How To Become A Digital Storyteller
If you are going to rely on the Internet for sales, advocacy or fundraising, you need to learn how to tell your organization’s story. You’ll need to become a digital storyteller.
To do this, you’ll need a modern website with search engine optimization and blogging capabilities.
You’ll need to set up a social media platform across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube.
And you’ll need to start an email campaign to your customers and supporters.
Believe it or not, that’s the easy part. The real challenge is figuring out what to put on those web pages, social media channels, and e-newsletters and how best to feed them with compelling content.
Don’t stress! We’ve got some ideas for you. But let us first explain in a bit more detail what is digital storytelling, or content marketing, as it’s commonly called.
In a nutshell, it’s creating online material and sharing it for free to attract and convert prospects into customers or donors, and eventually customers into long-term repeat buyers or supporters.
Great content is what people desire and seek out. It’s what Google needs to rank well in the search results so that those same people can find your organization online.
The good news: content is all around us.
According to MarketingProfs, just look at your calendar or outside your window. There’s a lot going on in your town.
You can write about holiday specials, conferences your employees are attending, and special events hosted in your community. Give tips about contributing to worthy causes. Share stories about your customers — and make them the heroes of your stories. Tell stories about your company or nonprofit, and what makes it unique and different from the competition. And answer your clients’ frequently asked questions (FAQs).
What’s really important is making yourself a problem-solver, the go-to person for whatever industry you are in. Ask yourself: How can I help my customers? What information can I give them – for free – that will improve their lives?
Sometimes that’s simply offering freebies, discounts or other savings on your products and services. But it’s also providing your knowledge and expertise from a perspective other people will surely need. Initially, you may think your advice is boring, but remember, you are an expert and others will find your insights fascinating and essential.
A lot of content can come in the form of charts, infographics or curated material from other websites. It can be explained through photos and videos taken from your own smartphone. Or it can be shared through social media channels.
A good way to start generating content is understanding that it’s not
“a single solution or deliverable — It’s a process and a mindset,” explains Kathy Hanbury, founder and principal at E3 Content Strategy. “If you approach your content marketing initiative knowing that it will constantly evolve, and that you’re guiding its evolution, then you’re practicing content strategy.”
Yes, a strategy. It’s vital to develop a set of strategies for delivering interesting stories to attract and retain the attention of the targeted audience that you want to reach. To create these strategies, ask yourself these questions:
- What expertise do I want to be known for?
- What kind of content will my customers prefer, i.e. videos or written articles?
- How will I know if my hard work is paying off?
As you think these through, remember this: a big part of content marketing is listening. Monitor what people are saying about your company on Twitter and be quick to respond to complaints and negative thoughts. Also, keep an eye on search keywords and find out what words people are using when they find you on Google. And be sure to use those same words when writing your content.
This is what it takes to become a digital storyteller.
Organizations have to practice content marketing if they are going to be found on the Internet and valued by their customers and supporters.