It’s no secret, video has become the most popular choice for content consumption in today’s media-driven world. In fact, the average person will spend 100 minutes each day watching online video, which has grown over the past few years. Over time, we’ve seen many styles of video come and go – funny super bowl commercials, heart-wrenching animal adoption videos, or quick 6-second viral clips – the fads come and go quickly. There’s one tactic that has never gone out of style, though, and that’s the Storytelling Video.
Storytelling Videos are a marketing tool that uses a naturally engaging format to tell a story about a brand, organization, or product. It’s an engaging and immersive experience that is incredibly powerful at driving action. But, like anything in the world, it’s really easy to not live up to your full potential when creating a storytelling video.
As a creative studio with several years of experience in creating storytelling films, we’ve gathered a few tricks along the way to make your video really powerful.
1) Know Your Audience
This one seems simple, right? Yet, so many people jump right into talking about WHAT the story is going to be, that they forget to talk about WHO it’s going to be told to. You need to understand who your viewer is, what their interests are, and what problem you are solving for them.
Real-Life Example: HYPOXIA
Copper City Strength & Conditioning runs their HYPOXIA workout event every year in Butte, Montana, and was looking for an event recap and promotion video. We flew to Butte and joined them for the day, capturing b-roll and interviews to craft the perfect recap video.
We asked ourselves, “who is the audience for this film?”. Looking at how they wanted to use the video on their social media and website, it’s likely going to be gym members, people wanting to get involved with HYPOXIA, and folks in the community. We kept the video action-packed with energetic music to cater to this audience.
2) Position Yourself as the Guide
We’re taking a tip straight from author Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey, which is a narrative template for storytelling that can be seen across cultures and time periods. In this journey, the Hero has a Challenge to overcome, and along their adventure, they meet the Guide, who provides advice and sets them on their path to success. Everyone wants to be the hero in their story, so by setting yourself as the guide in their adventure, you’re telling them, “we are experienced, knowledgeable, and experts in this topic, and you can trust us to help you”.
Real-Life Example: Kenyon Noble
Kenyon Noble Lumber and Hardware was looking for a broadcast commercial spot to share all the options they have for holiday gifts. Being an expert in their field, we positioned Kenyon Noble as the guide to help their customers be the hero of their holiday season by helping them find the perfect gifts for their loved ones.
3) Be Empathetic
Gone are the days of the quick sell. “ACT FAST OR ELSE YOU’RE NEVER EVER GOING TO HAVE THIS!” seems like a silly, over-the-top tactic that, frankly, does nothing but raise my blood pressure. Your video can still create passion in a viewer, but let’s make sure it’s still a positive experience. When we tell stories, chemicals like dopamine, cortisol, and oxytocin are released and get us hooked on the experience within a story, without actually having to experience it ourselves. Utilize empathy, and put yourself in the shoes of your viewer. Better yet, have a satisfied customer explain why they had such an incredible experience with you.
Real-Life Example: Ronald McDonald House Charities
The local Ronald McDonald House Charities chapter approached us about making a film for their Giving Hearts Day fundraising campaign. Since they are a non-profit, and their target audience was potential donors, we decided to use our empathy and find a longtime RMHC family to share their story of how it impacted them.
Don’t Know Where to Start? We Can Help.
Oh, hey there. We are Tellwell Story Co., a creative studio located in Fargo, North Dakota (serving the world) that focuses on thoughtful branding and beautiful film and video. Everything we do is completed within the framework of storytelling – from designing an artistic and visually appealing brand to shooting and editing a thought-provoking video or film… story is kind of our jam. I mean, it’s in our name!