There are some advantages of brand storytelling with video over other marketing mediums, and it comes down to a few essential factors.
The combination of audio and video is a more natural way to tell a story than a stagnant image or reading. It’s a very immersive, maybe not 360 degrees immersive, but it’s an extremely effective way to convey a story. There are so many different things at your disposal: music, sound effects, compelling visuals, things like that. It’s a visual- and audio-driven medium more-so than written text or billboards–any of the other traditional marketing displays. Websites can take advantage of video, and should because today’s consumers are video consumers. They’re so used to clicking on Netflix and watching riveting storytelling that now they’re trained to be informed through video. It’s incredibly useful regarding education and driving a point home.
With so many ways to design a video and there’s a style for every brand. The trick is deciding what works for your particular brand storytelling. What you choose depends on what your brand is trying to achieve. It’s not cut-and-dried or even formulaic like “you should create a documentary if you’re trying to achieve X.” It’s less brand-related and more results-related. What action are you trying to get your audience to take? Are you trying to educate them? Are you trying to inform them? Or are you trying to get them to write a check?
Start by asking yourself questions around what you want to ultimately drive the viewer to do, then you can take the style from there. For example, what if you’re making a video to train analysts about cognitive biases? Sounds a little challenging at first, right? You could answer questions like:
- Who are we trying to inform?
- What do they care about?
- Why do we need them to learn about this subject?
- How/Where will they be consuming the content?
- What do they already know about the subject?
- What action are we trying to get them to take?
- How do we want them to react emotionally?
- What’s tone works best for presenting the information?
Questions like these begin to reveal style choices that lend themselves naturally to the way the story should be crafted. The process often ends up being more intuitive than you might expect. For example, in a case like cognitive bias, you wouldn’t likely suggest an emotional documentary. You’d probably go with an approach that’s more educational in nature. You might incorporate illustrative, integrated graphics and things of that nature. You need to start with an understanding of what it is that you’re ultimately trying to get your audience to do and the overall goal of the video and fit the style to the story.
You already know you have a rapt audience with video, so the next step is making it a two-way interaction. When it comes to engagement a great way to inspire participation is when brands are open and of give a full-access view. Let’s say you create mini-docs or case study videos where you actually get to see people using a product or get in the trenches, where you look at a company out on the front lines implementing their device, product, or process. Videos where you truly get to see what things are like on the front lines. Telling some of those war stories, allowing access and getting that perspective into a company about who they are and what they’re trying to do without being so guarded. Videos that don’t try to polish everything to such an extent where there’s no room for engagement.
Authenticity matters. When a video is overpolished, there’s no connection with the audience because it seems unrealistic. The audience doesn’t really care about the product because you’ve polished it so much the video is more of a commercial and the audience thinks #thankunext. On the flipside, you can produce videos that are more raw, authentic, and include behind-the-scenes insights where you can tell stories that resonate with audiences. Most people have never engaged in any product or service that’s worked all the time flawlessly. To pretend something is perfect is less effective than revealing a rough edge now and then. Videos that have transparency allow people to see themselves in the position of either using the product or engaging in the brand’s services. It’s more relevant to an audience with that perspective and people will be more likely to engage with them and care about what your brand is doing.
The fact that video provides multisensory storytelling offers a wide range of techniques to relate to audiences, and the power of story to keep people engaged, Video provides the most effective mediums to inform folks about your brand.