How to create a digital storytelling video

Digital video storytelling is an extremely effective form of digital storytelling. Thanks to its ability to translate data into accurate…

Digital storytelling video
Marketing Team
Video Marketing How to create a digital storytelling video

Digital video storytelling is an extremely effective form of digital storytelling. Thanks to its ability to translate data into accurate and relevant information, it is increasingly used within marketing strategies.

After talking about the characteristics that make digital storytelling a central mode of communication for organizations’ strategies, we will address some important questions.

What makes digital storytelling the preferred tool for marketers?

When brands use digital stories to talk about themselves, what do they look like?

How does video storytelling incorporate the trend towards personalization, a key principle of contemporary marketing?

The digital storytelling revolution: accessibility and participation

Digital storytelling was born to enhance communication within communities that are united by common interests through the development of interactive formats made possible by new tools.

From a strictly technological point of view Digital storytelling groups together the set of practices that combine narrative structures, digital formats (textual and visual) in particular, to create content capable of reflecting the emotional and personal aspects of a target audience.

The stories that are told by digital storytelling, according to a storytelling tradition that we can trace back to the dawn of mankind, are centered on an experience, event, or turning point and are filtered through the perspective of a narrator who interprets the facts based on his own perspective.

Today, the strength of digital storytelling lies in the simplicity of access and in the more “democratic” conditions of participation, which translates into the ability to enable a true dialog between all parties involved.

Changing the structure of communication: the key to the success of digital storytelling

Although technologies are a necessary precondition, the distinctive quality of digital storytelling does not end with the possibility of creating multimedia presentations, even very sophisticated ones. To grasp the depth of the change, we must shift the focus from technology to the structure of communication.

In fact, digital storytelling is as much about the “products” (blog posts, apps, videos, landing pages, etc.) as it is about the process. It’s no longer a transmission from top to bottom and from one to many, which proceeds in a single direction and delivers the message to an indistinct audience of viewers. Rather, it represents the opening of a space for conversation where the broadcasting system of traditional media is replaced by increasingly evolved forms of narrowcasting.

Because of this extraordinary quality, which allows it to reach consumers with a degree of accuracy that was previously unthinkable, digital storytelling has become an extremely valuable resource for corporate marketing over the past 15 years.

In addition to fostering reflection and enhancing engagement (through the building blocks of stories), digital storytelling provides an extraordinary impetus for building meaningful relationships and offers virtual places where people can express themselves about shared experiences, interfacing with the brand on almost the same level.

Digital storytelling video: engages, excites, moves to action

The digital storytelling created by the most innovative brands is flexible and constantly evolving.

It is developed on multiple channels, involves numerous touchpoints, and when it makes use of data that relate to habits, behaviors, and consumer sensitivity, it can enrich the consumer’s journey with content that is actually relevant. It gives rise to different storylines that explore specific issues related to the individual product or service or to the brand’s value system. In the best of all possible scenarios, these storylines intertwine into a coherent narrative.

Of all the formats tasked with conveying brand stories, digital video storytelling in particular encourages creativity and metaphorical thinking, and in doing so, succeeds in engaging audiences, eliciting an emotional response, and moving users to action.

In its most advanced form, which takes full advantage of personalization and interactivity, digital video storytelling contributes decisively to increasing brand visibility and memorability.

So far we have described the main features of digital storytelling and digital video storytelling. Let’s now explain how digital stories are made and how brands use them to talk about themselves.

Digital storytelling video: the phases, the team, the skills

Before describing the phases for creating a digital storytelling video that can meet the communication objectives of marketing, it is important to make a premise regarding the very essence of digital storytelling: data.

From storytelling to data storytelling: the role of data

During an interview in 2009, Google’s Chief Economist Dr. Hal R. Varian commented: “The ability to take data-to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it-that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades.”

The statement was part of a more general awareness. We began to realize the urgency of equipping ourselves with the necessary skills to manage and enhance the enormous amount of data that was already pouring into companies’ technology infrastructures.

Even McKinsey denounced the risk of a shortage of “data narrators” or “translators” who are specialized in data storytelling and able to analyze, distill, and clearly communicate information of the greatest potential value.

Concerns about the lack of immature job profiles and the increasing complexity of data management are still relevant today and this also affects video production.

In fact, if companies don’t improve their communication and collaboration structures by adopting the most suitable tools for creating digital video storytelling, they are destined to see their video marketing initiatives fail.

Let’s close this short parenthesis and continue with the actions that are needed to achieve successful digital narratives. The first thing to do, we now understand, is to better manage the wealth of data that your company has access to.

1. Collecting and translating data

Whether it’s a Hero, Hub, or product video, and regardless of the visual style you choose – live-action or motion graphics – creating a digital storytelling video requires that you start with a self-analysis to help you become aware of your strengths and weaknesses.

In this initial phase, brands must also explore the market where they compete, focusing on defining their target audience.

It is preliminary research work that no organization can avoid if it wants to take advantage of the digital transformation: the collection, organization, and interpretation of information will make it possible to build more complete and precise communication and to increase and refine the knowledge about users.

2. Writing the script and storyboarding

In order to have a good script that is in line not only with the broader plot and the feeling of the audience you want to address, try to speak using a language that is easily understandable, drawing on the vocabulary actually used by your customers so that you can show them that you are willing to enter their world.

The next step – essential if the video is in motion graphics – is creation of a storyboard that lays out the video scene by scene.

3. Production

When it comes to making a video, production is first and foremost about the steps that need to be taken to provide for the rational allocation of resources and for setting a budget for the resources needed for production.

To ensure optimal execution, remember that it is good practice to have a production manager who is dedicated to managing this important phase.

4. Video making

In this phase the absolute protagonist is the director who provides direction for the filming and defines the visual, dramatic, and cinematographic aspect of the story: from the positioning of the camera to the insertion of any animations.

5. Sound design

The sound designer is responsible for taking care of the sound of the video in all its aspects: from audio tracks related to speech, to background music, to acoustic effects.

6. Editing

Shooting a video, or making it into animation, is only half the job. When you move into post production, the other half begins: editing. The sequences are now edited according to the established script and storyboard.

At this stage all the graphic elements are added: overlays, signs, and animated inserts.

7. Programming

Programming, which makes it possible to broadcast video storytelling on digital channels, is not a phase like the others we have listed so far. Programming does not follow the other phases, but precedes and crosses them. For this reason, it is essential that this happens during the initial design of the content strategy.

As we mentioned earlier, a critical issue that companies face is the lack of skills, which prevents them from taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by digitization.

The fact is that the video production professionals we’ve talked about so far rarely have specific skills and knowledge of data management and programming languages that can be used to create documents for electronic transmission.

The most powerful weapon in digital video storytelling? Personalization

Data is the key to the success of any digital video storytelling: by extracting and selecting the information that the individual user is interested in knowing, the narrative takes on value, becomes personalized and therefore is memorable and impactful. Among the many advantages of digital video storytelling, the most relevant for companies is the ability to personalize content.

Personalization generates involvement and involvement generates conversion.

For this reason, personalization is one of the cardinal principles of modern one-to-one marketing, an approach that is based on the personal and direct relationship between brand and consumer.

Personalizing the customer experience, making it different from person to person based on individual expectations and desires, is what has a decisive impact on the Customer Journey.

What does it take to create a digital storytelling video?

We’ve seen how digital storytelling videos are powerful tools that give marketers the opportunity to reach and qualify users with a remarkable profiling ability. We also know, however, that in order to realize them at their best, it is necessary to count on a structure that is dedicated to the production process and to mobilize a team of skilled professionals.

Otherwise, you run the risk of producing content that is insufficient in terms of its communicative capacity and unsatisfactory in terms of quality.

Companies are faced with the need to transform their content creators and data scientists into video scientists. The issue is decidedly complex.

One solution that more and more organizations are moving towards is adopting platforms that make it easy to generate data-driven, dynamic, and professional video quickly and affordably.

Such video automation platforms provide companies with all the assistance and services they need to create effective and, above all, personalized video content.

Tell us about you