What did you do when you heard about the Will Smith and Chris Rock incident at the Oscars this year?
Did you read through a wall of text about it and then click out, satisfied? Or did you head straight to Youtube to actually see what happened?
A quick peek at Youtube’s ‘trending’ board reveals that millions upon millions of people did the latter. Even days later, people are still turning to video to follow the story and fallout as it develops.
People turned to video for several reasons:
- They wanted to see what happened, as it happened, for themselves.
- Give a more complete description of something than text ever could and it can do it quickly.
- Video is dynamic, engaging, and interesting.
- It is the perfect medium for telling a story.
You, too, can gain views and engagement with video. What’s more, you can help people understand what you’re offering in a way that’s not just simple, but is also entertaining and (dare we say it?) endearing.
For example, if explaining a complicated concept like acumatica pros and cons, you could either subject your reader to pages and pages of text about software specs, or make yourself crystal clear and entertain your viewer at the same time with a simple, animated story about an acumatica user.
If you want people to really understand what you’re talking about, video storytelling is the way forward. A good video will be eye-catching, engaging, entertaining, and educational (all the Es!).
Here, we’ll take you through why video storytelling is the way forward, and how you can use it to build yourself a competitive advantage.
Why should you use video storytelling?
- Humans are designed to respond to stories
The oldest story is almost certainly far, far older than the first cave paintings. Humans have been telling stories for so long that they’re wired into our evolutionary code. Our brains respond to stories in a way that can’t be replicated by anything else.
Give your customer a bunch of facts, and they’ll take them in, sure. But present those facts within a story, and you’ll imbue them with an evolutionary payload of emotions, neurochemicals, and neural responses.
Story-borne facts sink deep into your customer’s brain, with an ease and longevity that the simple facts could never manage alone.
- People love moving images
The human brain is a fascinating place, full of evolutionary relics. One of those is the impulse to tell and respond to stories. But even older than that is the way we respond to moving images.
Hundreds of thousands of years ago, movement was something you needed to pay attention to. That furry rustle in the grass could be something delicious, or it could be something that would find you delicious. A darting movement by your feet could be a deadly snake. A rippling in the distance could be a vital water source.
All in all, your eyes are primed to snap onto movement. In an age of digital distraction, when grabbing eyeballs is vital for brand success, you should be taking advantage of this ancient, hardwired impulse with video – especially on visual platforms, like Instagram.
- You can hack human evolution to improve your performance
So, stories and movement both have an ancient impact on the human brain that’s been hardwired in for countless millennia. They grab your attention and they keep it.
By combining stories and video, you can take advantage of our deepest evolutionary impulses to engage attention, get your point across, maximize your ROI, and please your customers while you’re at it.
But how can you do this best? Let’s take a look at the best ways to build audiences and gain a competitive advantage through video storytelling:
Make your narrative natural
Turning something into a story isn’t always easy. A good animator can help you to tease out the potential of your narrative – but some concepts/products do not lend themselves easily to storytelling.
It’s tempting to reach for the razzle-dazzle and try to impose a certain structure or formula on your narrative. For example, if your audience loves fantasy, you might try and give all your content a fantasy spin.
If this actually works for your product/narrative – great! But don’t force it. If you find yourself struggling to make questions like ‘how much does a domain name cost?’ fit into your epic fantasy quest structure, then abandon that structure.
Don’t patronize your audience. They will know if you are forcing it, and they will click out. Not every topic can be made to fit a story structure. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use storytelling techniques to bring out the best in your topic. For example…
Create a relatable character
Your video may not fit into a ‘storyline’ – but you can still build a compelling narrative with a relatable character. Some of the world’s biggest brands owe much of their success to their characters and mascots.
Characters are a simple and effective way to engage people with complicated (or boring!) concepts. For example, people are much more likely to watch a character taking them through the process of setting up a hosted VoIP than they are to read the instruction manual.
A narrative in which a character (for example) sets up an app, or works out how to use your product is just as much a ‘story’ as anything else. Videographics with memorable characters are just as good as plotlines.
A character can also be great for SEO. People may not be able to remember your brand name, but they will remember the name of your character. If a quick google for your character brings them to your site – that’s some good SEO!
The character you create can be fantastic for marketing, so make sure that they’re relatable for your audience. For example, if you’re looking to boost local SEO, you could create a character with local resonance. A personification of a local landmark, for example, or a character voiced with a local accent.
Keep it snappy
One of the first things people will check when they see your video is its length. After that, the design graphics.
Remember, many people will encounter your video while casually scrolling. They don’t have the time or the inclination to watch reels and reels of content. So, if they see that your video is longer than about a minute, they will click out.
‘Snappy is best’ applies to pretty much everything on the internet. For example, following the recent au domain release date, Australian domains have seen a boost in traffic. This is because they are now able to create shorter, sharper domain names which are attention grabbing and easier for customers to remember.
If you can’t tell your story in under a minute with a conversational and acceptable style, why not use your video story as a ‘teaser’, and then direct people to your website to learn more? You could even embed a longer video in your site if you want to.
Pick the right creators
If you have the skills and know-how to make your video yourself, that’s fantastic! If not, be sure to pick the right creators.
Creating a video isn’t just a case of hiring a video editor and leaving them to it. A good video will need input from:
- Your marketing team, to establish exactly what you need your video to achieve, the notes it needs to hit, the audience it’s aiming for etc.
- A writer, to provide a fun engaging script and advise on creative development.
- A good production company. Depending on what you need, you might want a team of fantastic animators, or a studio-based company with film equipment and expertise. Think carefully about what’s achievable within your budget and timeframe.
- Video editors. Editing may come as part of the package with your production company, or you may have to hire an editor in.
- Test audiences/feedback teams. This is particularly important if your video is going to be embedded into your site or app. There are lots of companies out there which help with user testing apps and content – check out what’s available and hire the right people for the job.
- A media team, to upload and monitor your video’s progress. Your media team could also advise you on performance issues. For example, if your video is performing better in an OnlyDomains.io domain than in other domains, this could give crucial insights into your audiences and their preferences.
Depending on what you want from your video, you might need to add even more into the mix – actors, for example.
All in all, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to producing your video. Make sure that you hire the best people for the job!
Video storytelling is powerful – harness that power for your brand!
The power of video storytelling is one of the best ways to engage audiences, to educate them, and to endear yourself to them. Storytelling creates a powerful impression in the human mind, and using video to tell your story ensures that audiences will pay attention.
There’s a lot to think about when creating a video, so we recommend that you get a good strategy together before you start. The better you plan, the better your video will be.
Good luck – and happy video making!