3 Ways to Tell Stories Through Video
Content marketing is undergoing a dramatic shift from traditional advertising methods to a more storytelling-focused approach. This battle is easily won by storytellers since we, as humans, resonate with stories on a psychological level.
Our understanding of the world is solely based on narrative structures, and marketers are using this to their advantage to connect with their audience.
Storytelling grabs attention, but in a marketplace where we are all screaming to rise above the noise, how you tell your story has never been more important.
Video allows your company to tell a story in a visual, easily digestible way. As there are different genres of stories, there are different types of videos. Your characters may be the same, but, depending on what kind of video you choose, the protagonist and plot motivations will differ. Each story is its own, and will achieve different results. Is your goal brand equity? Long term customer value? Retention? Great, there’s a story for that. When picking the type of video you use, you need to carefully consider the objective you want to achieve. Below there are three video ideas that will help tell the story of your company, and what it will do, in turn, for your brand.
Case Study Videos
The classic case study video is a method of advertising the success of a company’s product or service.
With 77% of B2B companies using case studies as a top tool for engaging prospects, it has been proven extremely effective… but only when done correctly. The wrong assumption to make is that case studies are only there to showcase facts and promotional content. Yes, they are results driven, but to overlook their potential as strong storytelling vehicles is a commonly made mistake.
What makes case study videos so influential is their ability to humanize your company. People resonate with stories; and today, when people are more skeptical of corporations than ever before, adding relatability to your brand is invaluable.
How does it do this?
The purpose of a case study video is to show and not tell. Instead of your company speaking on behalf of your client, it enables the viewer to see your client’s journey unravel before their eyes. It’s easy to develop a strong story from a case study since it follows a problem-and-solution format. At it’s core, it’s about real people facing real problems and your company leading to real solutions.
Therefore, a well done case study considers the story first and marketing efforts second. But remember, your company is not the protagonist in this particular story, your customer is. Instead, your company takes on the character of the mentor; a background helper guiding the protagonist on their quest to success.
A strategically formed story about your customer’s journey will have a hand in emotionally attaching the viewer to your narrative and, as a result, emotionally investing the viewer in your brand. Yes, case studies are results driven; but, the results are only effective if they are working together with a strong overall narrative.
Long Form Video Content
Don’t let the fear of a short attention span rush the telling of your story. Believe it or not, longer video content has a higher potential for engagement. According to OOYALA, people engage with more long-form video across all devices, accounting for 63% of their total time spent watching videos. However, the only way long form video can be successful for you as a marketer is if it strikes a chord with the viewer. Which brings us to that age-old question: ‘what does my target audience want?’ and the answer has never been so simple.
They want stories with meaning.
This has resulted in companies connecting their missions to strong narratives, and what better narrative platform to use other than video? Especially with the rise of online video platforms, there is no such thing as the 30–60 second time constraint that traditional television advertising imposed.
Companies have been taking this opportunity to create branded short films and docu-series to further establish brand positioning in the consumer’s mind. Brent Turner, Senior Vice President of Solutions at Cramer, mentions, “For B2B brands with long sales cycles or B2C brands looking to drive retention, the long-form video provides deeper moments of relationship building.” This shift from traditional marketing efforts to long form storytelling is an effective method of indirectly promoting your companies values.
In this story, your company takes on the character of the protagonist. Think about it, corporations are entities that have a moral compass, who think and act. Use the branded long-form video format as a method of character development for your company by telling a story that reflects brand values.
A great example is Patagonia, the clothing and outdoor gear brand. They created a short film promoting their core company value: environmental protection. How can the Patagonia customer achieve this? By not throwing away their clothes. The film, Worn Wear, features the stories of multiple Patagonia customer’s clothing and the years of adventure that preceded them. It offers a unique way to showcase customer stories on a personal level that would resonate with all viewers.
Personalized marketing is nothing new, and is highly regarded. According to Forbes 88% of marketers say that their personalized marketing campaigns have generated a measurable lift in business results. Specifically a 19% lift in sales according to Salesforce. But… how do you combine the art of storytelling through personalization? Video. Personalized video marketing is an unsaturated medium that opens up your content production to a new level of immersion. How? Because it gives the viewer the rare opportunity to become the protagonist of your story.
Personalized video is new-to-the-world technology that customizes your video to include unique information about your viewer. Primarily used in email marketing campaigns, it has the ability to incorporate the viewers name, company name, job title, past purchase history, and an image in your video. It’s designed to be used on a mass scale, and is easily integrated with your company’s MAP and CRM.
A great example is a video story that we created with the YMCA. The objective of the campaign was not to drive numbers, but to simply say thank you to past donors. It immersed each donor in the video, and showcased how they were helping. The campaign was a great success and lead to an overwhelming amount of personal thank-yous and an unexpected increase in donations for the YMCA.
Personalized video marketing is uncharted territory in storying telling, and offers endless creative opportunities. The end result? Raised awareness, boosted conversion, and increased customer loyalty.
The shift from traditional marketers to storytellers has changed the content marketing landscape. In a saturated market, it is up to you to be heard over the noise, and the only way to that is to rephrase your message into a captivating story, with captivating heros. Your company, your customer, or your viewer: these are potential protagonists in your brands story. Which one will you choose?