforms? Nothing!

However, frequency does not mean re-posting the same video every day. People get bored easily. They do not want to see the same video again and again.

Great Storytelling

Storytelling is a skill that the average person doesn’t possess. Even professional marketers make the mistake of mixing up digital storytelling with digital selling. This is known as “campaign mentality” amongst experienced marketing companies. Never lead with the brand when telling your story.   

Forbes Magazine published an article about The Importance of Entrepreneurial Storytelling. How your company tells its story in a narrative and how people perceive that narrative determines whether they buy. Forbes claims that 70% of millennials purchase brands which support causes they care about.

Forbes emphasized that successful video ads deliver a compelling narrative to persuade viewers to take action. Forbes calls it the “Persuasion of Prose”.

Ask yourself, what does your potential customers care about? Then tell them about it on your next digital storytelling video.

YouTube Dominates

Google published a report in 2018 regarding the “State of Video Ad View ability in 2017”. In 2017, YouTube dominated the internet with 95% of their video ads been viewed. Google concluded that video ads must be seen and not just posted to make an impact.

In other words, if a video ad doesn’t attract immediate attention, users won’t view it. To be successful on YouTube and Google, your video ad must tell an engaging story.

Choosing the Right Social Media

Digitalist Magazine offers tips on successful digital marketing including “Storytelling as the New Essential Skill Businesses Must Master”. One tip suggests telling your story in various ways to accommodate the different social media platforms.

Profitable digital storytelling requires knowing how each social media works. Instead of blasting the same message in every social media, better results comes from tweaking your message to fit the particular social media.

Use Storytelling to Surpass Your Competitors

Perfect execution of a well written video script along with usage of background, props, and professional equipment can set your videos above your competitors.

Professionally produced storytelling videos will make your competitors’ videos look amateurish as they often rely on Craigslist or some other online job board to hire unprofessional video producers.

If you’ve seen an amateur made video on YouTube you know how bad they look. Would you buy services or products from a company producing dreadful video ads?

Think Local for Better Customer Engagement

Local businesses rely upon local customers. If your business earns its income from selling directly to locals, then marketing locals breeds success.

Social media and website video ads become successful when they engage with potential customers.

The best way to obtain better local customer engagement begins with Thinking Local for Business Success. Conquer your local market by:

  • Sharing Your Story as people tend to relate to stories. Speaking to potential local customers in a manner they understand and can relate creates attraction and trust in your brand.
  • Build the Right Team of employees who reach out to your local community. Your team builds an infrastructure which implements your local strategy. Your managers and employees must get involved with local community groups and events to subtly promote your brand.
  • Create Your Community by building a local community of people who like, prefer, and trust your brand. Target a specific group of local consumers who identify with your brand. Tailor your products or services to meet their specific needs.

“Think Local” initiatives bloom across America. They encourage local businesses to conquer their local markets by doing the three recommendations explained above.

In 2006, the Think Local First DC was created to help local businesses in the Washington, D.C. community. They encourage locally owned businesses to link up with their neighbors to establish a social and economic relationship by supporting local causes.

The North San Diego Business Chamber produced their own “Think Local” campaign for their communities. They encourage “Buying Locally” with media advertisements creating local community loyalty. Instead of shopping at large chains and franchises, local consumers constantly see “Buy Locally” ads to preserve the character of their small communities.

In Wisconsin Think Local Magazine supports 9 local communities. This magazine encourages shopping at local businesses by advertising their products, goods, and services with discounts.

Real estate agents use these strategies in order to Think Local for Business Success by becoming involved with their local community charities, organizations, and events to network.

The Maryland newspaper The Daily Record advocates “When giving back, think local”.  While this focuses on community giving to improve communities, the message easily transforms to “Think Local”.

Baltimore Fleet Feet Sports advertises “Think Local” with their “Shop Small & Local” print ads. The Maryland newspaper, Baltimore Sun annually promotes the Small Business Saturday to support their version of “Think Local First” for Baltimore’s small communities.

Examples of Storytelling for Think Local Business Success

The greater Washington Metropolitan area includes: Washington DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland.

Video storytelling shouldn’t be limited to your business premises. They should also include neighborhood and memorable local backdrops to stir positive emotions amongst local viewers.

Washington DC

In Washington D.C., three arts groups joined forces to organize a film and theater collective promoting local Black community by storytelling. They bring diverse stories of Black artists to life. Becoming “socially engaged” builds the Black community economically and socially.

The American Marketing Association promotes seminars in Washington, D.C. called Grow Your Business Through the Power of Story. Basically, brand storytelling videos on social media. They demonstrate the power of storytelling to “guide your brand, lead your team and connect with customers like never before”.

This Washington, DC government website offers recommendations for D.C. film locations divided into several categories like neighborhoods, waterfronts, and monuments.  

Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia has many beautiful and memorable film locations. The Virginia Film Office has web pages dedicated to ideal sites to film a storytelling video in Northern Virginia. Besides your business location, using nearby local scenes arouses good emotions amongst local viewers to make your story memorable.

The Chapman-Beverley Mill or the Workhouse Arts Center  or the Salamander Resort  or the Marketplace at Potomac Station or the Potomac Creek House and many other landmarks in your local community provide excellent backdrops for your storytelling videos.

If your business is located in or near the Cascades Marketplace, or the Landmark Mall or Shops at West Falls Church, or other well-known landmarks, using them as backdrops in your storytelling video will arouse affirmative emotions from local viewers.

Maryland

Maryland has many landmarks which locals recognize and appreciate to use as backdrops. The Maryland Film Office recommends several ideal filming locations in 5 geographic regions of Maryland.  

Another good source for locating ideal film backdrops near your business location is the Fun Maryland website offering well known places such as the Maryland Institute College of Art and Walters Art Museum or The Senator Theatre.

The University of Maryland offers extension courses on producing storytelling videos to promote a business. However, UMD points out that “You need to use the appropriate media sharing tools and posting techniques to create the visual and graphic products that have will have a positive impact for your business”.

In other words, you will need to take their courses to learn the necessary techniques to produce high quality videos and purchase expensive equipment. Might be more time and cost effective to hire a professional video marketing company to do all that for you.

Conclusion

Your business should invest in digital storytelling.

Even hiring a professional video production company to ensure high quality making your brand viewed and appreciated, the costs will be lower than traditional advertising.  

Make a Big Bang for a Few Bucks with Digital Storytelling.  

 

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