Better Video Starts With Better Storytelling
Why is it so important? Storytelling.
Throughout the ages, storytelling has connected us by sharing emotion, disseminating information and revealing a larger truth about the world we inhabit. Even in this digital age, your approach to video should be no different. By bringing your brand’s story to life on screen, you’re building a bond with your customers. And that connection is power.
So how does a brand use effectively video to tell a story?
Stick to One Concept
Working with an agency, you may be presented with a number of concepts, or approaches to your project. You also may be tempted to want to combine them into one super concept. Please resist this urge. In order for your story to be truly impactful, it has to be concise and easy to follow. Once you start Frankensteining together ideas, it’s easy to lose the plot. Having a single, well-defined concept will help visuals, themes and subjects within the video build towards the common resolution.
Focus on the Story Arc
Most stories follow a three-act structure: a setup, a confrontation and a resolution. Your brand video is no different. The first act should essentially be your thesis statement. What is the central idea within this piece? Even if you don’t outright say or show it, it’s an anchor point that connects your narrative. The second act, is the rising action that supports your central idea. Finally, the third act should resolve the story arc with a clear call to action.
Take, for instance, our most recent video for Milwaukee Film. The first act establishes that, while you get a lot of great benefits as a member, the good it allows the organization to do within the community is the real benefit. The second act shows the specific ways in which Milwaukee Film enriches the community. And the final act invites viewers to be part of this impact by becoming members themselves.
See? Even at a minute in length, we’re able to tell a story with a clear arc and purpose.
Use Your Words Good
For this, you’re going to have to put yourself in the viewer’s shoes. If you want your piece to be relatable, you have to get on their level. Think about what words, phrases, or tone do they use on a daily basis, and from there you can develop a script and dialogue that is authentic and engaging. Remember: This is about building credibility with your audience – it doesn’t always have to be polished, but it does have to connect.
Balance What You Can Do With What Your Audience Needs You to Do
Between audio, text, animation and cinematography, there are lots of ways to tell your story. While it’s tempting to show off all of your production capabilities, you have to think about is how they all work together to get your concept across.
Sometimes powerful visuals don’t need words, or typography and voiceover is all you need, or, in the case of the Milwaukee Film video, we made important points stick with shot selection and special effects. What you ultimately want to achieve with any video – especially those used in a marketing capacity – is a piece that balances the technical art of video production and the point that your audience should take away from it.
Style is Subjective
Look. We all have opinions. When it comes to video, there are some styles that naturally gravitate toward. That’s fine. However, at the end of the day, you’re not the target audience. Whatever aesthetic you may prefer, quite frankly, is irrelevant.
Just like the care you took in choosing your words, select a style and tone that will connect with your audience. Music, voiceover, talent, even animations should sell your concept while remaining accessible to your intended audience.
Video is the perfect medium for telling captivating, impactful stories – but there has to be some strategy around it. By keeping your audience top of mind, you can better balance, concept, execution and action to create visual stories that connect, inspire and work toward your marketing goals.