Video Story Telling – The What, The How, And Why You Should Be Doing It

From an early age, we love stories. As babies in the womb, our parents whisper to us, and before we can even understand the words, they read stories to soothe us to sleep. As we get older, we seek out stories as a way to make sense of the world. Stories know no cultural boundaries – they’re found in the caves of Neanderthals and on the walls of ancient Egyptian pharaohs in hieroglyphs. Even if we shed our love of reading as adults, we are still drawn to stories and narratives, often without realising it. that’s why so many brands have used stories to educate us, entertain us, forge mental connections and, ultimately, to convince us to buy from them. When you put it that way, is it a surprise that businesses should be embracing storytelling, particularly through the medium of videos?


What Is Video Storytelling?


Well, it does what it says on the tin! It’s a video that tells a story. Everyone can relate to stories, since they are so ingrained in our culture, and video storytelling is simply the way we translate that into a visual medium. Films and TV are both methods of video storytelling over a long period of time. For businesses, video storytelling is a shorter video, or series of videos, that tell a story around their brand values, products or services. A few great examples include PiperWai’s Natural Deodorant, Sama’s Lunchbox and this piece by The New York Times. All of these videos are promoting something, but they aren’t doing it overtly in the traditional ‘this is why you should buy’ model. Instead, they’re giving us a character to follow, a story to listen to and an opinion to agree with. By capturing our interest with a story instead of a hard sell, they guarantee we’re paying more attention to their message. And that is the essence of video storytelling.


How Do I Tell A Story Using Video?


First, you need to work out what kind of story you want to tell. You could talk to your customers and find out their problems, show some behind the scenes footage to tell your brand story, use actors to create a few scenes that evoke emotion, or even interview someone who will tell you their story. Think hard about your brand story. Incorporate a human element to help inspire your audience, give your consumers a chance to level with you, and motivate them to appreciate what your brand has to offer. You also need to remember the basic components of a story within your video, arranged in a classic narrative structure. So make sure you’re including:


  • A good introduction
  • A protagonist with an aim
  • Obstacles to the aim, which provide some tension or conflict
  • A climax or crisis point
  • A resolution


Effective storytelling plays a huge role in content marketing. It helps businesses to form real, meaningful bonds with their consumers, resulting in higher awareness and conversion rates and a more positive view of the business. Businesses who use storytelling in a strategic and consistent way are more likely to see that increased engagement. But there are still a few things you should remember when you’re planning your video stories.


5 Tips for Strong Brand Storytellers


Know Your Audience: The way your audience behaves should decide what you create to reach them. That includes what kind of stories they connect with, and where they prefer to view videos. Talk to your customers and find out how you can tell their story to others in the future.


Position Yourself Properly: Decide on your position, and then centre your stories around this message consistently.


Find Your Brand Hero: every story needs a good hero! Make sure you include a ‘good guy’, or other positive figure your audience can connect with and relate to. This could be a brand advocate, an invented character or even a product.


Be Authentic: Don’t create a video sales pitch. Video storytelling is all about being as true to yourself and your brand. Tell your story in the way you would tell it to your partner, your child or a stranger on the street, human to human.


Make It Shareable: Shareability is one of the cornerstones of good video marketing. If you manage to evoke the right feelings in someone, there is a good chance they will share your content. If you’re not sure what makes a video shareable, just take a look at your Facebook feed, and see what kinds of video your friends and family are sharing. Odds are, they are story driven!


At Swanwood Productions, there is nothing we like better than a good story. That’s why we love working with businesses large and small to help them dream up, develop and bring their stories to life with compelling video marketing. From script to screen, we manage every step of the process to deliver content that will educate, excite and spark action in your customers. For more information, please just get in touch with the team today.