Stories have always been used to teach, to entertain, to scare, to motivate and to inspire.
Using storytelling as a way to connect with, engage and spur customers to action has proven to be extremely effective.
Storytelling done well will strengthen your brand identity and relationship with your customers.
“A salesperson can share a story with a customer, and due to the transportation effect of story, it feels real. It’s the next best thing to experiencing it live.”
- Michael Harris
Storytelling videos can be used for:
Customers describing their own experiences using your product/service to solve a problem to bring rewards.
Your team talking about their progression through the company for recruitment campaigns.
Charities showing the work they've been able to undertake in the community due to your fundraising efforts or CSR activity.
The founding team talking about why they started the company to anchor your brand story.
Introducing a new product and showing why & how it was created.
Capturing the atmosphere of an event.
6 Key Elements of a Storytelling Video
1. Audience & Message
You have to know who you are addressing before planning the content of your video. Put yourself in your customers shoes: what are they worried about or looking for? What makes them laugh and what annoys them? What message will cut through the noise and resonate for them? Once you understand this about your target audience you can customise your story accordingly.
The messaging in your video is a very important part of capturing your story. What exactly are you trying to get your audience to understand? Are you trying to promote the benefits of your product/service, enhance your brand story, introduce your team or motivate staff internally. Once you decide what you're trying to say you'll be able to shape the story to deliver that message in the most effective way possible.
Go for the emotional hook - emotion generates stronger responses and are more likely to result in decisions that simple facts & figures. At the very least good emotional storytelling will make your brand more memorable
2. Character & Point of View
Good storytelling revolves around characters, so whose POV (point of view) should you focus on? What characters will your target audience connect with or relate to? What scenarios do they find themselves in that will resonate for your audience and make them invested in the story?
We frequently see this used to great effect in customer testimonial videos - rather than rattling off a list of their product features, companies that invite their customers to tell the stories of their own experience build trust with their target audience far more quickly and effectively.
3. Story Arc
Once Upon A Time.......
Every story is built around a narrative story arc. First, you introduce your character, then outline the key problem they face and finally show how your product/service solves this problem.
Dig into the details - find the specific day to day pain points the customer faces that your product/service can fix. Spell out these pain points in your video through visuals and messaging. Then show how your product/service can resolve these problems. It's important to make it as realistic and relatable to your customer as possible, told from THEIR perspective, not yours.
4. Visual Storytelling Through Location, Shots & Pacing
Now you start to bring your story to life with visuals. Using appropriate locations that match your storyline will make the video all the more relatable to your audience. For example, staff members talking about your company culture while standing in front of a company banner is too staged & boring, so film them where they actually work on a daily basis. Film customers using your products in their home setting so that your audience can visualise how it would also work for them.
Make sure you include a mixture of wide, mid and close up shots in order to create a professional looking video that's more visually engaging for your audience.
Take some time to decide on the pacing you want to achieve in your video. Do you want to go for a fast moving, lively and dramatic video or are you trying to create a video that comes across more gentle and detail orientated.
Lighting can be used to add to the atmosphere you are trying to create in the video. Darker tones create a moody, more dramatic vibe whereas lighter tones will give a more positive feel to the video.
5. Use of Music
Music can also intensify the atmosphere you want to create and can provoke more emotion from your audience. Ensure that your music choices reflect the overall feel of the video.
“Music touches us, makes the moving images seem more romantic, more beautiful, or more interesting, and brings dynamism and mood to the video”.
- Liesa Huppertz
Always remember that each decision you make should be based on what will best engage your target audience will . Don’t choose a song you like just for the sake of it. Look for music that either enhances the tone of the video or what your target group will enjoy.
Music is powerful, it can be the difference between whether or not you will continue to watch a video. It can make your brand more memorable.
Authenticity is “the quality of being real or true”. A storytelling video that sounds like a scripted corporate promo will never work - it must be told in your characters own words and voice. It is important to be as relatable as possible to your audience by using everyday language that will be more natural instead of technical terms or jargon. Your characters should speak as succinctly as possible to drive the message home and avoid too much repetition.
Here's an example of a storytelling video told entirely from the POV of the user of a home help service. The focus is entirely on the benefits to the customer rather than any specific details about the company itself and is all the more effective as a result.
Video Sherpa enables you to create videos quickly, easily & costs effectively, giving you more time to focus on your story…
We do the tech so you can focus on the storytelling!