PRODUCT MARKETING

Everything About Digital Storytelling

Picture of Rishabh Pugalia
Rishabh Pugalia

June 12, 2024

Digital Storytelling Examples

In the struggle to get attention, marketers face a constant challenge: how to connect with their audience on a meaningful level.

Facts and figures alone lead to information overload and forgotten messages. This problem requires narratives that resonate with your target audience. Here’s where digital storytelling steps in.

Storytelling can often draw people in first, making them interested in the narrative. It makes them consider taking action. Again, most of the examples of digital storytelling utilize multimedia elements (videos, images, sound, etc.) to enhance the narrative.

Now, you might be wondering about these things in your head:

  • Beyond subtitles, how can digital stories be truly inclusive for audiences with diverse needs?
  • As AI evolves, where’s the line between human creativity and machine-generated content?
  • With AR/VR emerging, how will immersive tech fundamentally change what it means to tell and experience a story?

The power of storytelling humanizes your brand. To do so, there’s a need to understand the idea of how digital storytelling works and how it can be applied to your marketing strategy.

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    What is Digital Storytelling?

    When you share narratives using tools like videos, images, audio, and interactive elements, it’s called digital storytelling. It is the art of using digital media to create narratives that engage and resonate with audiences.

    Digital storytelling goes beyond simply sharing information; it aims to spark imagination and build a deeper connection with viewers. To engage your audience, consider incorporating elements found in high-quality digital storytelling examples.

    However, this requires careful consideration so that the brand’s unique identity is kept intact. When done right, digital story telling stops the scroll and stays in the mind of a viewer for a long time.

    What are the Benefits of Digital Storytelling?

    The benefits of digital storytelling are as follows:

    1. Increases engagement and conversions

    Interactive digital stories can hook attention for a long duration. The immersive visuals in your storytelling video can prompt your viewers to learn more.

    With each interaction, they’re more invested in reaching the end and seeing their result.

    2. Easy to recall

    Stories tend to be more memorable than facts alone. Combining story with multimedia makes the effect even greater.

    3. Provides a scalable approach

    You can adapt your stories to different digital storytelling platforms and target audiences, maximizing your reach and impact.

    4. Simplifies complex messages

    Top digital storytelling examples have one thing in common: they effectively communicate information through engaging narratives. They can make complex ideas easier to understand and remember.

    10 Digital Storytelling Examples

    Following are 10 digital storytelling examples to help you get an idea of how storytelling can be used to promote your brand.

    1. Grammarly

    Type of content: Video

    Video title: Words That Work | Communicate Clearly With Grammarly

    Video duration: 1 minute 34 seconds

    Video style: Live-action

    Audio-visual elements we loved:

    Storytelling we loved:

    • The video shows two employees working together on a project where they use Grammarly to express their ideas better, avoiding any communication gap.
    • Instead of a background voiceover, the brand uses a creative way to engage with the audience. In the video, two people are commentating “live” on how the two employees are working on the project.

    2. Service Now

    Type of content: Report

    Video duration: The Sustainability Advantage

    Visual elements we loved:

    • Scroll-triggered animations
    • Sliding speech-bubbles
    • Animated charts

    Storytelling we loved:

    • Incorporating opinions/ interviews from subject-matter experts on data privacy can develop a sense of trust among the readers.
    • Thanks to the report structure, the data provided in the document doesn’t make it look cluttered.

    3. Canva

    Type of content: Video

    Video title: A Canva Holiday Story

    Video duration: 1 minute 42 seconds

    Video style: Hybrid (live-action + animation)

    Audio-visual elements we loved:

    Storytelling we loved:

    • The story takes place in a magical land where characters are hoping to be chosen for the real world, to be featured on holiday cards. It is one of those digital storytelling examples where the brilliantly written script connects an imaginary world with the real one.
    • The story ends with a believing-in-oneself thought to see one’s wish coming true.

    4. HubSpot

    Type of content: Blog

    Blog title: A $40m Startup’s Founder Shares Insights on Growth and Raising Capital

    Visual elements we loved:

    • A visual representation of how to reach the “land of cool” from the “land of cringe.”
    • An infographic showing how doola, the company in question, raised capital over the years.

    Storytelling we loved:

    • The story takes place in The founder of doola sharing how the company got its first 100 customers and how they prepared for the $1 million pitch are inspiring reads, especially for new entrepreneurs.
    • The underlying message in the blog is perseverance and resourcefulness. Arjun’s story emphasizes the importance of hustle, strategic planning, and customer focus in achieving entrepreneurial success.
    • The blog details the steps doola took to achieve growth, including bootstrapping tactics, content marketing, building customer relationships, and crafting a compelling pitch.

    5. Slack

    Type of content: Video

    Video title: Slack presents: The Big Meeting

    Video duration: 1 minute  15 seconds

    Video style: Live-action

    Audio-visual elements we loved:

    • Cinematic views, dramatic music.
    • Most of the visuals are set in an office where characters create a chaotic atmosphere, where the lead character humorously sings about the meeting chaos in an opera style.

    Storytelling we loved:

    • The ad starts with a common workplace struggle- a last-minute meeting with no preparation time. This creates tension and identifies a problem the audience can connect with.
    • Humor is used throughout the ad. Exaggerated requests (such as “seven new assistants”) highlight the absurdity of traditional meeting prep and poke fun at office culture.
    • In such digital storytelling examples, it’s the element of humor that makes the ad lighthearted and memorable.
    • The ad cleverly contrasts the chaotic world of pre-meeting preparations with the calm efficiency of using Slack. This emphasizes the benefit of the product.

    We know how to sell your story using your product UI

    6. Toggl

    Type of content: Image

    Image title: Software Development

    Visual elements we loved:

    • The illustration style is cartoonish and approachable, with a hand-drawn quality that gives the technical content a friendly and informal tone.
    • Small, humorous details are hidden throughout the scenes, like the “Deadline” truck in the “Agile Development” section.

    Storytelling we loved:

    • It is one of those digital storytelling ideas where the entire infographic is a metaphor. It uses a car dealership and garage to represent the software development lifecycle. This helps make a technical process feel more accessible to a non-technical audience.
    • The infographic is organized into clear sections that follow the logical order of developing software, from gathering requirements (“The Client”) to deployment and maintenance (“Kanban”). This linear flow helps guide readers through the narrative.

    7. Semrush

    Type of content: Video

    Video title: Skyrocket Your Business Online with Top Performing Keywords

    Video duration: 37 seconds

    Video style: Live-action

    Audio-visual elements we loved:

    • Use of cinematic themes and dramatic music. The constant camera flashes on the lead character recreate what happens on the red carpet.
    • The lead character’s outfit (an apron) while getting pictured gives a humorous effect.
    • Clear call to action

    Storytelling we loved:

    • Mr. Johnson from Billy’s Bakery says he uses Semrush to find keywords online that help him get customers. This shows how the platform helps him get his business bigger.

    8. Slack

    Type of content: Blog

    Blog title: Intuit: Connecting teams to support 50 million customers around the world

    Visual elements we loved:

    • A screenshot of a custom bot (Learning Bot) supporting the company operations after Slack integration.

    Storytelling we loved:

    • Intuit is positioned as the protagonist on a journey to improve collaboration across its global teams. It is one of those digital storytelling examples where readers can relate to the different challenges of teams and tools that can reduce productivity.
    • Descriptions of teams working “much faster” and seasonal onboarding becoming “as easy as possible” show signs of productivity. It’s something that readers can imagine for their own organizations.

    9. Coupa

    Type of content: Video

    Video title: Lemonade | Coupa Cloud Platform

    Video duration: 43 seconds

    Video style: Live-action

    Audio-visual elements we loved:

    • Using lemon as a prop initially provides an initial hook.
    • Playful background music does justice to the kids on the screen.

    Storytelling we loved:

    • The daughter of the business head uses the lemonade stand analogy to explain business spending and control. This analogy makes the concept relatable for her father.
    • The business head instructs Frank, presumably an assistant, to “get her a chair,” implying he wants to hear more about the solution and potentially implement Coupa.

    10. Graze

    Type of content: Infographic

    PDF title: How Graze Grew

    Visual elements we loved:

    • Digital illustrations of the prototype box, London HQ, and “mega-factory” make the story tangible. Readers can visualize Graze’s small beginning and impressive expansion.
    • Key milestones are highlighted along the timeline, like funding rounds, US launch, and employee growth. These markers paint a clear picture of Graze’s scale and momentum.

    Storytelling we loved:

    • The infographic is structured as a chronological timeline from 2007 to 2014. This classic storytelling arc helps readers follow Graze’s progression from startup to success.
    • It mentions Graze’s “powerful postal brain” and use of Google Apps position technology as the driver behind Graze’s ability to scale and innovate. This subtly conveys a theme about the power of digital tools.

    What are the Key Elements of Digital Storytelling?

    Here are some of the key elements of digital storytelling:

    1. Story Structure

    A strong narrative structure is the foundation of any storytelling technique. This involves:

    • Character: Engaging and relatable characters
    • Problem: A challenge that the characters face
    • Plot: A logical sequence of events that unfold in the story
    • Theme: An underlying message or idea that the story explores

    2. Visuals

    Digital storytelling is all about using visuals to create an immersive experience. This includes:

    • Video: High-quality footage and creative editing
    • Images: Powerful photographs, graphics, and illustrations.
    • Animation: Dynamic movements, engaging transitions, and captivating visuals that bring the story to life.

    3. Sound

    Audio plays a critical role in many great digital storytelling examples. It sets the tone, driving emotions and enhancing the storytelling experience. This includes:

    • Music: Soundtracks that create the right mood and emphasize moments.
    • Sound Effects: Soundscapes and effects that enhance the realism, drama, or humor.
    • Voiceovers: Well-crafted narration that guides the audience through the story

    4. Emotional Impact

    The most powerful digital stories are those that connect with viewers on an emotional level. This can be achieved through:

    • Relatability: Characters and situations that echo the audience’s own experiences and values.
    • Empathy: The ability to create a sense of understanding and connection with the characters

    Five Ways to Use Storytelling in Digital Marketing

    Given are the ways you can use storytelling in digital marketing:

    1. Show customer journeys

    Share genuine customer experiences through narratives that show how your product or service solves their problems and fulfills their needs.

    2. Highlight brand values through stories

    It’s important to share narratives that highlight your brand’s core values. It is more evident in a high-quality brand storytelling video. With this, you build deeper connections with audiences who find your message relatable.

    3. Leverage User-Generated Content

    Encourage customers to share their own stories about their experiences with your brand. Because of its inherent relatability, your viewers are likely to trust user-generated content more than other forms of content.

    4. Feature your employees in a spotlight

    Your team is your greatest asset. Show their expertise and personality. Film a day in the life of your star sales representative. This could also be your head of product sharing her vision.

    These behind-the-scenes videos humanize your brand.

    5. Use storytelling to educate and inform

    Use relatable scenarios and characters to illustrate concepts and provide practical examples. For instance, a cybersecurity company could tell the story of a small business that was hacked and explain how the services they offer could have prevented it.

    How to Build a Digital Storytelling Strategy?

    First off, finalize the best option from the digital storytelling ideas you have. Now follow these steps to craft a digital story telling strategy that aligns with your brand and business goals.

    1. Define your audience and objectives

    Get specific: everyone is not an audience. Identify who you are trying to reach and what you want them to do.

    As seen in high-quality digital storytelling examples, connecting your story to specific people creates a strong base for your storytelling strategy.

    2. Audit your existing content

    Review the stories (via blogs, videos, or social posts) you have already told. Look for patterns, gaps, and opportunities.

    With the help of the feedback you got, if you identify something missing in your existing content, take steps to overcome this problem.

    3. Map your customer journey

    Your story strategy should reflect how your customer makes the purchase decision. Document each stage of their journey, from awareness to consideration to decision.

    4. Choose your format and channels

    Based on your audience and objectives, determine the best format and channels for your stories.

    5. Measure and optimize

    Measure your stories’ impact and iterate based on insights. Track metrics like views, engagement rate, completion rate, and conversions.

    Based on the data, test new topics, formats, and distribution tactics.

    Pro tip: Use UTM parameters and unique landing pages to attribute leads and revenue to specific stories.

    Why Choose Content Beta?

    The idea of digital storytelling has been around for quite some time. But creating high-quality storytelling videos in-house is easier said than done. At Content Beta, we understand the nuances of producing content with a strong storyline. Here’s how:

    • Our Creative as a Service team has skilled scriptwriters, storyboard artists, animators, editors, and more.
    • We follow a streamlined process from concept to completion.
    • We ensure fast delivery of work so that you don’t have to reschedule your content posting.
    • Our pricing model comes with no hidden costs whatsoever.

    Schedule a call with us today.

    Conclusion

    Digital storytelling is a tool to capture attention, develop emotional connections, and initiate action. And with this, you can differentiate your brand.

    Remember, the best digital stories are unique to each brand. Your story shouldn’t look exactly like anyone else’s, no matter how many digital storytelling examples you take inspiration from.

    Storytelling in digital marketing allows you to test, learn, and adapt in real time. The important thing is to keep refining your approach based on audience feedback and engagement data.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Some common formats for digital storytelling include:

    • Videos
    • Interactive infographics
    • Social media posts, and
    • Immersive web experiences.

    Some emerging trends and technologies shaping the future of digital storytelling include:

    • AI
    • AR/VR, and
    • Interactive video

    Some best practices for creating interactive digital stories include:

    • Focus on user experience
    • Use clear navigation and provide meaningful interaction points
    • Craft a cohesive narrative
    • Balance fun and function
    • Test extensively

    You can repurpose your digital stories across multiple channels and formats by following the given steps:

    • Identify core story elements that can be adapted for different channels and audiences
    • Turn videos into blog posts, infographics into social carousels, and webinars into email courses.

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