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.

Text 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 years3

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 incredible4

You might agree with that, you might not.BUT youve more than likely thought about where youre 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, were wired that way.5

AND weve telling stories since the beginning of time


EntertainmentWWE built on stories, done so well grown men watch every week, yes American but still7

EducationMr Tumble got kids you know him8

Moral values


TraditionalTypically been10

Whats changed with digital? One of the big things is interactionAs consumers weve gone from passive to activeWere now interacting, were commenting, liking, sharing and contributingWere 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 11

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 Its constantly evolving12

So how do we tell digital stories and create 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 businessWere far more savvy as consumers now, we want authenticity13

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 story15

One great story is worth many average storiesA great story doesnt have to be complicated, in fact simple stories are more likely to stickOnce weve 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 that16

Probably not.I think well see the great digital stories evolvingBecause the next chapter is being written as we speak17