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How to Use Video Storytelling to Market Your Brand

a smiling woman with glasses in front of a camera for an article on video storytelling

No longer is storytelling in videos a niche technique marketers use to grab their audiences’ attention. Nowadays, it has become an essential part of both video advertising and creative content. Not even sales pitches are void of storytelling elements today!

But what is it that makes telling a story such a powerful marketing method? Three notable reasons come to mind:

  • It’s engaging — Grabbing and keeping your viewers’ attention is the most significant challenge most marketers face nowadays. People’s attention spans are shortening by the day, so visual storytelling is becoming more valuable than ever.
  • Stories are easier to relate to — Establishing an emotional connection with your consumers is imperative for building brand trust and encouraging brand loyalty. That is where telling a compelling and emotional story can help you!
  • It’s cost-effective — There are plenty of ways to create a high-quality video on a budget nowadays. All you’ll need is a bit of creativity, and you’ll be practically all set!

So if you want to tell your audience a great story and grow your brand along the way, you’re in the right place! We will cover everything you need to know about video storytelling and provide a few concrete examples at the end. 

Now buckle up because we’re going to start with everything you’ll need to consider when preparing to create your content.

Things to Think About When Making Storytelling Videos

once upon a video

Creating a compelling story is by no stretch an easy task, especially when it’s supposed to reflect your brand and its values. However, that doesn’t make it an impossible one! But the story itself is not the only factor you will need to keep in mind. Here are seven vital things you will have to think about when making storytelling videos:

Target Audience

The first step on any marketing journey is identifying your target audience. The same principle applies when creating storytelling videos. If you don’t know who will watch your content, how are you supposed to tailor it to them?

What we’re trying to say is that even stories can be fit or unfit for particular audiences. Children, teenagers, or adults don’t enjoy the same reading material (in general), so why would you think they’d enjoy the same videos? In other words, you will have to adapt your story to suit your target audience

For instance, if your brand targets millennials, the story you’ll need to tell will have to resonate with them. So picking a theme like the struggles of the divorce process would not appeal to them. 

If your video fails to make an impact on your target audience, your video marketing campaign won’t get far.

Purpose

Before you start recording, you should ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your video. Are you looking to raise brand awareness? Are you interested in driving conversions? Or do you want your users to act on your CTA

Depending on your aspirations, you will have to tell a different story. So ensure you have a clearly defined goal before you begin making your content!

Narrative 

Your content’s narrative is a crucial part of video storytelling; it is your content’s bread and butter! If your narrative lacks in any regard, your video is likely to be a failure. So don’t try to skimp on it! Take all the time you need to brainstorm and no less.

There are three primary things you will need to consider during the process:

  • Plot — The structure of your story.
  • People — Who will be the characters in your story, and how do they relate to your consumers?
  • Place — Your story’s setting and how it will shape the narrative.

We suggest you grab a pen and paper, jot down some ideas, then get your colleagues’ opinions on the best ones — that is the best way to minimize the risk of missing out on something!

Format

Now that you have the outline for your story, the next thing you have to decide is your video format. There are many different styles of videos marketers can use, all of which are effective in their own ways. Will you make a live-action storytelling video or an animated one? It’s tough to tell. The determining factors will most often be your:

  • Deadline
  • Budget
  • Expertise

Ensure you decide on the appropriate video type by taking the above into account. If you fail to do so, you’re likely to stumble on a few hurdles along the way.

Distribution

The next step is to plan your video’s distribution. That entails figuring out what platforms you’re going to upload it to. Luckily for all marketers out there, there are plenty of video syndication platforms you can use to distribute your video story. Some of the obvious choices are video sharing platforms like YouTube or social media networks like Facebook. Overall, you can’t go wrong with either.

These aren’t your only options, though. If you are a website owner, you might find that a white-label video player might be a more suitable option for you. You can use some of these affordable video players for businesses to embed your video on your website and enjoy full control over its monetization and branding.

The choice will entirely depend on your brand’s needs, so take your time to reflect on it.

Promotion

After your video goes live, it’s time to promote it! When it comes to promotion, you will have various options. The most obvious one is going to social media and using the enormous reach it has. An excellent example would be that of Facebook. Did you know that people view over 4 billion videos on the platform daily? That just proves how lucrative Facebook is for video marketers.

Another option you have is to promote your storytelling video through digital video advertising. The digital realm is vast, and there are plenty of video ads on websites and even other videos out there. So why not jump onto the bandwagon and follow the trend? According to the latest data from IAB, the digital video ad spend is on the rise, and it’s predicted to only continue growing. That means more and more people are starting to realize the potential of this form of advertising. This would be the perfect time to get the edge over your competition!

Budget

Last but not least is your marketing budget. It might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many marketers fail to predict their video marketing spendings. As we’ve already mentioned, you don’t need to have a substantial budget to make a storytelling video. However, you still need to be proficient at setting and sticking to a particular sum!

The costs of video production, actors, and various editing tools can quickly pile up and catch you by surprise if you’re inexperienced. So we’d advise you either start small or pay special attention to budgeting until you get the better hang of things.

Best Practices When Making Compelling Storytelling Videos

everyone has a story to tell

Now that we’ve pointed out everything you should consider when making storytelling videos, we’ve prepared some useful advice for you. Here are seven tips you can apply to your video-making process to make your content stand out:

Make an Exciting Story Arc

It’s easy to say, “make your story exciting,” but it’s challenging to give tangible advice on doing it! There are a few things you should keep in mind, though. Here are some common elements of many viral marketing videos of recent years:

  • The stories they tell are full of twists and turns.
  • They often use humor in their story arcs.
  • Some of their stories are often outright absurd.
  • They tackle easily relatable topics.

However you look at it, you must keep your viewers’ eyes glued to the screen, so be as creative as possible. Oh, and don’t be afraid to experiment!

Show, Don’t Tell

This piece of advice is a popular one among writers, but it can (and should) also be applied to your storytelling videos. But what does it mean exactly? It means that you should tell your story using visuals, not words

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use words — far from it! It just means that your primary focus should be on the visual aspect of your content. After all, why did you even pick video as your storytelling medium if not to use its most notable strength — visual appeal?

Keep It Compact

Do you remember when we talked about people’s shortening attention span? That’s right — no matter how engaging your story is, few people will stay to watch a 20-minute video in its entirety. That is why the best thing you can do is keep your video as short as possible!

Ideally, your video should be no longer than 2–3 minutes if you want to maximize the number of people who stick around until the end. We know it might sound challenging to accomplish such brevity, but believe us when we say — it’s not. That too is a skill you can learn with a little practice! So keep making videos, and being brief will become second nature to you quickly.

Use Emotions to Your Advantage

When creating videos with stories, emotions are your friend. The reason is that people consume content they can relate to, and that is where emotions come into play!

By creating highly emotional videos and including relatable characters, you will establish a connection with your customers and earn their trust. Also, emotions influence our decision-making process, which is an incredible opportunity for marketers to drive sales. A well-thought-out video ad can rake in high conversion rates!

Use the Power of Music

Picking the right soundtrack for your storytelling video is essential for setting the right mood. Also, music can completely transform your storytelling efforts if it complements the video adequately. 

Incorporating the right type of music can help with your goal of emotionally charging your viewers. Just like there is music that makes us happy or sad, you can take advantage of that to evoke those feelings in your viewers. 

Depending on your story’s narrative, these (or other) emotions could prove beneficial for your marketing goals. 

Make the Most of Editing

Last but not least, the visual appeal and the quality of your video are imperative! If your content is poorly produced, it will be evident, and it will ruin the user experience. Contrary to poorly-edited videos, content with excellent special effects and well-executed edits that complement the story can significantly improve the user experience

So if your goal is to make the best storytelling video possible for your audience (and it should be), ensure you have a skilled video editor and a video editing tool with sufficient functionality to meet your needs. These are the things you shouldn’t look to cut costs on as they can make or break your video! Check our article on the best video editors for businesses for some excellent tool recommendations.

Video Storytelling Examples

We’re nearing the end of our journey, so before we sign off, let’s look at some fantastic examples of storytelling in videos! Here are three examples of heartfelt ads that use the power of storytelling to pack quite a punch:

Make It (Squarespace)

This video takes an interesting take on a story-driven ad. What Squarespace and Keanu Reeves do here is turn a seemingly mundane and dull task (creating a website) into an adventure. The setting, narrative tone, and even Keanu’s acting prowess all serve to masterfully identify making a website with something grandiose and emotional. Brilliant work indeed!

Reader (Bell’s)

This heartwarming ad is what we talked about when we advised you to use the power of emotions in your videos. The brand here relies on this intense and deep emotion to create a connection with the viewer, so they insert themselves in the ad at the end. That way, the viewers can associate that emotion and this story with the brand the next time they come across it.

Will Finds a Way (Under Armor)

This sportswear brand’s ad is packed with emotions and positivity. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s inspirational narration and retelling of other real people’s stories resonates with the viewer, making this video incredibly effective at getting its message across. Another notable thing you can notice is the brand’s absence from this video. That is a common practice in storytelling videos because brands often rely on the emotions and the message that their video conveys to make people remember them. In the case of this ad, they’ve executed it perfectly!

Propel Your Brand to Stardom Through the Power of Video Storytelling

Marketers can’t rely on direct promotions anymore; that is not what customers want. Your audiences want to be engaged and entertained, and there is no better way to do that than through the power of video storytelling!

If you’ve been paying close attention, you should be more than prepared to start your first campaign. The only question remaining is — what story will you tell first? Feel free to share it with us; we’d love to see it!

Until next time, best of luck to you!

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