Employing a video marketing strategy requires that marketers follow steps that are unique to the genre; however, many of the same strategies that apply to marketing in general also fit the video marketing platform. Storytelling is one of them.
In fact, it is stories that generally engage consumers the most, using strategies like emotional appeals, strong characters and action that draw consumers/viewers. Video is no exception when it comes to using storytelling as a device to attract, engage and retain customers.
Here are a few rules to follow when telling stories in your videos:
Step 1: Use emotion
Using emotions like happiness, sorrow and even anger can help drive consumers to respond to a video and take action. Ultimately, that’s what you want your videos to do: Get consumers to perform some kind of action after viewing the video. These actions can range from clicking through to another marketing material that further educates a consumer about products or services to commenting on a video to making a purchase. Emotion is one of those no-brainers that elicits responses.
Case in point: Dove’s “Real Beauty” video quickly rose in the ranks, and scored the title of “most viral video of all time” after achieving 114 million views within a month. How does the video accomplish such a lofty goal? By appealing to the emotions of the primary customer the video targets. Namely, the video uses stories of real women’s perceptions of how they look and contrasts those views with how strangers see the women. The video appeals to emotions like warmth, knowledge and happiness.
Step 2: Play it down
Avoid the temptation to make a video’s story complicated. Instead of shooting for an adult audience, keep it simple, and target a young child when developing the storyline.
This way, you can emphasize your video’s message and story through visual images, and avoid overcomplicating things.
Step 3: Make it strong
Before you start writing the video’s script or planning visual images, develop the story first, based on one simple message or story line.
Avoid the urge to overcomplicate matters here, too, as a video that tries to accomplish more than one message will confuse viewers—and you won’t get them to the final step (see Step #4).
Step 4: Action!
As we mentioned before, getting viewers to take action is the ultimate goal of any video marketing campaign. Know beforehand the one action you want viewers to take, and then make that action clear. Use a prompt or call to action to get viewers to do what you want them to—and drive the return on investment in the videos.
Build your video marketing campaign on effective storytelling strategies. Ultimately, the time and money you spend on the videos should offer payback, either in click-throughs, traffic, an increase in customers, and revenue. If your video tells a story, you’re halfway there.