Digital Story Telling– 5 great examples of Social Media Video

Originally written: 23/05/18

What is Digital Storytelling?

We have been telling stories for just under two hundred thousand years now through our various cultures and people. It possibly started as a story told by the fire of a successful hunt which has now transformed into multilayered audio-visual storytelling, all of which is an integral part of our day-to-day life. Social media platforms have become our modern days “fire” that we gather around in the search for the most creative and emotive digital storytelling experience.

Development of social media has not only “connected people” or cultures from all over the world but also started the era of a “bite” content, which re-defined not only the way how we consume visual content today but also the way how companies can communicate their values and promote their products.

Viral Content

With the extreme saturation of marketing towards the consumer market, a ‘good product’ just isn’t enough and brands had to look for innovative ways to win over the hearts of their consumer. If the world of TV advertisement with its huge budgets hasn’t provided enough freedom to experiment, Marketers are now using social media platforms, online communities and digital content as the next ultimate battlefield for the creative geniuses.

Luckily for SMB’s, these platforms allow this type of video content to be created at a much lower cost and to have greater effectiveness with accurate targeting. With a well-crafted production of a campaign with digital stories (video, images, animation) the consumer/viewer is offered more than a product or service, they are offered an experience which transcends their regular browsing or purchasing habits.

The brands who are the most successful at using these mediums to share their purpose, core values and mission through video content are the ones who not only win over the hearts and minds but also reap the rewards of higher social media engagement and action.

Digital Narrative

How big of a ‘bite’ can you make in Digital Story Telling?

It is said the pure genius shows itself through laconism. And the hard truth is that is the shorter the content the harder it gets to make it cohesive and engaging. Most of the time it takes more effort to create a “stories” content, which is an only 5-15 seconds, than for a 60 sec one.

Online content marketing

The effort is worth it!  Last week, Tech Crunch released an article  with the most recent data on most major platforms through the ‘stories’ channels.

Facebook also started their rollout last week of its ‘story’ Advertisements in the U.S, Mexico and Brazil.

But if the “stories” work best as the “teaser” to grab attention, spark an interest, create immediate action, then it is possible – your audience would still want to see more. So our favourite and most statistically effective methods of digital storytelling is through the use of longer formats, over 15 seconds on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube.

One study conducted recently showed that already 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool (source) along with 83% of consumers who watched a branded video that they enjoyed said they would consider sharing it with their friends.  In the same survey, 85% of people say they’d like to see more video from brands in 2018.(source).

There is no clear winner between short and longer video content, it will all depend on objectives, production budgets, tools available and the message being delivered. Although as mentioned, we suggest a longer format that will create a greater and more profound experience for the viewer which can improve brand loyalty and of course…overall sales.

Art of Story Telling

What is the ‘secret recipe’ for engaging video content through Digital Storytelling?

The formula is ridiculously simple and hasn’t changed for centuries – a good story is one that is told in an engaging, clear and cohesive way (French new wave is not everyone’s cup of tea) with an engaging character/subject. The trick always is how to make is “fresh” and “authentic”.

But there always be something magical, mysterious and unknown involved in the creation of any content short or long form and every content creator is a bit of a wizard or as Werner Herzog says “We are thieves. We get away with loot from the most beautiful, or the scariest, or the most spectacular places that you can ever find.”  It’s always about inspiration, great idea, different vision or a great sense of humor.

But no matter how talented and gifted you are, there always and always (and one more time always) involves a great portion of pure craftsmanship. It’s not an inspirational ‘We can all do it!’ but if you want your video content to be engaging then you need a great and skilled creator equipped with the right tools. If you are looking at hiring someone to create this content or even bootstrapping and doing it yourself, it is important to take a look at what camera are you filming on, what editing software you are using, how well the music blends in with dialogue, how smooth is the cut and so on.

All the above pieces blended together will result in great content.

Digital Story Telling examples to have you inspired

As we are yet to see the ability to tell a well-executed and structured narrative story via the ‘Stories’ channels across most platforms. We will look at 5 of our favourite and nicely crafted digital stories promoted on Facebook and Instagram.

Digital Story Examples

  1. Air BnB-

You can easily mistake this one for a short documentary and you can see why it was nominated for a number of awards.

There is no need to explain why it is so great and why we loved it so much. The story is profoundly personal and touching, it is told with warmth and tenderness.

The Airbnb brand was integrated tastefully allowing the story to shine. Great Animators with a well-written narrative can make some amazing videos.

  1. Ikea New Catalogue-

Ikea is as always perfect in its laconism and it’s hard to imagine a more elegant way to preset… a book.

Ikea put their bets on humor as their medium and won. But it was far from an odd shot. Humor related and funny videos make up the biggest portion of the viral content on social media. And according to the study with a quite unusual title “From subservient chickens to brawny men”  – “Humor was employed at near-unanimous levels for all viral advertisements. Consequently, this study identified humor as the universal appeal for making content viral.”

Something to think about in some of your future content?

  1. Tough Mudder

One example of the style of Tough Mudder storytelling centric videos-

Using the Tough Mudder Community stories that are authentic whilst incorporating your brand or products is another great method to inspire engagement. Even better, this story was pointed towards the viewer and gave the story of resilience and a come-back to be able to compete in their obstacle courses. If you can’t create a great narrative, one of the best ways is found users of your product and ask them their story and how it made their life a little better, you might be very surprised in the responses!

  1. Until We All Win (Nike)
  1. Eatkarus (Edeka)

This 2.5 min video shows that sometimes making a statement about social issues can pay off. The German supermarket chain, ‘Edeka’, didn’t shy away from discussion of obesity issue and as a result their ad about a boy who wanted to learn how fly scored 4.3 million views on Youtube, probably as many on Facebook and quite a few articles leaning towards it being controversial and even offensive video.

We’re not sure if Edeka planned to be so controversial, although, this video powerfully translated the values of the brand and its strong stance on healthy eating habits.

Digital Story

The next step!

Take a look at your own content. Do you have Video content in short or long form? Is it engaging? Could it be better? What message is it delivering? Where is it being promoted and shared? How do I create this content?

Ask these questions and if you see any issues, fix it up and get your video content out there. The Video content era is here!

Stay Tuned for our next blog on User Generated Content

We hope these may have inspired you to create some more video content and fuel some great ideas for your own brands, clients or community. If you are unsure on how to get started with your brand’s story or interested in constructing some amazing video content, feel free to visit Digital Story Telling or send us an email and we will have our award-winning filmmaker and Marketers storyboard some ideas.