Powerful Advice On The Future Of Digital Storytelling [Video]

In April 2016 myself along with fellow Travel+SocialGood Media Network members Maria Russo of The Culture-Ist, Rob Holmes of GLP Films, Kelley Louise of The Culture Collective and Nicolette Orlemans of the #CultureTrav Twitter Chat spoke on a panel about The Future of Digital Storytelling at the annual New York Travel Festival.

Today’s digital world where everyone is a citizen journalist or influencer has both positive and negative effects: positive in that we all have the chance to have our voices heard and use a variety of mediums to do so, and negative in that there’s a lot of noise and quick, unthoughtful content to wade through.

Important Questions

So, how can we all be more effective storytellers? Some questions answered with concrete examples and case studies in the video above:

  • What are the key components of storytelling?
  • How can storytellers use video to make an impact?
  • What types of stories should we be telling?
  • How can storytellers build a dedicated following around Instagram?
  • How can digital storytellers keep blog content focused and engaging?
  • How can digital storytellers connect with their readers/followers?
  • How can digital storytellers keep an authentic voice while working with brands?
  • How can digital storytellers use Twitter Chats to further get their message out and connect?
digital storytelling

Digital storytelling. Photo: Dariusz Sankowski/Unsplash; Edited: Jessie on a Journey

Authentic Digital Storytelling

One main takeaway I hope you all get from the above video is the idea of authentic storytelling. This may sound vague, but no matter what channel you’re using to get your message out the goal should be finding the heart of the story and telling it in a way that makes sense to your specific audience. Realize finding the story may not be apparent upon first glance of a setting.

For example, if you go to Rome your digital storytelling efforts are likely not put to best use by simply listing the top 10 things to do (TripAdvisor has that covered). Instead the better story might be profiling a local, or using sensory descriptions, video and imagery to depict an exchange that gives insight into the culture. You’d be surprised just how much one can learn by something as simple as ordering a coffee in a new place.

Be yourself. Don’t sell out to brands that go against your mission statement just because they’re offering you free “stuff” (which, by the way, doesn’t pay the rent) or money. Instead, monetize in a way that’s organic, maybe by having a brand ask you a question and answering it in a blog post or reaching out to brands you already love and weaving their offerings into a piece of media. We discuss this more in the video above.

Essential Digital Storytelling Tools

Looking to start your own blog or monetize your site, but need guidance? Check out my professional travel blogging services.

A few more of my favorite digital storytelling tools:

Have any digital storytelling tools or tips to add? Please share in the comments below! 

TED Talks Storytelling: 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks by Akash Karia [Great Reads]

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Travel Blogging [Blog Inspiration]

How To Start A Blog & Monetize It [Blogging Courses]

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