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August 1, 2017

Digital storytelling tools: how to tell corporate stories today

Digitale Storytelling Tools Übersicht auf Kinoleinwand

Digitale Storytelling Tools, Source: rawpixel.com, edited by Mashup Communications GmbH

As soon as the structure of the story is set, the question arises: How do I inspire my target group with insights, know-how or my brand message? Digital storytelling tools are the ideal way to reach the relevant target group via products, the company story or employer branding stories. One tool that has been underestimated so far is scrollytelling.

Basic digital storytelling tools: TimelineJS, StoryMapJS and Prezi Next

Displaying content in a timeline is the easiest way to tell a story. With TimelineJS, graphics and videos from external platforms, such as YouTube, Flickr or Vimeo, can be easily inserted. The user only has to embed the code on his website. The timeline is then automatically created and displayed. StoryMapJS is a tool designed to display stories on a geographical map. The tool can be used to illustrate journeys or company expansions in particular.

Website Banner Online Kurs Brand Storytelling

Go back in time with Juxtapose – here you can quickly and easily create sliders that illustrate before and after comparisons. If you like the good old PowerPoint, you should try an interactive presentation. Prezi Next has just been launched, and not only has usability been improved, but there are also numerous analysis functions as part of the premium package. In real time, it can be determined who is watching the presentation, for how long, and with whom it is being shared.

Swipe from prologue to epilogue: scrollytelling

Snowfall is nothing special in New York, but with “Snow Fall” the New York Times has managed a very special coup. With a minimalist website, the medium for the “Tunnel Creek Avalanche” avalanche caused the birth of scrollytelling. Accompanied by text, film, animation, audio commentary and slideshows, the user scrolls through the chronology of the terrible events in the online multimedia feature. The very act of scrolling down is metaphorical, symbolizing the departure. More precisely, it is the so-called parallax scrolling, in which the individual levels of the website move at different speeds. In this way, the reader is even more captivated by the progress of the story and his attention span is kept high.

There are numerous ways to use other interactive elements, these scrollytelling tools provide a solid base:

Storyform: One story, one month

Storyform Interface Screenshot

Storyform Screenshot

With the scrollytelling tool Storyform, users can create one story per month for free. The operation is simple and self-explanatory, and there is also a template available for the user’s own story. The watermark and the limitation of page views are somewhat annoying.

Demo: https://storyform.co/demo/rainier
Website: https://storyform.co

Shorthand: BBC und The Guardian als Premium-Kunden

Shorthand Interface Screenshot

Shorthand Screenshot

The BBC has been using Shorthand for a long time: With „Body in the Moor – Why did this man travel 200 miles to die here?“ Jon Manel has been able to put a compelling yet tragic story online. The free package allows stories to be developed, but there is a base fee when they are published. Alternatively, an annual subscription is available.

Website: https://shorthand.com

Shorthand Social: Scrollytelling for Twitter

Screenshot Interface Shorthand Social

Screenshot Shorthand Social

Nowadays, you can meet your own target group more and more often in social networks. With Shorthand Social, stories can be shared via Twitter. Each story section is published on the social.shorthand website. The tweets then appear on Twitter in freely selectable time intervals. In just a few minutes, the Stories online editor can be used to package words, images and videos into a multi-faceted multimedia story. Best of all, Shorthand Social is completely free.

Website: https://shorthand.com/social/

StoryBuilder: Open source and free

StoryBuilder Interface Screenshot

StoryBuilder Screenshot

„Build and Share – the Next Generation Story“, says the StoryBuilder website. What sounds rather pathetic is actually very simple with the help of this platform. New gripping to tragic stories appear daily, packed with images, sound and video. StoryBuilder is open source, free of charge and thus a top alternative to paid scrollytelling tools.

Website: https://storybuilder.jumpstart.ge/en

A big advantage is that many scrollytelling tools are optimized so that the target group can follow the stories via smartphone or desktop PC. Whether by mouse wheel or with a small swipe – with scrollytelling, publishers, SMEs, startups and even large corporations can tell interactive, lively stories. But digital storytelling tools such as timelines, maps, before-and-after comparisons or interactive presentations are also ideal ways to not only reach the target group, but also to impress them and get them excited about their own company.

You can find out how best to present your own story in another blog post.

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Tommy Dobs
Teamleiter bei Mashup Communications
Tommy hat ein Herz für Nerds, denn er ist selbst einer! Mit seiner IT-Expertise sind bei ihm Techie-Themen bestens aufgehoben. Ob Cloud-Service oder Messenger – bei ihm ist alles verschlüsselt.