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 MetLife Hong Kong:

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)”

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”

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”

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”

How to Take Great Video with Your Smartphone or Mobile Device

You can shoot great video on your mobile phone without a video crew or a studio full of equipment and still get professional quality video. Sure, a crew of video professionals and high quality gear can help, but fear not! These aren’t necessary to shoot great videos. In fact, capturing footage on your phone is not only efficient (anywhere, anytime… ) but can also lend an authentic feel that really resonates with potential clients through your video marketing efforts.

Continue reading “How to Take Great Video with Your Smartphone or Mobile Device”

Making Great Explainer Videos – The 7 Key Ingredients Every How-To Video Must Have

The 7 Keys Ingredients of a Great Explainer Video

An explainer video is a very short animated video used to introduce a concept, product, website, company, or anything else that has many details. The explainer video is short, usually between 1 – 3 minutes, and is usually presented in the form of a cartoon. These videos can either include talking characters, a narrator, or both.

Sounds easy enough, right? But how exactly do you make an effective explainer video that your audience will like, share and engage with through social media? The first thing that you need to do is to understand the basic structure of a great explainer video. Without understanding the proper construction of the various types of explainer videos, it will be very difficult to create an interesting and compelling message that will capture and satisfy your audience’s attention.

Continue reading “Making Great Explainer Videos – The 7 Key Ingredients Every How-To Video Must Have”

The 5 Absolute Worst Video Marketing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Video marketing has become a huge part of business-to-consumer  (B2C) marketing. With every passing day, video marketers are getting more experienced and savvy, but many businesses who are just beginning to experiment with video are still making the worst video marketing mistakes, which are easy to avoid with a little pre-planning and thought (and knowing that there is, in fact, a list of “worst video marketing mistakes”).

Your audience wants to watch your videos because they want to get something from your videos.

Businesses use video marketing with the goal of building their brand with consumers. If you take a quick look at YouTube, you will see that

Continue reading “The 5 Absolute Worst Video Marketing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)”

How to Get More YouTube Channel Subscribers Fast, FREE and Easy!

If you’re not one of YouTube’s ONE BILLION active users a month and are yet familiar, YouTube is a video hosting and sharing website that allows any registered video creator to publish a video channel to which they can upload, view and share videos. Creators work to build YouTube channel subscribers, who are essentially fans. Registered users can watch, like and comment on these videos as well as subscribe to content creators’ channels. Unregistered user can only view videos on YouTube. Continue reading “How to Get More YouTube Channel Subscribers Fast, FREE and Easy!”

The 3 Unexpected Benefits of Video Marketing for Your Business

If you are thinking about adding interactive videos to your marketing strategy, bravo! You have made the right decision. The use of videos as a marketing tool is becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. Beyond the obvious benefits of video marketing, like the search engine optimization (SEO) benefits of video, easy delivery of your marketing message, increased customer retention, etc., nothing can boost a customer’s awareness and recall more effectively than a well-produced video. But, did you realize that there are additional tangible benefits your business can experience in addition to mere customer awareness? Continue reading “The 3 Unexpected Benefits of Video Marketing for Your Business”