Why is storytelling so crucial to the success of video production?
Storytelling is woven into the very fabric of what it is to be human. For thousands of years, we have used it to recount history, warn of the world’s many opportunities and dangers, and explore the improbable and impossible.
From the earliest days of the advertising age, stories have been used to entertain, educate, inform and – above all – sell brands, products and services from a local to a global scale.
The introduction (and stratospheric growth) of video marketing turned that industry into an art form. Today, a compelling story has become the key component of video production.
Let’s take a deeper look at what that means, and explore how we at Bouche Media can craft a video narrative that will resonate with viewers long after the credits have rolled.
What is video storytelling?
Some people say that video storytelling is just another component of a wider marketing strategy. We prefer to think of it as the art of introducing or showcasing a product, service or brand to an audience.
Survey results from Motioncue reveal precisely what a powerful tool a video story can be: 77% of people said that they would watch an advert if they found it relevant.
Meanwhile, more than 60% said video kept brands “top of mind”, and 76% said that product or service explainer videos helped make a buying decision.
So, what’s the secret to creating successful video stories for a brand?
Key elements for great video storytelling
There are many ingredients that contribute to great visual storytelling and they all have the same aim: to connect with potential customers, whether targeted or not.
Before shooting begins, several video storytelling goals must be decided:
- what story do you want to tell?
- who are the main characters and how do they relate to your audience?
- where does the storytelling take place and does it shape the video narrative?
- who is your target audience?
- how will they experience the final video?
- what do you want them to do afterwards?
Having this video storytelling framework in place will enable any brand to create a memorable final product that has a good story at its core.
Give it a hook, a meaty middle and a pay-off
Almost any story has a beginning, a middle and an end to keep the viewer interested, and it’s a similar tale for visual storytelling.
For a brand marketing video, the best way to tell a story is in three acts: a hook to set the scene, the main part of the story, followed by the resolution and a call to action.
This ‘rule of three’ applies just as much to a three-hour blockbuster as it does to a 30-second video marketing promo for Instagram.
Understand the visual grammar of the video format
Another hugely important aspect of good video storytelling is being able to use the best filming techniques to get your brand or product message across.
That means having a deep understanding of cinematography, from camera angles to editing your characters on screen.
It’s these video storytelling skills that complement and enhance the visual language: the design and look of your final product.
Video + people = good storytelling
The most compelling stories have people at their heart. Including a human element in your video ad is crucial if you want to create content that is a success.
There’s a lot to be said for celebrities and influencers supporting marketing campaigns, but a video story that features an authentic voice or characters is worth its weight in gold.
As well as becoming a video personification of your brand, they can also embody customers’ frustrations in their own lives. That allows you to use engaging storytelling to show how your business can resolve the pain points of a viewer.
Colour and sound in stories
We mentioned visual language earlier, and when it comes to film lighting and sound, it can be easy to underestimate the impact of both when we watch videos.
The lighting and colour palette of your video gives an audience almost as much visual information as the human beings at the centre of the story.
Both can also be used to subtly evoke emotions in the viewer, helping keep your brand front of mind during a wider marketing campaign.
The right music can also help make your video ad relate to your audience and elicit an emotional response. Likewise, sampling a riff from a catchy tune and embedding it in your storytelling is a great way to get your business under viewers’ skins.
How long should your video story be?
No matter what Hollywood will have us believe, the majority of audiences have short attention spans when it comes to watching video stories.
Socialinsider’s analysis of almost four million Facebook marketing videos revealed no matter how many followers the business or company had, the optimal length for a video story was between two and five minutes.
That doesn’t mean brands looking to create longer-form content, whether live action or animation, have lost out.
Rather, it focuses the storytelling and message to include information the audience wants to consume, reducing the risk of turning off potential customers and slumping sales.
Create an emotional connection with your target audience
All of this leads us to the most important factor in online video storytelling: making an emotional connection with your audience.
Video has the ability to capture our attention and hearts like no other medium. But all the fancy camera angles, snazzy lighting and special effects in the world can’t compete with the power of ‘emotional contagion’.
It’s what happens when an audience’s own feelings start to mirror what they see in a video. For example, stories that reflect real-life subjects or issues stand a higher chance of engaging people.
The importance of a story connecting at the most profound level with the viewer as part of a marketing strategy can’t be overstated. It, probably more than any other mechanism, is what drives people to make a purchasing decision.
A seasonal story
The John Lewis Christmas video is a great example of how a powerful story, delivered in a video format, can be for a brand.
This slice of marketing genius from the company’s production team has reached the point where it has become an annual event. Each story is eagerly awaited by an audience that stretches around the world.
Viewers are charmed by the story’s main character, while the heartwarming visuals give everyone all the feels. When it comes to engaging people on a deeply emotional level with a touching message, it’s almost in a league of its own.
Corporate video storytelling
You could be forgiven for thinking all this talk about stories, emotions and connecting with the audience is great for some companies but doesn’t apply to business videos.
In fact, storytelling is a crucial part of memorable video content, whether that’s a new video aimed at corporate employees or an animated explainer video that aims to enhance brand loyalty.
The point of them all is to tell a story that will connect with the viewers watching. When you have their undivided attention, then you can pass on your brand message.
The power of a video story
The characters you choose to feature in the story, whether they’re live actors or animations, can provide a fresh perspective for potential customers.
For example, in creating a video story, you can identify pain points, unveil a new idea or reveal how your brand can make a difference in someone’s life.
Given we use half our brains to process visual data, a good story is an incredibly powerful way to impart information while also enhancing brand loyalty.
How Bouche Media can help enhance your video storytelling
We specialise in creating corporate videos that are innovative, entertaining and engaging, and that have great storytelling at their core.
Our experienced team is constantly absorbing new ideas to bring a fresh approach to each live action or animation video project, while also providing a friendly and proactive service.
We relish the challenge of using short-form videos to carry the engaging story behind a brand message to its audience, but we don’t stop there.
Comprehensive video strategy support
Get the most from your stories and maximise results with our strategic reviews and planning services.
Our team can design video storytelling and storyboarding that will connect emotionally with your audience, as well as demonstrating cost-effective ways you can prolong the shelf life of the finished videos.
We can also optimise the distribution and repurposing of your videos to ensure the widest audience has the chance to experience your stories.
Let us tell your brand’s video story
Are you ready to put video storytelling at the heart of your marketing strategy? Then drop us a line.
You can call the team on 0203 6373597, email us at email@example.com or fill in this contact form and we’ll get back to you straight away.