CHAPTER 3: Harness The Power of Storytelling
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“Storytelling is as old as speech. It existed before humans first began to carve shapes in stones and press their hands upon the rocky walls of caves.”
– Kate Forsyth
There are many things that companies need to not only keep up with the competition but also get ahead of it and in today’s market with cut-throat competition in every industry, what a brand needs more than anything is a compelling story. The reason stories give wings to your marketing efforts is because they elicit emotions and most of the customers rely on their emotions to make purchase decisions because they compel action.
A video based on the well-though script of a story can communicate your brand’s character in a few minutes whereas the same thing will take days or weeks through written content. Whether you use a fun animation or a video documentary of your business, if done right, you can come off as a powerful brand that people will prefer to support and share with others.
When you think of Red Bull, what do you think of first? The energetic spirit, right? Well, how did they do this? They created a story around their brand revolving around extreme sport, rock star lifestyle and competitiveness and showed it through thrilling videos involving people engaging in adrenaline-pumping stunts.
So when people buy a red bull, they don’t buy it because it has a great taste, they buy it because they believe in their story which appeals to the people who are willing to go to extreme measures to get things done.
This approach to telling a story through the use of videos is known as emotional marketing that mainly leverages emotions to make the audience notice, enjoy, remember, buy and share. Keep in mind that emotional marketing usually taps into a singular motion like happiness or excitement to provoke a response from the consumer.
According to HubSpot; some emotions have more effect than others when it comes to driving certain actions. Some emotion and the actions associated with them are:
- Happiness = Sharing
- Sadness = Giving
- Fear = Loyalty
- Anger = Virality
When you start on the scripting of the video, make sure to have a clear understanding of the type of emotion and feeling you want the audience to catch from it and that will be done by creating a story involving that emotion.
According to Forrester Research; a video has a worth of 1.8 million words which means you have a lot of room to tell a story. But how will you get started with it? How will you tell your story? What are the ingredients for a compelling story? To get an answer to these questions, have a look at a few tips below:
Humor is Audience Engager:
Brands often don’t understand this key aspect that makes a video very engaging which is why people often don’t watch the whole video. This is usually done in the industries where things are more formal but you need to understand that even if your business is more on the formal side of the table, you are still talking with people who have emotions and like to laugh.
So if you even just put a smile on their faces, they will definitely remember you and that will create a positive relationship between your brand and the audience.
Get Your Creative Juices Flowing:
One thing that makes people want to share your video with others is the element of surprise that the video has. If they get surprised by something unexpected in your videos, they will likely to share it with their friends to surprise them as well.
So for that, you need to first think about the message that you want to convey and then come up with unusual and unexpected ways to get it across. Try to surprise yourself and your team with new ideas and if you can do it, your audience will be more likely to get surprised by your ideas too.
Establish the Start, Middle and End of the Story in Advance:
You need to think about what these three factors are going to be before you start with the production process. Try to figure these out and then create a storyboard based on these three parts to see how your story will turn out to be and then write a script based on it ahead of the time.
You will get two benefits if you take this approach. The first one is that you will be able to identify the possible issues in your story ahead of time and the second is that you can get critical feedback from others and further improve the story.
Make People Visualize not Read:
A mistake that many brands make is that they include lines of text in their videos more than the visuals. This is not an ideal approach because you can then just create a blog post and why invest your time and effort in making a video?
So the ideal approach to creating a strong story is to use a combination of visuals and sound to get your message across. Think about the angles, sounds, colors, and visuals you would want to use together to create a story that conveys feelings.
Also, please remember to not come off as someone who just wants to sell their product by hitting the audience with the promotion message right at the start. You need to sell by not selling but by telling a story your target audience can resonate with. So only include your product where it fits.
Take Your Time to Gather Ideas:
Make sure to not just go with the first idea that comes to your mind. Take your time to think of different possibilities to create a compelling story and get things done and make sure to remove all of the obvious stuff. It is better if you hold a brainstorm session with your team where everyone can speak what comes to their mind without getting criticized.
Once you have gathered tons of ideas, now work on assessing them, figuring out how you can approach them, and then choose anyone. Make sure to give your team and yourself the freedom to speak and be creative without putting any restrictions and that will lead to the best ideas.
Also, make sure to just stick to one idea and one story. Do not try to complicate things by adding different angles to your story to make it ‘more’ because more is not always better. Try to focus on one thing at a time and if you have some other great ideas, you can work on them later with other video campaigns.
So these are a few things that you need to keep in mind when you are creating a story for your brand. Make sure to work with your team to create a story and not just make them work on it, you will be more creative when you are among the people who are working on the video.
Now that you know how you can create an engaging story to connect with your audience and help them get familiar with your brand, you need to start working on creating the video. But for that, you need to know different types of videos and their styles so that you can create a video which is perfect for the type of story you are going to tell. So have a look at different video formats in the next chapter.