The Art of Video Storytelling and What it Means for Your Brand

In the world of expanding media that we live in today, it can be hard to get the appeal of your business across to an audience.

More and more, brands are looking for more cinematic ways to get across the message about their products. They’re not doing this to be flashy, video storytelling has the special ability to create feeling and emotionality around a product or brand in a way that traditional marketing content does not.

If you realize that consumers tend to place more weight on their feelings, rather than in fact, you may recognize the extreme importance that visual storytelling can have to a business. This is why many huge companies are focused on pivoting more and more to video going forward.

However, what makes a good video, and how can you best use the form to the benefit of your business?

A Story Pulls People In

Storytelling Brings People Together

It may seem like an obvious point to make, but storytelling is how information has been passed from generation to generation since the beginning of time. From cave drawings to the Bible, people got their information from the stories that have been passed down over millennia.

The modern storytelling forms that people are accustomed to includes books, movies, and television. Your video content should reflect the narrative ideals of these forms.

Almost all conventional stories contain a protagonist with an aim, obstacles to overcome, and a resolution in which the protagonist either reaches, or fails to reach, their goal. In designing the stories of your advertisements, you should keep these common traits in mind.

They’ve worked to pull people into journeys a billion times over, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t also work for you.

Many businesses make the fatal error of attempting to include as many facts as possible in their videos, not realizing that storytelling can offer a much more concise way to get into viewers heads.

Too many facts can cause a viewer to feel lectured to and can quickly lose their attention. A story, on the other hand, may forgo including specific business details but can paint a better picture of the value the brand or product may have to the viewer.

An easy example is the Google ad ‘Parisian Love‘ that played during the Super Bowl a few years back.

Instead of explaining any facts about Google’s service, the ad instead presents a love story using the protagonist’s escalating online searches. The ad includes all aspects of a story that we mentioned before (protagonist, obstacles, resolution) and leaves the viewer with an emotional sense of how Google may impact their lives.

People respond to stories. That’s the reason that video content dominates social media feeds, and you can make that overwhelming interest work for you.

Finding a Story That Works for Your Business

Not all stories are created equal. Part of making an effective advertisement is deciding what the message of the story you want to tell is.

A good story should focus on emotional impact and relatability. You want your audience to root for, or associate themselves with, your protagonist. Having a protagonist who has similar views and perspectives as your target audience is the smart way to go.

Focusing in on specific details of the story instead of remaining broad can also help better connect you with your audience.

It has been proven time and time again that if you burrow into the specifics of a situation, you are more likely to find a universal truth. A story revolving around a bad date may sound relatable, however until you fill it with specifics, such as revolting breath or disagreeing opinions on the world, your audience likely won’t find something to emotionally engage with.

You want your messaging to also reflect the emotional value of your brand or product to the viewer. Make sure your story is getting across the idea of how the viewer’s life might change if they were to purchase something from your business.

Leave the details of the “how” and “what” up to the viewer and let them do their own research. If you can hook them on the idea of your brand, viewers will follow you anywhere.

Video Storytelling Can be Cost-Effective

Business and Finance - How You Can Save Money For Marketing

Though you may be emulating film and television in your video marketing ads, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a blockbuster budget. There are plenty of ways to tackle storytelling basics in a video without having to break the bank.

Telling a documentary-style story is one easy way to do that. Video interviews are easy to light and shoot, and often require little crew. Following your subject around in their everyday life is also relatively easy and cost affordable.

That being said, you shouldn’t take this approach for the savings alone. If you’re going to take this route, you must find a subject and story worth sharing. Showing a real-life person, and a relatable story, is a great way to help viewers instantly connect, but you’ll want to make sure that story sends a strong message.

Otherwise, even in narrative storytelling, the principals of cost-efficiency remain the same: keep it simple.

The best video storytellers usually don’t need more than one or two characters, a room, and an obstacle, to interest a viewer. If you can keep your ideas at this level, as opposed to, say, galaxy-spanning space adventures, you should be able to squeak out a great story at a reasonable price.

As with anything else, out-of-the-box thinking is always a plus. To bring it back to Google’s advertisement, the entire video marketing ad was made using Google’s browser as the only visual element. Cost-effective and unique. It’s a real home run.

Everyone loves storytelling. Video stories.

Get Out There and Tell a Good Story

Now that you have a handle on some of the storytelling basics, there’s nothing to stop you from getting out there and sharing a good story with your prospective audience.

Video storytelling can be a game changer for you and your business if done properly and your audience will thank you for it. After all, everyone loves a good story. Speak with one of our San Diego videographers to learn more.

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