It’s a big, big, digital world out there, filled with every type of media you can think of. You might be left wondering, How do you get your content noticed amidst the mess of other marketing materials? The answer is through digital storytelling, something that is deeper than simple clicks and likes. A story gets somewhere; it has a point. It keeps the audience engaged. As an intern at On Target Digital Marketing, I’ve learned that marketing is about storytelling in this digital age. It’s about providing fresh, relatable content for the consumers.
Spin a Good Yarn
Digital storytelling isn’t just about telling a story — it’s more than that. Any decent marketing content will match a brand’s personality, maintain a consistent tone, and focus on a purpose or goal. At my first Coffee & Content meeting, OT CEO Tom Jelneck passed around a beach ball and each person that caught it had to add on to a story that we were making up. It was a really effective exercise to learn what works and what doesn’t with storytelling. On Target writers know that marketing material must create a human connection with the consumer. Content should read like a conversation between the supplier and the target because the target is the audience, and the audience consists of human beings. You’re marketing to real people, so treat them like that.
Common Marketing Mistakes
Every time I log onto Twitter, I see countless corporations posting things to make them seem more trendy and relatable — almost like a real person — but it usually ends up coming off as fake and impersonal. Take the month of June. You’ll see a lot of companies marketing towards the LGBTQ+ community for Pride month. They’ll release rainbow merchandise or temporarily put a colorful filter over their social media. Many of the companies that market Pride month simply collect a paycheck and do nothing for the cause itself, such as donating profits. And when the clock strikes midnight on July 1st, everything on the companies’ social media is swiftly reverted back to normal, almost as if it never happened. The companies are guilty of targeting a specific audience that is trending, marketing to them for a profit, and then leaving that audience behind once time is up. If your content is impersonal, your audience will sense it. These companies fail at this marketing tactic because their audience sees through their strategies and knows that the companies are just trying to capitalize off of what is trending. Instead, use your brand’s values and embrace the passion that you already have. If you share your company’s truth in a memorable way, your audience will respond positively.
The OT Intern Experience
On Target’s office space is the perfect inspirational environment. Brightly colored and stocked with caffeine, the office walls are decorated with motivating quotes, such as Simon Sinek’s “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” Interning at On Target Digital Marketing, I didn’t just run around and take coffee orders. (Actually, the coffee was fresh and provided!) On Target provided me with real experience in digital marketing, teaching me how to write professionally in an engaging, unique way. I got to work with real clients and learn how to spin stories for a variety of different brands. Writing is our craft here, and we’re happy to share our talents. Outsource your brand’s needs to friendly, skilled people who really want to help you develop your talent and succeed.
When creating content, don’t allow it to be soulless; breathe life into your work. Make that human connection with your target audience. Whether you’re looking to join the team or are in need of assistance in digital storytelling, On Target is the place for you. After all, the internship application page on On Target’s website leads with, “You’ll love this place,” and I can tell you from personal experience, they’re right.
Gianna is a writing intern at On Target, as well as a student at Rollins College, where she is majoring in Critical Media & Cultural Studies, and minoring in Communication and Creative Writing. In her free time, Gianna serves her sorority Non Compis Mentis as president, and hosts a theme park podcast, which can be found on Instagram @spoonfulofdisney_.