In today’s online world, businesses have seconds to win over customers with video; that makes it tempting to pack a list of benefits and calls to action into an explainer or other marketing video. Why should you avoid this temptation? Packing a bunch of information into a video is simply not as convincing nor memorable as telling a story with that information. And in order to inspire your viewers to take action, you need to convince them.
Here are 4 brand storytelling tips to have in mind when creating video content for your audience.
1. Treat video like a creative canvas
Creating video for the sake of updating your YouTube channel or Instagram page is not a long-term strategy. In order to maximize results, treat video communication as a way to showcase your brand’s personality in a way that addresses and informs audience needs.
Consider the format of the video. How can voiceover, titles, or animations introduce the video subject and establish the narration? Will you use a voice over or a combination of voiceover and animated titles? These are the elements that will color your video canvas, giving it structure, life, and voice.
A scene from our video announcement introducing a new feature.
2. Put things into context
The setting, characters, and plot of your video communication all contain contextual clues that together show people what your message without using words or text to spell out every detail. Let’s say a scene of your video needs to depict a person struggling with a work problem at their computer. With the image of the person sitting at a desk talking to their manager over sales reports, it can be assumed this is part of their job. You wouldn’t need extra subtitles to state it.
If you want to use context to enrich your storytelling, try interpreting it through the choice of furniture in the living room, or the colors that establish a certain tone throughout the video. You could also take a less literal approach. Cater these contextual details to your audience so that they really resonate.
In this scene, a minimal setting and negitive space helps to highlight our main character.
3. It’s all about the customer
In marketing, an important distinction between the sales funnel and the buyer’s journey is that the buyer’s journey represents the customer’s perspective. In visual content, not understanding the distinction can lead to telling a story that is too much about the business and not enough about the customer. Think first about your audience’s goals as a way to produce engaging video that will in turn fulfill marketing goals. This is also crucial for building relationships with the people that will come to expect to hear from you in the future.
Instead of listing feature benefits, we focus on the journey of the characters in order to illustrate how our feature contributes to their success.
4. Show conflict (and provide a solution)
A story without conflict is not much of a story. Conflict moves a story along and gives life to the characters and their struggle to meet desires. When it comes to brand storytelling, this conflict (or problem as we know it in marketing) should be relevant to the audience in order for them to relate. In branded marketing video, this relatability combined with visuals and motion is a recipe for inspiring customer action.
In the video, this scene represents the conflict that propels the character to find a solution. The ‘conflict’ scene mirrors the scene representing the solution for dramatic effect.