Storytelling has evolved over the years, with the use of new technologies in particular allowing it to reach a far greater level of effectiveness. With technology, the audience can join in the storytelling process, thus impacting positively on engagement and facilitating the development of long lasting relationships. As the process works with emotions, it enables a new kind of relationship to be built up between a destination or tourism business and its audience. With the emergence of more technologies to take advantage of over the years, marketers need to take decisions on which of these technologies can be best used for storytelling and to improve the consumer experience (iMedia).
Involving users in the process of storytelling can be quite beneficial. By creating a web-based video series for example, travellers can take part, sharing, voting and commenting with ideas for future episodes. In tourism, this is an easy concept to implement; travellers could decide what activities or which parts of the destination should be highlighted online, and whom these activities would best suit. As all episodes are based on user decisions and feedback, the consumer engagement and overall viewing numbers will be high.
User-generated content is another important factor that should be considered as a means of digital storytelling. The content can take different forms, such as videos or images, and can easily be implemented into stories. Once the end result is ready for travellers to view, the engagement will be high again, as people contributing with videos or images will have a connection to the story and will talk about it.
Destinations should ensure that they are using the right technologies for storytelling, and that the tools they use trigger consumer engagement. It is absolutely crucial to involve users in the storytelling process, taking their feedback into consideration to continually improve their user experience. With the increasing importance of UGC in tourism, destinations and tourism businesses need to make note of the importance of enabling travellers to create, use and share their content.
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