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Marketing is always a challenging endeavor. Designing successful strategies to deliver a compelling message to a wide variety of audiences requires careful market study, a keen understanding of human nature, and more than a little luck. The big challenge is that it’s hard to find a vehicle to deliver a brand message, in a way that has wide appeal.
Fortunately, there is one method that holds near-universal appeal. That method is storytelling. Humans have been drawn to storytelling for all of recorded history – to at least 2100 BC – and that’s if you only count examples in written form. The visual medium of human storytelling is far older, dating back some 30,000 years. It’s no wonder then, that storytelling is a perfect way to deliver a marketing message to any audience.
For modern marketers, storytelling has gone digital. This shift has created a great leveling force, allowing even one-person shops to compete with the biggest brands on the planet. For those in the SME space, the key to compelling marketing lies in using the power of the latest storytelling tools on the internet to build and grow their brand. There are several tried and true methods such as press release distribution, guest blogging or even social media campaigns, which all work exceptionally well. However, most of the people already know about these, so today we’ll cover some of the less known methods that will still yield great results. Here are some of the best digital storytelling tools for SME marketers.
We’ve all seen them; compelling and attention-grabbing infographics are everywhere. The reason they are is that they work extraordinarily well. That’s because visual storytelling (as mentioned above) is a part of our collective history and is a near-universal language. At one time, SME marketers had to outsource infographic creation to expensive graphic designers, but no more. Infogram provides a slick, intuitive interface to create custom infographics, charts, graphs, and reports on demand. They provide everything needed for just about anyone to start telling their data-driven story within moments.
Another great (and still underutilized) digital storytelling method is through storyboarding. Much like simple comic strips, storyboards communicate a narrative to the audience in an appealing, shareable way. Storyboard That is a unique digital tool that lets users create custom storyboard content on demand. Users can tell their story using a variety of included graphical elements, animations, and illustrations that combine to produce a stylized panel that’s sure to grab the attention of any audience.
If you’re going to tell your brand’s story online, you’ll want to do it in a way that packs a visual punch. Apester allows marketers to create several types of interactive visual content that leap off of the screen. From polls to quizzes to interactive videos, almost anything is possible. It’s a toolset that’s already in use by media giants like CNN, Yahoo, Fox Sports, and more. For SME marketers, it’s a rare opportunity to produce quality content that is on par with far larger (and wealthier) rivals.
Digital storytelling allows for the integration of a whole range of multimedia formats. Animated graphics, music, video, and text come together to create stories that viewers feel as though they’re directly a part of. That kind of immersive experience is exactly what Storyform seeks to help users create. It gives marketers the power to harness all of the most memorable types of visual elements all in one place to create blogs, reports, and responsive e-books. They provide a number of templates to choose from, and the platform is adaptable and easy to use.
The Power of the Narrative
By taking advantage of these tools, any SME marketer can take control of their brand’s identity in the digital space, and drive a narrative that will help spread the word. When done well, digital storytelling also takes on a life of its own, acting as a force multiplier in a crowded digital marketplace. There’s no better way to build and keep an audience than through this latest evolution of one of man’s oldest, and most important, traditions.
Ryan Yarbrough is a small business consultant, speaker, and the manager at Davis Financial Services, a small business consulting firm.