Digital storytelling is a concept we are hearing more and more. With the increasing importance of content and social media, it is vital that brands increase online visibility and how they communicate with target audiences.
When thinking about brand presence, just being there is not enough, you need to stand out from the crowd and here are our thoughts on how you can use your website to get your voice heard.
One example of how design and innovation can create a strong storytelling website is the recent launch of the Sony website. Sony innovatively uses parallax scrolling to tell the brand story and drives the user on a journey through each of their products. One of the clever features of this website is its ability to showcase products, by displaying them in the environment they should be used. By doing this, accompanied by the breakdown of each individual product component, Sony drives engagement, interest but more importantly tells the story of the brand.
Whilst organisations such as Sony use complicated design and build features, it doesn't always need to be this way, the Volkswagen SmileDrive campaign demonstrates how simple design and build can successfully deliver a digital story. Using similar parallex features as Sony, Volkswagen offer a user journey that engages users and drives them on why and how they can get the product.
There are many examples of digital storytelling websites and over 2014 we believe we will see a shift in brand requirements and how they want to display content for target audiences. With any web build, the most important factor is target audience and delivering a website that is both effective and engaging in delivering your brand story.
Digital storytelling is not isolated to the website alone, social media plays in an important part in delivering your brand story. We have seen a sharp increase in how brands are integrating social media into the brand experience. Body Shop is a crude example of a brand that has created a social hub for their target audience. The hub combines user experience and social media to create an informative resource that brings direct engagement with the brand and its products.
For beauty brands such as the Body Shop, social media plays a big part with the rise of the beauty vlogger and bloggers alike. Therefore this page is effective for their audience as it combines a number of sources, allowing users to make an informed choice about their products.
The Royal Shakespeare Company is an example of a project using a single platform to collate content. By using Google+ as a platform, the #dream40 project is able to collate contributions from audience members in an innovative way. The project allows users to tell the story themselves or to create their own. This form of storytelling allows users to become involved in the process themselves rather than sharing or consuming existing content.
The Adidas My Girls website shows how a website can successfully sell products through stories of other customers. The website tells the story of groups of customers and visitors to the site are given the opportunity to view the products they have bought and purchase them themselves. It is a softer approach to selling products and does so in an engaging way.
By telling your story through successful customer case studies or real-life applications, users are more likely to take an interest in the content as it doesn’t feel like a hard sell. Storytelling in this way is best for product-based brands where you can show off your products in a visual, real-life environment.
The Robby Leonardi CV is an example of how a website can tell a story through animation.
The user is encouraged to scroll throughout the site in a game like animation, to learn more about who Robby is and the type of role he is looking for. Rather than taking users on a linear journey, the figure took users on a journey through his CV. Although it may be rudimental in design and a bit basic, it achieved exactly what it was intended for- it got the attention of the internet and prospective employers.
Animation is an effective way of engaging your audience as they will look to see the story through to its end. Therefore animation can be really effective for sites which have a lot of interesting content to provide users as the developing animation can hold the attention of a user for longer.
Yes, the market is getting louder, but there are new and better ways of telling your story. Get out there and embrace new technologies and be innovative with how you communicate with your audience and target market.