Streaming Forum Preview: The Power of Storyshowing

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All of the different kinds of technology we write about on Streaming Media and discuss at events like next month's Streaming Forum have one thing in common: Used properly, they allow us to better communicate, whether by way of entertaining, educating, marketing, training, or advertising. Technology is really just an enabler for content, and if the content isn't engaging, it doesn't matter whether it's delivered at 1080p using DASH or distributed via low-bitrate podcast using RSS.

That's why we're focusing on content in our second Streaming Forum keynote, to be presented on Wednesday 19 June at 9 a.m. Jason Thibeault, senior director of marketing strategy for Limelight Networks, will be giving a talk called "The Power of Storyshowing," in which he'll discuss the specific advantages that video brings to the age-old human tradition of storytelling.

"We all know what storytelling is, we have books and we have magazines," says Thibeault, "but the world is changing from a digital perspective, and video is awesome. Video allows us to do more than just tell a story—we get to show a story. So we came up with this term called 'storyshowing' and it's really that combination of words and images and videos, all wrapped up into that one big story."

But what, exactly, is "storyshowing?" Thibeault points to the way that Coca-Cola has completely reimagined its corporate website into something that The New York Times called "more akin to a consumer magazine than a business portal."

"They've completely rebranded their corporate site into everything that's about stories," Thibeault says. "There's nothing about them, everything is about their customers, they're using tons of video and images and text, and that's really what storyshowing is. They're starting to not only tell people and let them engage through the traditional channels, but then they're showing these vibrant, rich, engaging videos."

Thibeault is helping rebrand and re-envision Limelight, which is typically thought of as a content delivery network (CDN), since that's how the company started in 2001. He says that Limelight is now approaching CDN as just one application within a platform of broader applications and services. "Now Limelight is less about delivering this content and more about enabling organizations to really engage with their digital audiences through the experiences they've built. They're delivering experiences to mobile, delivering to the web, delivering to TVs, and we're helping with that."

A key element of Limelight's new strategy has been helping to educate not just its own customers but the digital media industry at large. The company recently released a book called Digital Presence for Dummies, and Thibeault has given several talks recently focusing on the importance of storytelling, including one recently at the B2B Content Conversion Conference called "The 9 Cs of Storytelling." And while much of what he speaks about revolves around the human elements of storytelling, Thibeault knows that most important concern is the end result.

"Number one from a business perspective is conversion," he says. "Even though storytelling is all about engagement and getting above the digital noise, not just broadcasting your product message, it has to have meaningful impact to the business. If you’re not converting from the story into something that you consider to be a KPI or performance metric, then it’s a failing story."

Check out the video below for more tips on great storytelling and a sneak peek at Thibeault's upcoming Streaming Forum keynote. There's still time to register for Streaming Forum, which will be held at Park Plaza Victoria London on 18-19 June.


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