Unless you’ve been in self-imposed marketing hibernation for the past few years, you’ll be blue in the face from hearing marketers enthuse about the power of storytelling in video marketing. Full disclosure – I’m guilty on this score too.
‘Storytelling’ is one of those fuzzy, nebulous catch-all phrases that means different things to different people.
For businesses, storytelling means we focus not on ‘what’ the company does, but ‘who’ does it or ‘who’ it’s for. And going one step further, we focus not on ‘how’ they do it, but ‘why’ they do it.
It’s the people behind the brand – company staff & customers – and their stories that are of real interest to audiences.
Think about it – do I really care if
“The company was set up in 1993 with just 4 employees and 1 warehouse. Today we have 500 staff and 16 depots nationwide.”
Contrast that with
“Tim and I had struggled to get parts delivered on time, which was really frustrating and having a knock-on effect on our own business. And if we were having difficulties, we knew that others were having the same problem. We could see a better way of handling the whole process so we decided to branch out and set up a parallel logistics business. We took a small bank loan, a 12-month lease on our first warehouse, just outside of Manchester and bought two vans. It was tough at the start to spread the word and compete with the more established companies, but we slowly built up our client base and now, 5 years later we have 500 staff working in 16 depots spread across the country.”
Much more interesting, right?
The key difference is moving away from bland, corporate-speak and putting the human experience front and centre.
For International Women’s Day this year we wanted to highlight three very different businesses and, in doing so, showcase a range of inspirational women at their helm.
Rather than taking a formulaic, ‘This is what we do’ approach, we presented each video from the perspective of what inspires and motivates each of the featured women in their roles.
This really resonated with audiences, generating a huge amount of social media engagements and shares.
Liz Greehy & Ailish Connolly of Kilbaha Gallery feature in the first video. Rather than focus directly on their art gallery itself – we all know what an art gallery is - they share the history of strong female entrepreneurs from their remote region and their determination to represent a wide range of women artists through their gallery. Their personal connection, as sisters-in-law, brings another interesting element to their story.
Our second video spotlighted Suzanne Ryan, MD of Home Instead Galway. Suzanne’s work focuses on the care of elderly and vulnerable people in their own homes, but rather than spelling out exactly what she does on a daily basis, the video explored her approach to self-care, and how essential that is for those in leadership roles.
Mandy Maher, owner of Catwalk Models and The Platform by MM, was our third guest. She could have elaborated on the nitty-gritty of running a modelling agency, but instead focused on the importance of building up the confidence and self-belief of the young models she works with. Mandy’s belief in hard work and perseverance to reach your goals shone through, and told the audience everything they need to understand what makes her so successful.
These 3 examples show how a storytelling approach can be used by any organisation to bring their messaging to life in a relatable way. With a little time and forethought, anyone can apply the same principles to their company and see the direct impact on audience interest and engagement.