Video marketing and storytelling are a match made in heaven. Companies can now shape their own stories and create experiences through video.
And the best thing about video marketing, or visual storytelling in general? There are no limits. With so many channels, techniques and formats, businesses can leverage their visual story to gain a true competitive advantage.
Storytellers familiar with the more traditional channels can naturally transition into this visual, engaging medium. Here are some rules and best practices for storytelling in video marketing that will make their efforts really pay off and increase their return on investment!
Define your audience
Your storytelling probably won’t appeal to everyone – nor it should!
The key to any marketing success is knowing who you’re targeting and what you want this audience to do, and video marketing is not an exception. A solid goal with a clear target group will work exponentially better than broad messaging that appeals to everyone (and no one)!
To define your audience – and to keep refining it over time – you should consider:
- The problems you want to solve
- The emotions you want to cause
- The goals you want your audience to achieve
- Ways to compel them and encourage them to take action
Some of these factors may appeal more to you than others. The key here is to always keep that ideal viewer, their goals and their context in mind when creating your story. This will make them feel like the story was tailored to their situation and resonate with it on a personal level.
Don’t try to be someone else
One of the reasons some stories fall flat is the fact that they were telling someone else’s reality.
While it’s important to keep up to date and look for inspiration in your environment, companies often try to replicate what’s worked for others. No matter how similar you may be to another company, there are different people, personalities and stories involved, and your story can never be copied or replicated.
Always keep your story authentic, honest and transparent. Being someone who you’re not never works out – it’s simple as that. The story in your video marketing should reflect why you’re unique and different, so look for story elements that will help you tell exactly that – your story.
Show what you believe, not just what you do
This point expands upon the previous one and it’s about sharing your core values, beliefs, your standards and your character.
This didn’t matter years ago as much it does now. Marketing channels are now more accessible to companies than ever, and everyone can tell their story and show what they do.
But what about the personality behind the brand name, the company values and culture, the causes they believe in and the greater good they tirelessly work for? All of this makes a difference and allows the viewer to take the brand’s message closer to their heart and feel like they are similar to them.
And after all, humans are visual learners, and injecting personality and beliefs into a visual message has the power to create long-term connections, and strong and genuine reactions.
Put the viewer, not yourself, first
Because we are exposed to thousands of messages and pieces of content every day, we choose which ones to consume and engage with by asking a simple question: ‘What’s in it for me?’
Your story has to pass the same test. While it doesn’t have to necessarily yield a practical takeaway and an option to take immediate action, it must be beneficial to the viewer.
The outcome of your video has to matter to them. Whether it’s a way they can do something better or an emotion that stays with them and affects their day, your focus should be on them, not on you.
Too many corporate videos follow the traditional ‘This is who we are and what we do’ structure without ever saying what’s in it for the viewer, so make sure to always put your viewer first. No exceptions!
Keep it simple
Avoid the temptation to make your story overly tangled. If your story elements become too complex, your key message may get confusing and complicated, which could make the viewers stop watching.
All your visual elements should work well together in an effort to convey the thoughts, feelings and actions behind your message. Ensure each of them is the best possible way to add to the narrative and that they are all adding to the context and the story the exact way you wanted them to, without redundancy and repetitions.
That’s all – are you ready to start telling your story through video marketing? Do you have any rules you would add to this list? Let us know!