How Video Storytelling Works and Why It’s a Powerful Marketing Tool

In a world filled with a growing number of distractions, brands today are engaged in a constant battle to capture people’s attention. Many of them succeed with video storytelling. Let’s take a look at what video storytelling is, and how you can effectively apply it to your marketing strategy.

What Is Video Storytelling?

Video storytelling is a marketing tactic that uses the naturally engaging video format to tell a story about a brand, company or product. Video storytelling guides viewers through relatable narrative-based content that gets to the heart of their pain points, ignites an emotional connection, and presents a satisfying solution. People get pulled into what’s happening due to a combination of factors, ranging from camera angles to the soundtrack, the characters and the emotion of the story itself.

Video storytelling is much more than a sales pitch, as it focuses on a story rather than a product. It is immersive and powerful, and very effective in driving engagement.

Video Storytelling Basics

During the early stages of producing a story through video, it’s essential to answer some questions that will guide the rest of the process:

  •     Plot: What story do you want to tell? What is its structure? (Powerful stories typically consist of an introduction, conflict or complication, and resolution.)
  •     Purpose: Why do you want to convey this story to viewers, and what do you want them to do afterward?
  •     People: Who are the main characters in your video story? How do they relate to your audience?
  •     Place: What’s the main location for the video, and how does that place shape the video narrative?
  •     Audience: Who will primarily see this video? Will they be new customers, potential customers, employees or another group?
  •     Distribution method: How will you share the video story with others, and where will it be hosted (i.e. YouTube, your website, somewhere else)?

Once you’ve figured out the answers to these questions, you’ll have a solid framework from which to operate. Think about how you can connect to your audience, what techniques would make the video especially memorable to viewers, and what could make it shareable, perhaps even with the potential to go viral!

How to Make a Storytelling Video

Excelling at the art of video storytelling requires first understanding how to tell a good story. Remember that people have short attention spans, and you want to tell a story that keeps them hooked from beginning to end. Use techniques to arouse emotions. Also, remember the key principle of “show, don’t tell”. Edit the video smartly, so you’re not spelling out every single idea to the audience, but only those elements that are necessary to weave a compelling tale that leaves them asking for more.

Here are 5 steps to make a storytelling video:

1) Identify your goal and target audience. Once you know what you want to achieve with your video story and which viewers you want to target, it’ll be easier to move forward with confidence.

2) Create a narrative. You may want to hire people with screenplay experience to get your story told well. It’s crucial that the plot of the video is clear, that characters are well defined and memorable, especially since most viewers will probably only see it once.

3) Decide on a video format (animated, live actors, special effects). This decision may largely depend on your budget. Your overall time frame and other deadlines will also play a role in determining the video format, too. Filming a live-action video will take more time and resources than creating a story from stock video.

4) Assemble a production team or hire a production studio. When choosing professionals or companies to take part, find out about their prior experience and watch their previous videos to see if the style and vibe match your goals.

5) Create a promotional strategy to get your video seen. Your promotions plan may include social media coverage, press releases and even one-off local events that draw attention to your brand and let people know about the new video. Make sure you have the promotional game plan in place before the video goes live because you’ll need to start spreading the word immediately.

You also need to keep your visual storytelling budget in mind. If this is your first time diving into the world of video storytelling, you may want to hire a professional production company to steer the process and make trustworthy recommendations. Those experts can inform you of whether your budget is realistic for what you want to achieve, plus help you plan a reasonable schedule for creating your video storytelling piece.


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