In the last quarter of 2021, online videos reached 86% of internet users in the United States alone. Today, that number is up to 90%. The viewers have told the content creators what they want to see.
This means video has a more natural impact on a marketing strategy Video in your marketing strategy. And when 87% of marketers also agree that the ROI of video marketing is overwhelmingly satisfying, you know they’re on to something.
Even in B2B markets, video was the leading content marketing pursuit. More than 50% of businesses also use video in email marketing as well as on company landing pages.
Video marketing isn’t the exception, it’s the bare minimum required to make a dent in the online space. But what is the most effective way to communicate via video? By far, it’s video storytelling.
What Is Video Storytelling?
Stories are naturally engaging and inspiring. Think of movies and TV shows that share information and experiences in an organic way. Strong and compelling stories attract clients that are committed to a connection, not just the cost.
No one is suggesting that you go out and become a Hollywood producer but take cues from how they create content that resonates with viewers. Humans thrive on stories, it’s inherent to our nature.
Stories make connections, not just sales. They’re watched over and over again. They’re relatable, shareable, emotive, and fascinating. Marketing content that’s designed with this objective virtually can’t fail.
Storytelling For B2B vs B2C
B2C customers are the easiest to target. They want to be delighted and entertained. For B2B
markets, your message has to resonate with the directors, managers, c-suite execs, and even shareholders, not just the end-user. The requirement for trust and credibility is much higher.
Video quality and style must also be more elevated for B2B content. A front-seat selfie video probably won’t give the right impression. But this doesn’t mean you have to be boring! Keep it engaging and interesting!
How To Redefine Your Video Marketing With Storytelling
Emotion and inspiration are the dual backbones of storytelling. No matter what audience you’re talking to, start with a clear idea and define what emotion you intend to communicate or evoke. This should be the core of your story.
Plan how you will convey the chosen emotion and how it fits with your audience and your campaign goals.
If your goal is to generate shares or community chatter, work with happiness and enthusiasm. If you need to create a deep connection with your audience and inspire trust, empathy, empowerment, and encouragement are a good fit for that objective.
Shock and fear elicit a desire for something that’s familiar and comfortable. Or go for the virtual jugular with two polarizing emotions, such as a “love it, hate it” comparison. Find the appropriate emotional adjacents that will suit your audience and match your brand’s message.
Video Storytelling 101: The Breakdown
The most successful video storytelling marketing campaigns start with a detailed plan. Below is a comprehensive video content production framework for planning and creating story-driven marketing messages.
Zero In On The Audience
I hate to break it to you but none of your content should be about what you want to say or share. The focus should always remain on the target audience.
What are their demographics? Geographic location? Income bracket? Gender? Stage of life?
What would be meaningful to them? What do they need? What do they want? How can you appeal to their desires in an authentic way?
What obstacles do they face? If they take action, how would they define success? What mindset issues are common in this niche?
Where are they connecting with your video? Are they cold viewers? Warm? What would move them from on the fence into the greener pastures?
The Story Plot
Every good story from Homer’s Iliad to the latest New York Times Bestseller has a beginning, middle, and end. Video stories are no different. Plan every section of your video to build upon the last and finish strong.
Don’t start with the sale or you’ll lose viewers. Give context, set the scene, and share a peek at the end destination. Don’t “wing it” with this element. Dig into the story and let the creative juices flow.
Use this framework to help you think through the story plotline:
- What’s the context?
- Where is the starting place?
- What’s the obstacle or crossroads?
- What’s the “yellow brick road” to success?
- What’s the big finish?
The Why Behind The Video
A well-told story acts like a mirror where the viewer can picture themselves in the starring role? Plan a clear and simple moral of the story.
Where does the viewer find themselves along the way? How can you make it highly relevant to them? What are they supposed to learn?
Different from the “characters” of your story, this refers to who is in the video. Is it your face? Your employees? Hired talent? Are you creating a cartoon video? Whatever route you take it should be someone your ideal customer can immediately relate to.
While the environment isn’t the star of the show, it does play a significant role in your story. An all-white and uncluttered environment can be clean but also sterile. A city street can be lively and interesting but also distracting.
Choose a space that lets the story shine rather than the surroundings. Film in an everyday office, conference room, or the showroom floor. Take the show outdoors for a more relaxed approach. If your budget allows, hire a professional studio and crew for a polished look.
The cutting and editing process is where your footage is finalized and enhanced. Here, you can add music, captions, text overlays, graphics, sound effects, and any other elements needed to create the perfect finished product.
There are many helpful video editing software available, but these are some of my personal favorites:
- Magix Movie Edit Pro
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Pinnacle Studio
- Apple Final Cut Pro
Share Your Story
Now that the finished piece is ready, how will your audience see it? If you get a lot of traffic to your website or you’re looking to enhance your search engine rankings, always upload new video content to your website.
Long-form content is best suited to platforms like YouTube, Twitch, or your website. If you’re creating short-form content, this is easily shared across all social platforms that support this format and will enhance your brand awareness. This also helps you learn what platform is most successful for your audience.
Systematize Your Video Creation
Now that you’ve created one or two, you’ve begun to establish a process. Keep track of your steps along the way. Make a list of all the tools, equipment, and software you used and at what stage they came into play.
Think of everything from:
- Previous content topics
- Tripods or stands
- Editing Software
- Supporting graphics that you can reuse
When one video does well or even goes viral, dissect it so you can learn to replicate it in your future content.
Maintain Consistency and Focus On Quality
Like any other content medium, it’s important to be consistent. Don’t post once and never show up again.
Aim for one video a week and keep up the production for a few months. Measure the results and see where you may need to make adjustments.
On the other hand, don’t upload a poorly made and off-brand video you “whipped up” just to upload video. Keep it intentional and focused. Define the three to five content pillars that are relevant to your brand and your audience, and stick to what you know.
If you’re a children’s toy company, you may have content pillars that include children’s activities, safe play, and kid snacks. If you’re a video production company, your content pillars would be focused on proper filming techniques, video editing tips and tricks, and content planning.
Selling With Stories
Make sure you grab their attention early with a strong hook. What would pique their interest to keep watching.
To establish credibility and trust, overcome any possible objections they may have in a reassuring way. Make a personal connection by using relatable case studies and future framing.
Think through what storyline will have the most impact on where they’re at in the sales journey. Don’t forget to ask about the sale! You want them to know that you have more to offer.
Video Storytelling To Grow Your Business
Video marketing with storytelling bridges the gap between consumer entertainment and education to inspiration and motivation. Your target audience is looking for solutions, products, and services that improve their life. Make sure they find you!
Torrey Tayenaka is the co-founder and CEO of Sparkhouse, a training video production agency. He is often asked to contribute expertise in publications like Entrepreneur, Single Grain, and Forbes. Sparkhouse is known for transforming video marketing and advertising into real conversations. Rather than hitting the consumer over the head with blatant ads, Sparkhouse creates interesting, entertaining, and useful videos that enrich the lives of its clients and customers. In addition to Sparkhouse, Torrey has also founded the companies Eva Smart Shower, Litehouse & Forge54.