The Art of Interactive Storytelling in a Fast Paced Culture

By Stevie Sleeter, Content & Social Media Manager

Published: October 24, 2013

People don’t have 30 seconds to be interrupted, but they do have 3 minutes to hear a great story.  Interactive storytelling is not about “what you sell” it’s about conveying “what you stand for.”

Tell Them Your Story

Whether it’s discovering and revitalizing unknown content, creating and publishing new content, or editing and tweaking current content, companies today must engage and interact. We must share content that connects on an emotional level and is imminently sharable, while profitably enhancing business and telling a story truly our own. Storytelling, for many, is not easy.

A recent Ragan Communications blog on the art of storytelling shared 5 key lessons in communication and delivery that we find particularly valuable in a time when differentiation is key.

  1. Avoid the intro. There’s virtually no preamble here, just an immediate incident to get the story going. Skip the opening stuff, and get right to the point.
  2. Go for the emotion. The emotions invoked in this video run deep and involve social norms, family, debt, and honor—nothing trivial. Don’t waste our time with trivial pursuits. Get to the good stuff.
  3. Make it about life and death. Stories that hold our attention involve not only strong emotion, but big stakes. If you’re going to keep us watching or listening, target the gut level.
  4. Give us texture. If you’re trying to tell a story quickly, you might be tempted to give us a vague fairy tale to save time and effort. Don’t. This video throws us right into a milieu and expects us to keep up. It feels real, not imaginary.
  5. Complete the arc. What ultimately satisfies in a story is closure. The rest of our lives may be chaotic, fragmentary, and unfinished, but give us a story that isn’t. Give us the full narrative—even in three minutes.

Of these five tips, numbers 1, 2 and 5 are particularly important when it comes to telling a story online. The root of them being the creation of content that is real, humanized, and relatable.

Last month, we had the pleasure of joining our longtime partner, Ariens Company, in celebrating their 80th anniversary. Attending as roving reporters, Envano was tasked to gather any and all engaging and relevant content to capture the events of the day. The goal of each piece of content captured differs from a business development perspective, but all come together to form a cohesive story. From impromptu dealer testimonial videos to engaging social recaps and event live streaming to interactive photography, Ariens told a story truly their own celebrating decades of family value and American craftsmanship. Most importantly, they extended the value of their efforts by creating and sharing a story leading up to the event, on the anniversary, and for weeks following the celebration.

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