By Enric Llonch, on 8 February 2022
In a world dominated by the Internet, the demand for digital and visual content has grown exponentially. Marketing has become more competitive, and many companies are always looking for new techniques to stand out. Because of this, a compelling story is the perfect way to connect with customers, convey your values, and mission, and display your products. And video storytelling is the perfect way to do all this!
What Is Video Storytelling?
Video storytelling relies on the idea of a narrative that connects with an audience and appeals to their feelings. A video of this nature can be used to educate, inspire, inform or entertain. By making a video about your company or products, you are letting people know what you can do for them in a way that they can relate to.
Most of the time, video storytelling presents a conflict common to the human experience, its development and a powerful ending that resolves the conflict. Again, it is not about aggressively promoting a product or your brand, but rather about telling a compelling story.
How to Make a Video That Tells a Story
As mentioned, the idea is to create an engaging video that shows your core values, vision or objectives. The story can range from a funny animation to a more complex narrative with human actors and elaborate video editing. In fact, there are so many possibilities that it can be overwhelming. But, you can simplify this by following a narrative structure the same way that a novel or a play would. Think of the following:
- Plot: what is the overall storyline?
- Setting: where is the action is taking place?
- Conflict: what is the problem that needs to be resolved?
- Resolution: how will the problem get resolved and what will the conclusion be?
Once you have this figured out, you can start shaping the story. How do you do that? Do not worry! We've got you covered.
Video Storytelling Tips
Think About Your Target Audience
It is important to have a clear picture of your target audience. Are you aiming for young professionals? Teens? New parents? What interests do they have, and how can you connect with them? One factor to think about here is the tone. Use the language your customers use and avoid technical jargon. People relate more when they see something that reflects their environment, their sense of humor, their values, etc.
Keep It Real
Don't create a very long, elaborate, narrative that strays away from the main idea. Creating a convoluted story can be distracting, and can also use up a lot of your budget. There are popular plotlines that always work very well, like the hero’s journey, where the main character has to overcome various difficulties, learn new things, and, in the end, reaches a satisfactory conclusion.
Remember, you have to connect with people, so facing problems and getting through them is arguably the most common human experience. Empathy is key.
Less Can Be More
Ideally, the length of a video should be about 1 to 3 minutes and never longer than 5. We live in an era of quick consumption. We demand more and more, faster and faster, so you have to make an impact in the least amount of time possible. Take TikTok as an example of successful video content. This platform works very well since the videos must be short and get to the point. Less time implies less information to digest, and therefore the audience focuses in on the content.
Make Good Use of Emotion
The ads that work the best are the ones that appeal to feelings. That is referred to as emotional marketing. Tapping into human emotions like sadness, joy, doubt, happiness always give a sense relatability, and therefore elicits a response from the audience. Consider using humor as the centerpiece of your animation or distributing pain points in for the extra impact. The use of light, camera angles, music, and the color palette are also key. Colder colors depict sadness; a slow piano can convey loneliness; a close-up shot can imply proximity with the characters. Be creative with the use of emotions: a small gesture can speak volumes.
If you cannot come up with a good plot, or if you do not have the right resources at your disposal, hire a pro. Investing in good marketing professionals can help you bring your vision to life. They can take the work off you plate and can advise you on what works best and what does not. Do you want to go the animation route? Invest in good animators. Do you want to make your customers tear up? Call the best composer you can find. Budget is important, but if you have the resources, going the extra mile pays off.
Examples of Video Storytelling
This ad shows that sometimes you don't even need words to tell a moving story. In the video, we see a retired athlete who feels confined in a nursing home and wants to go running once again, but the staff does not allow him to. The music and visuals in the ad lead the action to a very emotive ending, where all the man's friends at the nursing home help him go out and do what he loves one more time.
Another successful example is the 2014 Chevrolet commercial, where a father and a son move out of their house. This is again a good example of simple but effective video storytelling. It begins with a guitar playing sad chords on a cloudy day, but ends on a hopeful note, with red roses depicting renewed joy and the strength to move on and drive away.
Video storytelling is a great way to establish a direct connection with customers and it doesn't require expertise to succeed. Once you have identified your goal and your audience, having an emotional arc and showing empathy is all you need to make a compelling and successful story.