The Difference between Traditional Storytelling and Digital Storytelling


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Tom Head, director at Lab, spoke at Sitecore Digital Trendspot 2014 on the topic of the difference between traditional storytelling and digital storytelling.

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  • Earth createdAlright not far away but OUR galaxyWAS long time ago, 4.54 billion years
  • At some point in the last 200,000 years we came along and stories have always been part of our cultureA fascinating point on our existence – if the earth 1 hour old we have only been around for the last 4 seconds, and the number of stories created in that time is incredible
  • You might agree with that, you might not.BUT you’ve more than likely thought about where you’re going to be in 5 years time or where your kids will be in 5 years timeBecause stories connect with our emotions, the right side of the brain, the creative side, we’re wired that way.
  • AND we’ve telling stories since the beginning of time
  • EntertainmentWWE built on stories, done so well grown men watch every week, yes American but still
  • EducationMr Tumble – got kids you know him
  • Moral values
  • TraditionalTypically been
  • What’s changed with digital? One of the big things is interactionAs consumers we’ve gone from passive to activeWe’re now interacting, we’re commenting, liking, sharing and contributingWe’re want to be part of the experienceLast year the phrase “digital detox”, to take a break from electronic equipment, was added to the Oxford dictionary but ironically only the online version
  • You decide where to startShorter attention span, huge amounts of data being created We want content across sites and devicesWe are part of the conversation and want to be spoken TO not at It’s constantly evolving
  • So how do we tell digital stories andcreate better experiences?Define your brand story, get it right, many other stories can be created under thisThe message is delivered in the content and the brand is carried inside and just along for the rideNike are a great example of someone doing it well60 years ago 7up featured babies in their ads, strapline – why we have the youngest customers in the businessWe’re far more savvy as consumers now, we want authenticity
  • Successful digital stories create conversations – interactionOn average positive high arousal emotions (excitement, awe, humour) get shared moreAlso we share content when it makes us look good or knowledgeable, this is almost a social currency because we see value in it
  • Great storytellers are great listenersJust because we can connect to a consumer across all these devices whenever we wantNeed to be careful Storytelling does not become StoryyellingWe have the tools and platforms to allow us to bring people into the conversation and then listen to what is being saidThis means we can increase relevance and as a consumer I really have the ability to change the next chapter and be part of the story
  • One great story is worth many average storiesA great story doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact simple stories are more likely to stickOnce we’ve brought someone down the conversion path usability is kingQuieten the noise so I can get to what I wantAs Da Vinci said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” then we could do worse than to listen to that
  • Probably not.I think we’ll see the great digital stories evolvingBecause the next chapter is being written as we speak
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