Video marketing and storytelling
Find out more about how storytelling can be used in your video marketing strategy
The history of storytelling
In recent times you might have seen the topic of storytelling crop up over and over again, it’s become quite popular in video marketing and online marketing in general. Is this some kind of new technique that clever marketers have come up with to sell products? In short, no.
Storytelling isn’t a new concept, in fact, for as far back as we can trace, human beings have used it as a way of communicating with each other. Why is this? Well, because stories have a way of making us think and take actions. We learned from them, and, as a result, the people who listened and took note survived. When a cave painting was made of people hunting a woolly mammoth, it was done so to help illustrate a story that other people could understand and use in their own lives. In short, stories were central to our survival, and that’s why they’ve become so essential to our communication as a species. Our needs are mostly different now, but the impact of stories is still hardwired into us.
Why is it effective?
Survival is no longer the main goal for most of us, and we don’t face the same challenges as the people that first told stories, but their effectiveness hasn’t lessened. If anything, in a world where so many of us are looking for real human connection, they’re even more relevant.
When we hear a story, the part of our brain that deals with emotion, trust and certain actions is directly activated. Using a story to create an emotional reaction here means that you can move people and build a relationship with a group of people. This is a principal to bear in mind when you’re thinking about video marketing, you’re not trying to sell or overload people with information, that doesn’t usually work, instead, you’re trying to form an emotional connection. For example, the statistics surrounding cancer are shocking, 1 in 2 of us will get it, but to read that on it’s own doesn’t necessarily encourage actions or donations. Instead, seeing and hearing someone’s cancer story firsthand through a film can form that real human connection which encourages someone else to act. In this sense, video marketing is not only a powerful tool for telling stories, it’s a powerful way of building real connection.
How can businesses and charities use storytelling?
In short, there are no limits to the stories that you can tell, especially when it comes to video marketing. They can be used to promote a service, to allow people to quickly find out about the core values of your organisation or to teach people. Anyone can use storytelling to take important information and turn it into a message that people can understand and remember, and that’s why businesses and charities a like use them.
The most important thing to remember when telling your stories is that you’re looking for a connection of some sort. From a business perspective, using emotionally driven stories to build trust with potential customers is an effective way of working. You take yourself from being another business looking to sell to being a company that understands the people you’re trying to reach.
From a charity perspective, storytelling is a way of taking the stream of facts and statistics that relate to your area of work, and turn them into something that someone can actually process. From a neurological point of view, hammering your audience with facts and figures does not engage the brain in a way that makes people want to take action. Instead, through the emotive pulls contained within a story, you’re connecting directly with people in a way that actually makes them go out and do something.
Why video marketing for telling stories?
A story can be told through any number of different mediums, but one of the most effective ways is to make your story visual. This is where video production, animation and video marketing in general come in. Doing so gives you the opportunity to give people a wider context to your story. It takes your story from being words on a page, and turns it into something that people can visualise and connect with on a deeper level. It creates a universe for your viewer to become involved in, one that you can align (or contrast) with their understanding of the world to bring them into your story.
Through video production and animation your can see relatable characters, they can see settings that they can understand & relate to and they can pick up on subtle visual clues like colour, lighting and motion. You can also utilise sound and music to take this context even further. All of this culminates in creating an emotional experience for the viewer, which is the best way to help them make a decision or take an action.
From a practical perspective, online video marketing has become one of the most prevalent ways of delivering stories to people. How many times have you gone to scroll past a video post, only to be drawn in by the first image or the subtitles on the video? It’s likely that you’ve experienced this, and, if you have, then you’ll understand why online video marketing is as prevalent it is. In fact, businesses and charities, big and small, have put their trust in video marketing to deliver some of their most important stories and messages for this exact reason. More than that though, video marketing is a good way of telling stories quickly, which in today’s busy world is a real advantage. Take a look at our blog post on how to tell a story quickly through digital marketing videos.
Would you like to find out more about how storytelling can work for your video marketing (or any other marketing for that matter)? You can check out our blog or you could take a look at some of the resources that we recommend:
► Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Made-Stick-ideas-others-unstuck/dp/009950569X
► The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Storytelling-Animal-Stories-Make-Human/dp/0544002342
► Getting Goosebumps: The power of storytelling - https://podcasts.apple.com/za/podcast/getting-goosebumps-the-power-of-storytelling/id1039764876