9 Powerful Tips For Effective Video Storytelling That You Need To Know
Do you like stories? Good. Who doesn’t right?
Now, do you like videos? Well, there’s honestly no choice there.
Social media and the internet is an ocean of content and most of it is video. 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool — up from 63% over the last year.
“I see video as a megatrend.”
Just to be clear, Mark Zuckerberg said that in 2017. That’s gotta mean something!
The problem with it being so popular is that thinking outside the box and standing out is a necessity. There’s too much content, so you should be able to get their attention amidst the myriad.
What better way to get attention than by telling a good story, be it for business or otherwise. That’s where video storytelling comes into the picture.
Don’t feel left out! This article will take you through everything you need to know about video storytelling.
What is Video Storytelling?
In marketing, video storytelling is having a compelling narrative with the needs of the customers first. You’re not really trying to sell a product, you’re trying to sell an experience. Do this, and you’ll be rewarded with the audience attention you desire.
That’s it! Simple right?
As mentioned quite often, our attention spans are dwindling at a pathetic rate. Videos, unlike traditional sales pitches, have the power to sustain our attention longer.
Cool? Okay, stay with me.
Let’s discuss why you should focus on using video storytelling for your business.
Strengths of video storytelling:
Here’s why video storytelling is effective and important.
1. People relate more
Long before we could speak, we had adopted storytelling as a way of communication. From drawings on cave walls to the expensive IMAX movies we watch, it became clear.
People related to a topic much better when it was a narrative.
What we’re trying to imply is that stories have a way of absorbing people’s notice. It makes the video content more enjoyable. This a major reason why storytelling is important for business videos, or any video for that matter.
You’re not just selling some product or service. You’re giving them a reason to listen to you and decide for themselves if it’s worth it in the most engaging way possible.
2. More effective than a sales pitch
What would you prefer? Would you like to see one person ranting out statistics and facts faster than you can take it all in? Or would you like a well-thought story that keeps you hooked without just raw, boring data?
The message doesn’t just become clear to the client- it lasts longer in their thoughts. It leaves an impression and that’s what you should aim for.
3. Comparatively, cost-effective
Storytelling can be done in a number of ways, and there are a few that are pocket-friendly. If you’re ever worried about spending too much, you could always consider these.
Interviewing ‘storytellers’ (people with the voice and personality) in your niche is a great way to tell a story through video. It is a lot more economic and adds a personal touch and essence to the video.
However, don’t interview just any person. Look for people with a fantastic storytelling skill and a worthy story. It adds credibility and empathy.
Another way to save on costs is by using archived video footage, accompanied by a relevant storyteller or voiceover.
For instance, maybe you want to create a video of your company and all its accomplishments to date. Instead of coming up with an entirely new idea, using footage from the time your company was born (employees talking about their experiences, showcasing your vision, your company culture, etc) can be made use of to create emotion.
Note that video storytelling needs a personality. These methods may be soft on your expense, but you have to make it worth their time. They need to be able to connect.
Unless you can brew this recipe right, don’t do it.
See? It’s helpful if you know how to get what you want by giving them what they need. And it’s best done through stories.
Let’s look at a few actionable video storytelling techniques that you could experiment with.
So, shall we?
Actionable tips for Video Storytelling
If you’re wondering where to start, these pointers may be useful.
1. Personify a product
How often has a character outdone the storyline or plot? That’s right.
We remember great characters.
If you’re not sure how to portray a particular product or problem, you could try personifying it. This gives a human edge to your story, making it more engaging and interesting.
Take this Jeep commercial for instance. As a tribute to its 75 years of service, this beautiful personification of Jeep struck an emotional chord with the audience.
If you’re wondering how to personify a problem, this video by Motorola should give you an idea of what it’s like. It’s funny, clever and shows exactly what they’re trying to convey.
2. Create a conflict
Every great story has conflict. Conflict creates action and action creates the effect.
Take into consideration that dramatic conflict doesn’t have to always result in sadness, anger or any other negative emotion. After a good brainstorming session, you’ll realize this can be done in a more cheerful way too.
3. Speak, don’t write
Ever heard a written transcript being narrated? It sounds unnatural and dull.
Sounding conversational while narrating always feels more engaging, real and gives a certain credibility to the video. It is more appealing to the audience as compared to sound scripted.
It might not conform to the norms of grammar, but it connects better with the audience. Win-win situation!
4. Focus on an engaging storyteller
Through the years, the right voice has turned out to be vital for effective storytelling. It adds essence and impact to the video. Now, this could be done by actually featuring the person or by adding their voiceover.
Ever noticed how narratives sound so much more beautiful and satisfying when people like Morgan Freeman star or voiceover in videos? Why is that?
He has charm and voice. He has the power to make people listen.
That’s the kind of people you want to feature in your videos. You need someone people will actually listen to.
5. Do it for your target audience
A crucial point. You are not doing this for yourself. You are doing it for your audience.
By locating the right target audience for your business, you’ll have a clear cut idea of how your video needs to turn out to hook them.
In addition, the research that goes into finding the right audience will help you understand what they like and enjoy, making it easier to work on your video content.
When planning out the entire video production - story, design, sound, etc - think about what they’ll enjoy watching. The point is to sell, and if it only appeals to you and not to them, it’s a failure.
They are the target audience. They need to be your priority. Not you.
A great tool to help you understand your ideal audience persona is Hubspot’s ‘Make My Persona’.
6. Paint the bigger picture
Again, when marketing using video storytelling, it’s not about you. It’s about getting customers to connect with you.
Try to outline and show the company’s broader focus for the people. Confused?
Say you sell environmentally friendly products. When you showcase your product, don’t stop there. Creating a story that shows this world healing only if we come together as a species, for instance, is one way of showing the broader focus of your company and product.
You want to give them a bigger reason for supporting your product.
7. Keep in mind there’s more than one way to tell a story
In video storytelling, you have the advantage of delivering the message in more than one way.
What do I mean?
Say you need to provide statistics in your video. Would you belt out the information with too much speech and confuse the viewer? Instead, you could add text with the required statistics while explaining something related to the stats.
This makes the video interesting and easy to understand for the audience.
Don’t get me? This commercial for the all-new MG Hector starring Benedict Cumberbatch is a great example to get the idea.
MG could have explained the features of the car from a very technical aspect, but what good would that have done? Instead, they went with an engaging story that not only made it interesting but also showed everything new that we needed to know about it.
8. Make use of songs
You can’t argue with the fact that music makes a difference to every mood. You’ve got music for every mood too.
Songs are a fun and powerful way to tell the best story possible. If not tell, it definitely improves the quality of it.
You could either use existing songs, compose your own or make a parody of an existing and famous one.
You could make any video fun with the right song choice. We’re looking your way Virgin America. If you haven’t seen their safety video yet, do it now! It’s friggin brilliant.
Music videos by themselves are great examples of video storytelling.
9. Get personal
Don’t be afraid to tell your own story. You’ll be shocked at how effective this method is.
Getting to know the people behind a brand creates a bond between the customers and the company. What drove you? What's your passion? What made you start this company?
You become an inspiration to others by sharing your experiences and knowledge, because it’s a great way to tell a story. People love to learn from an expert.
I’m sure you got the picture now. If you don’t, that’s alright too.
Let’s take a look at these videos and see why they are examples of amazing video storytelling.
Great examples of video storytelling
Dive into these three examples for some inspiration. It’ll help.
1. Squarespace - Make It
Squarespace is a website building platform and has come out with some great videos. Mostly depicting how easy it is to make a website, they use celebrities and a smooth story plot to get that message across.
In this one, Keanu Reeves sits in the middle of a desert and designs his website. It’s engaging and is funny.
2. Under armour - Will Finds a Way
Under Armour is a sportswear brand famous for its innovative ad campaigns. This video features Dwayne Johnson for the “Will Finds a Way” series.
This series celebrates hard work and determination and encourages people to carry on with their goals. It might seem aimed towards athletes, but it isn’t. It’s for everyone.
3. Dundee - Australia Tourism
What’s a great way to make a tourism ad? This 2018 Super Bowl ‘commercial’ will help you out with that.
The Dundee trailer is back but this time, it isn’t a movie trailer. It’s a commercial for Australian tourism. You’ll see why it’s worth your time.
It’s a clever idea and does a great job of conveying the message.
That’s all you need to know about video storytelling. Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Quite evidently, video storytelling has become an integral part of marketing. Now that you know everything there is to video storytelling, go out there and tell your story to the world.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we’d love to help.