Video Storytelling: What It Means (And How To Nail It)

Video content is undoubtedly the darling of the digital marketing world. Even though we’re firmly in the era of YouTube, Netflix, and even Twitch, people still can’t get enough video content — and the creative freedom of the format makes it possible to entertain, engage and promote to an extent that’s brutally hard to achieve through text, imagery, or even audio.

You can get results through basic promotion, of course, using video to simply showcase products, relay expert advice, or hype upcoming events. But that’s not all you can accomplish with video. In fact, it’s even better suited to storytelling — something that brings people together and communicates emotion more strongly than anything else.

But what does video storytelling involve, and how can you make it a meaningful and effective part of your broader marketing strategy? Let’s take a look:

What does video storytelling involve?

Video storytelling, as the name makes clear, is simply using video content to communicate a story (or stories). Traditionally, stories would be exchanged through conversation, or passed on through books. Today, we have the technology to recount stories just as easily through video, using combinations of recorded footage and rendered graphics to provide rich experiences (experiences that are only going to get richer through Deepfake videos and the kind of technology underpinning Google’s Duplex project).

Because video offers both imagery and audio, it can advance an intriguing blend of old methods. You can tell a story to a video camera using the talking-head format, enrich it with overlaid text, and even use subtle visuals in the background to add meaning through visual semiotics. The creative scope is inarguably immense.

And yes, with that kind of scope comes a suitable level of challenge — but you don’t need to spend huge amounts of time and money on video storytelling, particularly if you take advantage of video freelancers capable of handling specific elements for you. Even telling a very simple story can be effective if you get the execution right.

Why video is perfect for marketing stories

Video is particularly good for making marketing stories, because promotion is chiefly about emotion, and video can establish powerful emotional pull through the smart use of music, facial expressions, cinematography, audio cues, lighting, and countless other relevant elements. Just think about the emotional impact that even a short video can have, as evidenced by this ad from Thai Good Stories:

As noted earlier, digital video is the most eye-catching content type. When someone is scrolling through their never-ending social media feed, an autoplaying video is the most likely thing to get their attention and cause them to linger for a spell.

Furthermore, video is ideal for multi-part campaigns. Instead of telling an entire story in one part, you can spread it across multiple videos, the goal being to steadily grow the audience before releasing the final (and most important) video.

Lastly, video content is incredibly easy to distribute online. You can embed it in your blog posts, share it through social media, and even feature it on product or landing pages to make a CTA more compelling (every modern sales-targeted CMS is a viable platform for this — for instance, someone using Shopify’s store-builder can get it done with EasyVideo).

How to make a compelling storytelling video

Now that we’ve clarified what video storytelling involves, and why it’s so valuable for marketing, you might be wondering how you make a good video narrative. Here are some tips:

  • Prioritize production quality. All things considered, it’s vastly cheaper and easier to record high-quality video than ever before. Often, a smartphone camera is sufficient, particularly if you’re just recording talking-head footage — but you still need to make sure that you end up with good lighting, clear audio, and smooth editing.
  • Write a script (but be flexible). It can take a long time to record even a small amount of video when it involves dialogue (as most storytelling video does), so speed things up by writing a script first. It will help prevent things from veering off on tangents. Of course, you shouldn’t feel totally stuck to the script — always leave room for creativity.
  • Keep it extremely clear. The messier you make a story, the harder it is to follow, and the less impactful it becomes. What’s the point of your story? What message is the viewer supposed to take with them? Keep reworking and editing your video until you’re happy that everything is completely clear.
  • Tastefully target emotion. As noted, emotion is vitally important, so there’s little use in making a video that feels completely dispassionate. Why would someone become invested in that? Think about which emotion would best suit your brand and drive someone to take the action you’re looking to spur, and cater the content accordingly.
  • Display your humanity. If you plan to get involved in the content, helping to tell the story, then make sure that you show some humanity. An excellent story and quality production can easily be undermined by wooden participants. Carefully consider how you want to come across. Professional? Funny? Passionate?
  • Lead to an action. One of the biggest mistakes that brands make with their video content is not making them clearly actionable. You’re not making video for the sake of it. You’re trying to achieve something, and if someone is watching your video, you have their attention. Take full advantage.

Video storytelling offers such rich rewards when done effectively that it isn’t something any ambitious brand or entrepreneur can overlook. By concentrating your efforts on telling a compelling story through video content and using it as the cornerstone of your content marketing strategy, you can drastically improve your results.

Featured image credit: Joe the Goat Farmer

Top 5 Video Marketing Mistakes Brands Make (and how to avoid them)

Video marketing is an awesome way to reach out and engage multiple users all at the same time. Videos have a startling effect on the human psyche that gives brands the immense power to engage visually and emotionally. When you see a video that is relatable or resonates a common pain point that you’ve faced too, you automatically feel connected to the brand that made this video.

However, there have been so many times that you have seen a video ad, loved the content, but later you couldn’t recall the name of the brand that released the video originally. While the video content was great, that particular brand failed to make an impression. This is a common mistake brand make while creating their video content. They immerse themselves in creating a good story but unconsciously side-track their brand’s purpose and market demand. So, if you are creating a video that is awesome but your audience forgets to take note of your brand, then that video campaign goes in vain.

There are many such common, but critical errors brands make while doing video marketing. Below are five such errors. Continue reading “Top 5 Video Marketing Mistakes Brands Make (and how to avoid them)”

7 New Markets That Deepfake Videos Are Going To Create

Though they promise to bring massive chaos, deepfake videos (deepfakes) are an inevitability. The technology used to create these videos just needs a little fine-tuning, and the internet is diligently working away at that. Add in advanced speech synthesis, like Adobe’s VoCo, and suddenly a whole range of new markets open up.

For better or worse, here are seven deepfake business opportunities that you’re almost guaranteed to see at some point shortly: Continue reading “7 New Markets That Deepfake Videos Are Going To Create”

How to Find the Perfect Voice Over Artist for Your Marketing Video

In today’s media-rich environment, we need to identify the key elements that make your video marketing immediately engaging. You only have a matter of seconds.

Guess what?

According to a 2012 study cited by the Wall Street Journal, the sound of the speaker’s voice is twice as important as the message itself.

But that’s not all:

The speaker’s voice quality accounted for 23% of listener’s evaluations; the content of the message accounted for 11%.

This is likely due to the fact that the audience is multi-tasking while “watching” your video.

(Be honest – You do it, too.)

When creating a “successful marketing video” (the video is actually causing the viewer to take some intended action) there are key elements that must be in place in order to achieve your desired results.

Since the message is only half as important as the speaker’s voice, it makes sense that the voiceover and audio tracks are of the utmost importance.

A great voice over delivered by a professional gives your brand a much needed confidence boost by combining strategic delivery with the right tone.

Need more proof? Take a look at this: Continue reading “How to Find the Perfect Voice Over Artist for Your Marketing Video”

5 Reasons Why Freelancers MUST Promote their Gigs (and What Happens When They Don’t)

I have a friend that offers voice-over business consulting services primarily to those who are new to the voiceover profession. In his usually very sound advice he advocates offering VO, narration and voice acting services through freelance marketplace websites, like VideoToOrder.com, and others.

He actually suggests setting up profiles and offering gigs in not one website, but in as many sites as possible – and I’m totally onboard with that.

Yesterday he posted a video in which he advocated offering freelance voice services through gig economy websites but then he said something odd.

He said, this:

Do not post links to your gig pages from your social media profiles, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.”

The reason he gave was equally shocking: Continue reading “5 Reasons Why Freelancers MUST Promote their Gigs (and What Happens When They Don’t)”

How to Write Powerful Scripts for Short Marketing Videos

In today’s hurried life, more and more people crave instant gratification in every aspect of their lives, including the videos they watch. Videos created for video marketing purposes need to be short and punchy, which often creates a challenge writing a script that communicates the call to action (CTA) and compels the viewer to move through the marketing funnel in the shortest amount of time.

One of the most important elements of a great marketing video is a solid script to accompany it. – L. Scott Harrell

The average person has a very short attention span, which is one of the reasons YouTube has become so incredibly popular. “Successful” YouTube marketing videos are short and ones that viewers can absorb in a matter of mere minutes rather than having to invest a great deal of time to uptake their messages. The owners of YouTube channels want to upload videos that will actually be watched and enjoyed by their audience and build their subscriber numbers. Therefore, the demand for entertaining and successful short clips is very high.

If you are using videos in your marketing, you need to be able to deliver to your viewers and prospects the highest quality and most captivating short video clips as possible. One of the most important elements of a great marketing video is a solid script to accompany it. Continue reading “How to Write Powerful Scripts for Short Marketing Videos”

VideoToOrder has Launched! What Happened This First Week in Startup

VideoToOrder.com has been open to the public in beta now for 7 days. The site launched at approximately 5pm on May 19, 2017 to very little fanfare but constant messages from users eager to get a jump on getting their freelancer profiles and video services up before others. It seems that our voice services brand ambassador (and voice over talent), Earl Hall, had been talking up our freelance video production services website for several weeks and had gotten a few of his social media followers worked up into a froth about jumping onto the newest platform that would potentially launch their freelance voice-over service businesses by connecting them with other freelancers who are working on video projects. As a result, the website has started off a bit heavy in the freelance voiceover services category.

This first week, VideoToOrder.com added 62 users who posted 37 video services, which was higher than I had expected. The majority of those services, 23 of them, were posted Continue reading “VideoToOrder has Launched! What Happened This First Week in Startup”

The Freelance Video Production Marketplace – VideoToOrder Early Access

VideoToOrder.com, the video production marketplace where buyers can find freelance service providers online to make videos for them, is launching with exclusive beta access to early adopters and those who want to take advantage of “being in” at the very top.

L. Scott Harrell - Founder & CEO VideoToOrder.comMy name is L. Scott Harrell and I am the Founder and CEO of VideoToOrder.com. Thanks for clicking through to read this article; I’m truly excited that you’re interested in our video production marketplace. I am 100% committed to supporting you and your success through our new and innovative video services marketplace. Whether you are buying or selling video-related services, it is absolutely important to me that have a fantastic and rewarding experience.

Let me quickly fill you in with a little bit more information about VideoToOrder.com (VTO) and what will happen in the next few weeks; hopefully I’ll answer some of your questions along the way, too. Continue reading “The Freelance Video Production Marketplace – VideoToOrder Early Access”

Using Video to Establish Yourself as an Expert

I just finished reading an interesting and insightful article, “If You Are Still Ignoring YouTube, You’re Missing Out (Again) on Being a Leader”, by INfluencer Tara Hunt here on LinkedIn. This is the first time I’ve come across any of her material; she breaks down the world of vlogging and social media through her own YouTube channel and articles she is publishing on LinkedIn. She creates content that is both personable and really easy to understand.

The basis of her article is that YouTube is still wide-open for grabbing up market share of thought-leadership in the marketing space essentially because Continue reading “Using Video to Establish Yourself as an Expert”

The Video Creation Marketplace – Making Money as a Freelancer at VideoToOrder

For freelancers who offer services related to video production, video editing, video marketing, etc., just starting out and finding new clients can be pretty difficult to do. There are many established competitors out there and you might not be able to find clients right away. However, with the launch of our video creation marketplace, VideoToOrder.com, it is becoming easier for any freelance video professional to start making money selling their video-related services almost right away without the need of their own website, formal business formation, branding, marketing and other expensive business development steps.

Continue reading “The Video Creation Marketplace – Making Money as a Freelancer at VideoToOrder”