This article was originally published in Reel West Magazine, and was republished here to archive it, after the close of the magazine.
Those of you that have been paying attention to all the news coming out of the Banff World Media Festival, you may be aware that one of the new and arguably overdue additions to the festival is The AMP Accelerator presented by Shaftesbury. The AMP Accelerator focuses on branded storytelling in the form of scripted digital series. BUT states that “great story isn’t enough.” Rather that “you need to know who your audience is, where they are and what they want – and once you have them, how you keep them with you.”
For anyone who is a decent digital storyteller and / or blogger, this is nothing new – building not just audience, but COMMUNITY is how they reach sizeable worldwide audiences that trust them and make them of great value to brands.
Here are some of the lessons that the traditional broadcast storytellers can learn from bloggers:
- Start developing your story and / or characters on social media and in digital niche communities in early conception and development. This will allow you to test out your ideas, grow your community, and create different opportunities and revenue streams for your story.
- Don’t chase after building on popular platforms, rather choose the platforms to build on that make sense to your story and that will allow you to connect with your digital niche community.
To add to Hayley’s advice here, if you are simply broadcasting your story, you are missing the ‘social’ part of social media, and quite frankly missing the mark. To build an engaged fanbase and ultimately a community, you need to listen and respond. If your audience feels listened to and as though they are a part of your community, they will take a personal stake in your story and help to make sure you are a success.
- Allowing your audience to engage with your story and take a personal stake in it, does not mean losing control of your story’s direction. You are still the story’s guide and decide which roads to take.
The authenticity and trust that Raul mentions are why brands want to work with bloggers to help them to tell their stories.
- Keep the scripted content to the ‘Show’. Scripted content in your social media will be the death of it, and make you look unauthentic and unengaged.
While what Ayngelina says here is true, remember there is a difference between healthy debate and offensive ‘troll’ behaviour. If someone is turning a story negative for the community, and you have tried to respond in a manner which creates for a positive debate, yet they continue to respond aggressively and offensively, making the space and the story toxic, then for the good of the community, do not be afraid to delete their comments and ban them from the community. Remember, this is still your story, and these trolls are in all likelihood not your target audience, so don’t let them destroy it for those that are.
- Finally, building an engaged digital community is not a “build it and they will come scenario”, rather “build it, find your niche community, engage that niche community, and that niche community will help you to grow.”
Don’t forget to connect with us on twitter at @AhimsaMedia and stay tuned to all things StoryToGo with the #StoryToGo hashtag.