6 Digital Storytelling Lessons from Pottermore. 6 Lessons in Digital Storytelling from J.K. Rowling 1) Offer Unique, Exclusive Content Pottermore is the host and primary retailer of the enhanced editions of the Harry Potter books, but its unique content doesn’t stop there. Visitors also gain access to new writing released by J.K. Rowling, free of charge. Her pieces flesh out existing plot points and provide further context to the original stories. Takeaway for Marketers: Information-gathering is the key to creating a custom experience. You can always, however, ask for information directly. 4) Build a World Your visitors will more likely feel a sense of belonging if you go so far as to create a digital “world.” Luckily, you don’t need to be a fantasy author to create a content universe -- but it can be helpful to take a few cues from them. How, then, can you make your story, brand, or idea so well-fleshed out, that a user feels connected and a part of your universe? The Magic of Digital Storytelling When you create a unique experience for your community that centers around delight, you invite your readers to feel as if they are a part of something. This, in turn, increases their loyalty, and makes them more likely to consume your content again and again, and refer your brand to others.
As technology continues to lower the cost of content production, today’s end user is asked to digest more stories than ever before — in conversation, in written text, at the movies, in advertisements, and even through web design. With so much to absorb, it’s essential for digital marketers to differentiate their content and deliver an incredible experience.
To better understand recent advancements and best practices in digital storytelling, look no further than the creative writing greats. J.K. Rowling, the famous author of the Harry Potter book series, has sold 450 million Harry Potter books in print, worldwide. Though the first book in the series was published nearly 20 years ago, the content continues to take new shapes through her site, Pottermore.
Launched in 2012, Pottermore is the global digital publisher of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, “dedicated to unlocking the power of imagination.”
In this post, I’ll discuss six ways Pottermore pushes the digital storytelling envelope. Apply them to your own strategy to deliver content that strengthens relationships with your community.
6 Lessons in Digital Storytelling from J.K. Rowling
1) Offer Unique, Exclusive Content
Pottermore is the host and primary retailer of the enhanced editions of the Harry Potter books, but its unique content doesn’t stop there. Visitors also gain access to new writing released by J.K. Rowling, free of charge. Her pieces flesh out existing plot points and provide further context to the original stories. To the delight of many fans, the site additionally posts sanctioned articles on all things Harry Potter that dive into niche topics and plot points.
In short, Pottermore is the destination for Harry Potter content.
This is a primary goal for digital storytellers: to develop a lauded reputation for a certain content type. This is achieved through time, consistency, and promotion. To build hype for the first release of Pottermore in 2012, a restricted number of early birds were granted access to help put the finishing touches on the site. This layer of exclusivity drove press coverage, ensuring the larger release gained significant attention.
Takeaway for Marketers: As you build your own digital storytelling world, commit to a specific angle and consider how you can present it in a way that showcases what makes it valuable and original. Perhaps it’s a noteworthy writer, the fact you stay up to date on a specific trend, or that you leverage someone’s distinct professional experience.
On Pottermore, it’s J.K. Rowling’s words that draw fans in, but the most popular features of the site aren’t about the author — they’re about the user.
2) Develop a Custom Experience
As J.K. Rowling describes in this original introductory trailer, “It’s the same story, with a few crucial editions. The most important one is you.”
In keeping with this vision, Pottermore asks visitors to create an account in order to access certain information. This allows Pottermore to learn and save information about each individual, and create a personalized experience.
To drive signups, Pottermore gates one of their most popular features — quizzes. In order for visitors to assess their Hogwarts house, Patronus, or wand type, they must create a login.
After creating an account, quiz results are saved, and users can return to read more about their results and view any purchases made to their personal account. With the information gained through the quizzes, Pottermore creates a user profile that reflects each unique individual and allows them to learn more about themselves in the context of this world.
Takeaway for Marketers: Information-gathering is the key to creating a custom experience….