A well-told story can be the difference between an effective marketing video and one that falls flat. When you're trying to sell a product or idea, it's important to focus on the story behind it, not just the features. A good story will capture your audience's attention and make them feel like they're a part of it, which is what you want your marketing video to do.
The power of storytelling in marketing is not to be underestimated. It can make or break a brand. That's why your brand needs a good story, but what exactly does that mean? What are the qualities of a great story? How do you know when it's done? And how do you go about creating one in the first place? These are all important questions...
The difference between an effective marketing video and one that falls flat often lies in storytelling. A well-told story will engage viewers and keep them captivated throughout the video, while bad storytelling will leave them bored and uninterested by the end. This article will teach you everything you need to know about crafting compelling stories for your videos so they get watched. We'll take a look at:
- What we mean by story, and why it matters in marketing
- The power of storytelling in marketing
- Why your brand needs a good story
- Creating a compelling video story
1. What we mean by story, and why it matters in marketing
A story is the narrative of events that happen to someone or an intentionally fictional account of people and events. Stories are typically told over time through spoken words (for example, tellings), written tasks (novels or short stories), or other media. Some varieties can be expressive forms like songs. So, boring definition aside, why does storytelling matter?
You don't get to pick which stories you remember; they'll come back in your dreams long after you've forgotten things like science class lectures and PowerPoint slides. You don't get to pick which stories become legends -- because sometimes they make themselves legend while we're not looking, whether we want them to or not. And when it comes to marketing ourselves, our greatest efforts do not always a good story make. But in exploring how, and taking risks with the story, we can find what truly resonates with our audience.
2. The power of storytelling in marketing
So you're trying to sell female products. Your first thought might be to talk about the features, reliability, cost. etc. That information is helpful at the point of purchase, but not at the point that you have to convince someone to care about your brand or your product. If we instead think about the story first, we'll position our creative right where the heart and the head meet.
There are many great examples of storytelling in commercials, but one of my favorites is the "Like a Girl" commercial by Always. It's an oldie but a goodie. This commercial tells the story of how people's perceptions of what it means to do things "like a girl" are changing for the better. It's a powerful and inspiring commercial that leaves a positive message with viewers. Having daughters myself, I may or may not be in the target market, but I appreciated the story they told and the sentiment I felt about the brand. Now, they are a brand that will stick in my head because they connected with me on an emotional level.
3. Why your brand needs a good story
A good story is essential for any brand, as it can capture the audience's attention and keep them engaged. A story provides a human connection to the brand, establishes trust, and helps build relationships. In addition, a good story can communicate a brand's values and inspire customers to take action.
Does "Like a Girl" have anything to do with the product? No. Does this video make you think positively about the brand? Yes. And we all know that the better you feel about a brand, the more likely you are to purchase something from them. So, if you're looking to create a successful marketing video, make sure you focus on telling a great story!
4. Creating a compelling video story
Ok, rubber meet road. When creating video content, it's important to focus on making something that is attention-grabbing. This means capturing your audience's attention and keeping them engaged from start to finish. In order to do this, you need to understand what makes a good story and how to tell it in an engaging way. Additionally, you need to make sure your video is visually appealing and provides information in a clear and concise manner. Here are three tips to get you started in the right direction:
Tell the TruthWhen it comes to telling great stories through videos, one of the most important things to remember is to always tell the truth. This means being honest about your brand, your story, and your goals for the video. It also means being authentic and genuine in your storytelling and making sure that your audience can connect with you on a personal level. In addition, honesty is key when it comes to capturing your audience's attention and keeping them engaged.
In the Always example, they took their target audience, put them in front of a camera, and then explored what people think about the statement 'Like a Girl.' The people they interviewed reacted stereotypically to that phrase, taking it to mean something bad. Always did not shy away from this idea because they knew they could help the talent see things differently.
Be honestIt's important to be honest about what you want from your audience. This means being clear about your goals for the video and what you hope people will take away from it. It also means being upfront about what you're asking of your viewers and making sure that they know what to expect from watching your video. In addition, honesty is key when it comes to capturing your audience's attention and keeping them engaged. So, if you're looking to create great video content, make sure you stay true to yourself and your brand.
This one is interesting. In the example, all that they state is that they want to explore the idea of 'Like a Girl.' They're not trying to sell you on a product. They want to show you how the brand thinks differently. In the end, they state their purpose of redefining what it means to do something 'Like a Girl.'
It also does something special to see real people struggling with this concept and coming to realize the error in the stereotypical perspective. I am a huge fan of "man-on-the-street" style marketing for just this reason.
Focus on one idea
When it comes to telling great stories through video, it's important to focus on one idea at a time. This means being clear about your goals for the video and what you hope people will take away from it. It also means being upfront about what you're asking of your viewers, and making sure that they know what to expect from watching your video. In addition, focusing on one idea at a time will help you capture your audience's attention and keep them engaged. Don't get distracted by trying to do too much at once!
In our example, they don't talk about the next new product or share features. They are solely focused on taking us through this journey of discovery with the talent struggling with this idea of doing things 'Like a Girl.' Staying on track allows us, the viewer, to struggle with this concept alongside the talent. Then at the end, we're led to see the issue with the stereotype and are encouraged to think about the issue in a new way.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer
This means thinking about what matters to them and what will resonate with them on a personal level. In addition, it's important to understand what your customer wants from your brand, and what they hope to gain by watching your videos. By putting yourself in the shoes of your customer, you can create videos that are both captivating and informative!
Always is a brand for women. In a world marketed towards beauty and perfection, low self-esteem and confidence are going to be issues. Always addresses a negative perception (doing something 'Like a girl') head-on in order to say something positive and to help the viewers think differently. The viewers get a positive message and feelings from the commercial and in return look more favorably on the brand. It's a win-win and we didn't even have to mention features.
Storytelling is a powerful tool that can help your brand stand out and increase sales. Your video content should be compelling, captivating, and engaging - not just informative. This means telling the truth about what you want from people who watch your videos, being honest with yourself and your customers, focusing on one idea at a time, and putting yourself in their shoes to think like them. If all of this sounds intimidating or if you're looking for some guidance implementing these principles into your own marketing strategy- we are waiting to partner with you! Our creatives would love nothing more than to work alongside you as we brainstorm story ideas together and develop an inspiring video tailored specifically for capturing your audience's attention.
For an example of this in action, check out our case study on Energy Education videos for WPPI.