How to create a digital story? What steps to take, tools to use, and where to share for the most significant impact? Stick around and you’ll find all these and more answers to telling your story online.
Did you know that:
- over half of the world’s population uses the global Web daily
- 1.7MB of data is created every second by every person during 2020
- the average human processes images 60,000 times faster than the text itself
The question that instantly pops up is:
How the fork can I stand out and grab attention with the stories I create?
Digital storytelling is more and more competitive and seems like a tough bridge to cross over. Still, it doesn’t have to be. With the means and tools at your disposal, sharing stories about you, your business, motives, missions, values can be meaningful and fruitful. And still, be recognized by the people you’re sharing it with.
Bear with us for all the ways how.
What exactly is digital storytelling?
Unlike traditional storytelling, as explained in our previous article, digital storytelling is a craft or a skill that helps us share our messages, thoughts, and feelings with the help of new technologies. More than words and writings, digital storytelling embraces a much wider spectrum of means: photos, videos, animations, and so much more!
There’s this one definition of digital storytelling as “the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling”. We say, think of it as a multipotential creative process of building your stories to life – in 3D as well as any and every way you can come up with.
Taking this into account, let’s dive deeper into the very digital storytelling process and all the ways you can create and craft your stories worth telling and sharing.
Digital storytelling process
So, how can we use what used to be a traditional form of narrative and transform it into digital storytelling? How can you be more consistent and recognizable?
First of all, a good story is both personal and simple, specific, and easily digestible. It’s honest and relevant for the people you are sharing it with. Ultimately, a good story provokes emotions, whether good or bad ones. And, always come with a lesson or a point to take.
Now, concerning implementing all that into a digital scenario, there are 8 steps to creating, developing the digital storytelling process, and crafting great digital stories:
- Step one: Start with an idea
- Step Two: Research/Explore/Learn
- Step Three: Write/Outline
- Step Four: Storyboard/Plan
- Step Five: Gather and create multimedia material
- Step Six: Put it all together
- Step Seven: Share
- Step Eight: Analyse and repeat the things that work
Everything starts with an idea, whether it’s a campaign for a product launch, an event to promote, or a business introduction. Once you define your go-to idea, propose all the needed phases to transform that idea into a finished digital story. Then, dig deep into the research phase to explore and learn and come up with the most valuable information you’ll use to build that story. Only then is time to sit and start writing an outline and a draft of what your digital story will look like. Improve it with a plan on what types of content and story forms you’ll use to make your story stand out even more and resonate with your audience the most.
Once you do all that, think about the resources you’ll need and where to gather them regarding images, videos, or audios, and such. And if you’re tight on the budget, take a look at these 15 free photo websites for your stories, as well as these sites for free public domain music for your audio and video stories.
Step six is where the magic happens – where you bring to life the idea you have and create a story that resonates with people and pushes all the right buttons. It’s like playing with Lego’s – creating a vision, an answer, a solution out of a few blocks (like with Gutenberg blocks, pun intended). Thinking of all the means and tools at disposal to make our stories truly exceptional. However, creating and finishing a story from scratch, seeing it alive, and publishing it online isn’t the end of it. Because, an event the best written and crafted digital story needs help, as well as search engines – to figure out and pick up on what you’ve done. That’s why sharing your story through all the channels that are out there and relevant to you and your business is essential.
And finally, analyzing and evaluating. What went well and why so you can repeat it and also determine what went south in order to improve it will make you a better digital storyteller and a better, more successful communicator in the internet ecosystem.
Think of Apple, Lego, Ikea, Netflix, and the ways they do digital storytelling to attract, engage, build a meaningful connection with their audiences.
Now, one might ask here…
What’s WordPress got to do with digital storytelling?
Well, since we’re talking about digital space, it’s only natural to bring WordPress as a hero of our story, a tool and mean to an end of guiding us from start to finish and helping us broadcast all of our stories throughout the internet.
As of this month, WordPress powers 38.8% of all websites, according to W3Tech statistics. Brands like Microsoft, Zoom, Freepik, even Cambridge and White House use this very platform as a way to broadcast their stories to the wider audience. Furthermore, WordPress dominates Google’s SERP with 2.28 billion results – talk about aligning your idea, business, a story around it, right?
At the same time, WordPress is very approachable and easy to use. Not to mention it’s free or affordable to build your safe and accessible webspace from scratch. With almost 4,000 free themes and over 57,900 free plugins, there are unlimited ways of shaping your digital story to meet your and your audience’s needs.
And lastly, the way the Gutenberg editor and overall improvements enhance this CMS platform, there’s no end to what you can do to make your mark in the global digital world. Digital storytelling with WordPress comes as natural as breathing, so it seems 🙂
To further help you with this topic, here’s the pre-COVID presentation about creating a great digital story – with the help of WordPress of course:
Handy premium WordPress themes to tell your story online
In case you don’t find the right aesthetic and that The One feeling among the free ones, there is another solution as well. There are also plenty of premium WordPress themes you can use for creating your digital stories. And this is where our shameless self-promotion comes in use. All of our themes come with the free 7-days test run to see how it all fits with your ideas. So, feel free to check them out and decide which one is The One for you.
Don’t fancy much of anything but a written word? We’ve got you! Typology is a text-based blog theme that helps you easily create a beautiful website with no images or visuals whatsoever required.
Coming from the photo industry and need the right aesthetic to showcase your work? Look no further because Pinhole is designed to help you create stunning photography sites with features that every photographer needs.
A multi-concept personal blog and magazine theme, carefully designed to follow the trends of today’s modern web and requirements.
Thinking of setting up a podcast show? Megaphone steps in as a fully-featured WordPress theme created to help you set up and manage your audio podcast site in no time.
So, how do we create stories in the digital environment?
No matter what your topic is about, the type of story you choose, or the format you’ll use – one thing is certain. The structure of your digital story needs to be aligned with the search engine’s recommendation so it’s seen as a search result.
This is where my Anatomy of the perfectly written blog post or a web article comes in:
The goal of any digital story out there is to be visible, searchable, and findable by the right people, your target audience. To do so, stories should be structured in a way that not only people but also crawlers understand them and point as the perfect result that answers one’s search intent.
Useful tools to improve your digital storytelling
In favor of making an even better impact with your stories, apart from WordPress itself, there are plenty more tools and apps to use to showcase your content. We covered some of them in our articles about photo editing apps or video editing tools you can use with your smartphone.
In the wake of social media stories exploding, even Google itself recognized the importance of telling them more engagingly. Just last month, and with the collaboration with WordPress, Google presented us with Web Stories, a free WordPress plugin for visual storytelling. Blend your written, video, audio, animated stories into a more dynamic and engaging content experience. To do so, all you need is to download the plugin and follow instructions from Google’s Developers guide.
A good story engages people in more than way, encourages them to act upon a CTA, provokes emotion. Ultimately, a good story provides meaningful value for the person who interacts with it. And to have that experience, people today need a bit more than the traditional way of storytelling. Knowing your narrative is a necessity, however, understanding how to present and promote them in a more appealing way goes a long way.
Times have changed, and people’s attention span is getting shorter as we speak. So, we need to use what we have and know to keep them in our way. By using the tools we presented and crafting your stories in a way described is a go-to approach and a way to go. Just look at any of our stories shared with you!
Have a question for us? Leave them in the comment section below, let’s chat!