Storytelling Through Video
"Simplicity spreads. That’s why it’s difficult to make a transmedia story (or anything) that’s complex, layered, interactive… and also attracts a massive audience. If you want to go mainstream, you have to send clear signals and deliver an immediate payoff for a wider, casual audience.”
— ANDREA PHILLIPS
How do I tell authentic stories through video?
1. Know your platform- Every platform is different and they attract very different audiences. It is important to understand the reason your audience is on your particular platform and why they keep coming back. When you understand the platform’s purpose it will help you tailor your message to get the best results. Use LinkedIn as an example. The audience on LinkedIn is incredibly different compared to Instagram. Professionals are on LinkedIn to network, not to look at hipster coffee photos. Knowing your audience and the goals of the platform will help you connect with your audience and create content they actually want to see.
2. Put Control in your Audiences hands- Audiences are becoming more and more driven to shorter and faster content. This means that long-form video can be challenging, but it’s definitely not impossible. If you are producing long-form video, you need to get creative on how to keep your audience engaged. This means no more straight-talking head videos. If you adding a long-form video to your stories, make it engaging! Add text, graphics, polls throughout to keep them clicking and engaging with you. A few tips to help if you are producing long-form video
Long-Form Video performs well on Youtube, not Facebook. Try creating teasers of your long-form content and placing them on Instagram or Facebook and using those to funnel your audience to Youtube.
Older Generations, yes, even you millennials, are on Facebook and a variety of platforms, however, younger generations are not touching Facebook and thrive on faster, quicker platforms such as Instagram or Snapchat. Know your audience. If you are targeting a much older demographic, most likely Instagram is not your platform of choice
3. Be Authentic- Tell stories that you are passionate about and love. It shows! Your audience desires to connect with you and when you not only share your values and passions but share them in a creative way, that’s when you really start rise above from novice to master. While it seems easy to copy what others are doing, it is important to stay true to your values and who you are as a brand. Mass followings and engagement do not happen over time. Building something great takes time and focus.
“The key to story telling is making sure you have a message you want to tell your audience. Be as creative as possible to do that, whether that is through video or podcast or through a simple image or text on instagram. You can be a very effective storyteller if you know the science of story telling and how to craft or shape that without losing sight of who you are as a brand or a person.”
— C.R BRANIFF
4. Tell your customers story- What is better than your own story? Your customers! They want to engage with you and tell you about their experience with your company or your product. An authentic brand creates true fans and they are the perfect people to tell potential customers all about why your company or product is the best. While you may immediately assume that means straight up testimonials, that is not always the case. Allowing your customers to be featured in creative ways can really pay off in the long run. This can sometimes look like taking a general experience overall and portraying that in a creative way as well.
What are some examples? (Check out a few ad campaigns, mentioned on the podcast, that used their customers or experiences with their brand or product in a creative way)
North Face- Never Stop Exploring
Nike- Dream Crazy
“You are a guide. That’s the magic. If you could position yourself as a guide in any hero’s journey through transformation as a brand and get the focus off of you and onto the heroic customer, that’s when you have won. That’s when you are showcasing your ability to help people out of adversity. And that’s your job as a business, you are there to help your customers.”
— C.R BRANIFF
Quick Tips to Tell Great Stories
Know your audience. Focus on where your audience is and why they are there.
Work on your titles- Make your titles exciting! Stay away from clickbait, but think hard about whether someone would be pulled by your title for your story.
Think like the platform- If I am Youtube, what is my game? They are telling you what they value. This is the type of content they want.
Stay on brand. Be you and only you.
Just do it. Go and start telling stories. Failure only means you have to learn one way not to tell a story. Keep pressing and learning.