Video Storytelling: 5 Tips for Creating a Story with Video

Video Storytelling: 5 Tips for Creating a Story with Video

Companies need a lot of things to prosper: Visionary leadership, a impelling offering, divergent service, and much more. But in today’s clamorous marketing landscape, all your brand needs is a story. A great story can transmit the whole character of a brand in just few minutes, and smart stories can be especially convincing.

In today’s noisy marketing landscape, companies need storytelling to elicit emotion and stand out among the noise. Video storytelling can influence brands we decide to trust, plays on our nostalgia, and helps us make sense of information.

In an oversaturated online world, marketers sometimes want to pack a bunch of information and calls to action into a short video, but this is not as memorable as telly a good story and evoking an emotional response with that information. Truthfully, a video has no perfect length, just videos that speak to the right people at the right time.

Excellent video storytelling should tell a story by focusing content on clear themes or ideas, illustrating why a viewer or potential consumers should choose your brand and capturing people’s attention. 

Getting out of the habit of trying to sell with your videos can be challenging, but audiences don’t share advertisements. They share stories they connect to, and to inspire your audience to take action, you need to convince them. Here are four tips for creating a story with video:

1. Video is Your Blank Canvas

Creating videos for the sake of content to update your social media channels is not a good marketing strategy in the long run. Video storytelling should be treated as a way to showcase your brand’s personality in a way that creatively addresses and informs the needs of your audience. With video, you can get creative with the formatting, such as voiceovers, titles, and animation. 

Thought needs to be put into what the goal of the video is and what information you want to get across; from there, you can decide if you will use a voice-over, animated titles or a combination of both. Video is a blank canvas, and these elements give it structure, life, and voice.

Speaking of, make sure you extend those same ideals across your videos. Inconsistent branding can hurt you. On the flip side, consistent branding can help users remember your company. Think about it. When you see an apple- you think Apple computers. When you see the swish, you think Nike. 

In fact, most Americans call facial tissue a Kleenex! The more consistent you are with your branding, the easier it will be for customers to recognize your brand.

2. Putting Ideas into Context

Your video storytelling needs to have characters, settings, and plots that, when put together, show your audience your message without using words or text to spell out all the details. After all, the point of using video is to tell a story. 

You can convey your thoughts with simple images in your video; these images help the view assume the context without adding subtitles. The framework needs to enrich your storytelling and can be done through your choice of furniture or colors.

Try using a storyboard before you press record. Though a lot can be done in post-production, your goal is to ensure that as little as possible is needed during the editing phase. 

A quick storyboard can help you present your ideas clearly and concisely. If you have the time, create a script. Though many people like to ‘wing it’, a loose script will help improve the authority of your voice in the video.

3. Remember your Focus is the Customer

In video storytelling, your content needs to focus less on your business and more on your customers. Do not make the mistake of simply listing all of the features or begging for sales. No one wants to see (or watch) that. 

Put your customers first, and consider their goals as a way to create an engaging video that will fulfill your marketing objectives. Keeping customers in mind when creating your video storytelling also builds relations with prospective people who expect to hear more from your brand.

If you’re unsure of what your customer wants to see, do not blindly create content, hoping it will stick. Instead, take the time to identify your customer persona. You can use the Audience data from Google Analytics, Facebook, or Instagram. Ask your customers if you can’t seem to pull real ideas from the data. 

Post on Facebook asking what they’d like to see a video, and always keep yourself open for suggestions. If you can, do both. Between the data and your customers telling you what they want to see, you’re bound to create successful videos with storytelling. 

Identifying your customer’s needs and what they want to see from your content will help your videos succeed. More importantly, it will help you reach the end goal of video marketing: more sales.

4. Add a Little Conflict

What is a story without a little conflict? Conflict helps move your storytelling along and gives life to the characters and their struggles. When focusing on your marketing video, conflict in your narration should be relevant for the audience to relate to your brands. 

This relatability to your brand or product, combines with video storytelling, is an inspiring call to action for your audience. Again, this comes down to understanding your customer’s persona.

You want to make sure that you’ve clearly outlined what their problem is to show them how you can solve it. Sure, you don’t have to make your video side- but life is not without conflict. More importantly, showing them the conflict or problem allows them to see the benefit of your product or service more clearly.

5. Use Emotion to Build Storytelling

The videos circulating on social media channels are by brands that have created stories that make people feel. Brands that are doing video storytelling well are connecting with their audience in an emotional way. Some effective emotions in your storytelling are happiness leading to sharing; fear leading to loyalty; sadness leading to giving; and anger leading to virality.

You can connect these emotions to different phases in your customer persona. For example: Before they found your cure-all skincare line, they were embarrassed and stressed by acne. 

Once they start using your skincare line, their confidence begins to improve. Show the progression from pain to pleasure without leaving out the steps in between. Guiding your viewers through the emotions of your product or service will ignite them to understand and relate to your message better.

Final Thoughts

Remember, when creating your videos, start with a clear vision of what emotions you want your audience to feel. Get personal in your video storytelling. Use a storyboard and try to have a script. You need to know your brand or products like the back of your hand to help customers feel more connected and share your videos. 

After all, creating an emotional undertone (that only comes from truly understanding your target market) will make your audience want to follow through on your call to action.

Long story short? Planning and practice make perfect. Regarding video marketing, the more you do both- the better your results will be.

What tips do you have for creating compelling stories through video? What have you learned (or want to learn) along the way? Share your experience in the comments.

Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

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