June 7, 2017 ann

The Power of Storytelling in Video Marketing

This article was originally published in Market Smartly Magazine March 2017 Edition. 

Harnessing the power of video and sharing compelling visual stories direct to the consumer has become a powerful medium in online marketing. Not only can video serve to provide higher attraction to your businesses’ promotional campaigns and influential ideas, video can also help you drive deeper, more satisfying relationship between your brand and its audience.

And the most recent statics show that marketers are reaping the benefits of sending innovative video content directly to a user’s device. For example, marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users and 92% of mobile video consumers share video with others.

Video marketing won’t automatically get attention for your business, even the best videos have no guarantee they’ll be popular. Successful videos however do happen to have a few rules and structures in common. This guide will introduce what those things are to help you better craft your stories and increase the success of your video marketing campaign.

1.Begin with the end in mind

Think about your audience and what you want them to know about you. Establish, share and live your purpose or vision. Don’t get tied up in corporate jargon. Fun campaign videos can bring pain-points to life and humanise your brand. Product demo videos can quickly educate audiences and build trust in your offers.

Make sure your video brand is compatible with your overall brand strategy. If your viewers sense a disconnection between your brand and the video content, you run the risk of being perceived as inauthentic.

How to apply:

• Define the purpose of your story with consistency of style and tone that have emotional connection and meaning.
• Work with stakeholders to agree on the video strategy before moving on, it then becomes the filter for all your decision.

2. Be true to the platform

You must take into account that each platform features unique attributes that need to be considered when creating content for that platform. Formalising marketing values you hope to achieve with video typically falls within three values: Brand awareness, lead generation and online engagement.

You should think about what you want achieve with a single piece of content, or whether you’ll have better success splitting and targeting with different kinds of video content spread across different platforms.

For example, Facebook Live is a useful tool to demonstrate a first-glimpse at a new brand offering, or engage with your fans with a live Q&A session, you are adding a sense that everyone is sharing in a unique and finite experience.

Alternatively, if your brand needs to make inroads with Millennials, you can dive deeply into Snapchat, reaching over 45% of the 13 to 24 demographic every day

How to apply:

  • Select multiple platforms for wider distribution
  • Make sure the videos and platforms are aligned with your customer’s viewing behavior, demographic and interests

[Small business behind-the-scenes videos can tell stories that strike a cord with customers. Client: Corcorz Hair]

 

  1. Take audiences to new places

Product explanations are important, but they don’t always make the most compelling stories.

One of the great powers of video marketing is the ability to take the audience somewhere they weren’t expecting, such as giving them a behind-the-scenes look at an organisation, or a glimpse into the life of a lead figure in a company. Alternatively, involve customers by featuring their success stories, or let your partners talk about their businesses and why they work with you.

This kind of content helps you forge a special connection with the user because they feel like they are gaining intimate access to something that not everyone gets to experience. What’s great about this is that it allows you to engage with your fans by rewarding them for their loyalty with special access. It also provides you with an opportunity to tease content that will draw in a new audience.

How to apply:

  • A story is only as strong as the people within it. Always ensure you have one strong character to lead your story.
  • Stick to one clear benefit message for your brand per video.

[Charities can lend themselves readily to purposeful, emotional storytelling for a successful fundraising campaign. Client:  Communify]

 

  1. Leave a lasting impression

Resist the urge to do a sales pitch. Instead, take the time to understand what your customers really want and focus your brand story on delivering that message to the customer. Tell them a good story, they’ll love you for it.

Remember, viewers have short attention spans so keep your videos short and simple. As you build your video library and measure viewership, you’ll start to see whether there is demand for longer in-depth videos.

Your video should immediately convey its value and answer that “why should I watch it?” question playing on your audiences’ mind. Should they watch it because it will make them laugh, because it will inspire them to act, or because it will teach them something new?

You can use social media to take your audience on a journey with your brand and show them how they fit into the narrative. One way to accomplish this is to make your stories interact so that social media users can contribute to the creative process and deepen their bond with your brand.

How to apply:

  • Hook them from the get go. You have to capture attention within the first 8 seconds. So you better kick it off with something captivating and even a little unpredictable.
  • Dedicate the last 8 seconds to a strong, reward-focused Call-to-Action that capitalised on your viewer’s investment of time and attention.
  • Collect data on how your videos are watched and how viewers engage with them. Check the duration of views, repeat views and drop-off rates. That data helps you know whether your videos are working.

[Product teaser launch for lifestyle and entertainment magazine brand Indulge. Client: Queensland Magazines]

 Of course, telling stories is an ancient tradition. In the digital age, advanced video storytelling techniques used in online marketing allow us to move away from product-led content to a more emotionally-led connection with our audience.

Although it is tempting to jump on the bandwagon and produce content and set goal later, you’ll likely abandon your video marketing efforts. Whatever you hope to accomplish with video marketing, it should be defined at the outset before your launch your next campaign and be used to measure and tailor your strategy.

 

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