Mastering Digital Storytelling: The Back Stories

Digital storytelling is a method of sharing stories using digital technology such as images, videos, written text, oral narrations, and sound effects. It provides content creators with a creative platform to tell their stories.

The History of Storytelling

During the Stone Age, cave painting was a way for people to communicate without being present. Egyptian hieroglyphs were a writing system that was comprised of symbols. Scribes put them in tombs, temples, and papyrus dating back to the Early Bronze Age.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle asserted that stories, in particular poems, have a universal narrative structure. His foundation of structural analysis is the basis for many stories to this day. His six principles of storytelling included plot, character, thought, diction, song, and spectacle.

Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People was published in 1936. He had a magic formula for storytelling that is similar to the foundation of structural analysis. It was:

  • Incident – share a personal experience that will grab attention
  • Action – explain what action took place to solve the problem
  • Benefit – describe the benefits of the action

Joseph Campbell wrote The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Published in 1949, it’s a work that shares the structure of the journey of the heroes that are found in myths. His theory of the Hero’s Journey has been applied by modern writers, artists, and filmmakers.

Our Stories

Everyone has stories to tell. If we’re applying the principles of storytelling to business, the masters have a great deal to teach us. In one of my articles, I wrote about an experience that I had when I was working in sales in Pacific Grove, California.  The Strategy of Lasting Memories is a story that had a happy ending. It demonstrates how we can become a hero to our clients when we understand and provide what they need to resolve their issues.

Since 2008, I’ve been creating digital stories for many different types of companies. Although the tools and trends have changed in the past 14 years, storytelling through content marketing and social sharing continues to be at the core of the promotional strategy for many businesses.

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.  – Joseph Campbell

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