10 Practical Tips For Effective Video Storytelling Creation
Effective video storytelling will add mass appeal to your business! These tips can simplify it all and make you a pro storyteller.
What is Effective Video Storytelling?
Effective video storytelling means the viewer is compelled to take action after watching your video. Essentially the more effective your video storytelling is, the more engagement and activity comes from it.
That’s why storytelling in business has become such a trademark tool. It’s not just a buzzword; it’s a powerful main ingredient in your marketing strategy.
But how do you create effective video storytelling?
The truth is there are so many ways to achieve it, and many factors at play for each business. In this blog I’ll walk you through the top ten tips so that you can get the competitive edge with your marketing video.
Video Script Writing Tips
1. Use Proven Story Structure
Effective video storytelling requires the use story structure that’s proven to work. Start by breaking down your story into a beginning, a middle and an end, each with their own unique function. Here are the functions for each section:
Beginning – Set up one main problem (or pain point) that is relevant to your ideal client. This hooks their attention, and literally invokes the part of their brain wired for survival, which compels them to watch more.
Middle – At this section of the story, you’ll want to introduce the main solution to the problem. In your case, you can introduce your brand as the solution, or your new product or service. To be effective, people should see it as more than just an offer, but as a cure to a sickness!
Ending – The most important part of the ending is to highlight a transformation. Great storytelling shows transformation of one’s character. This applies to your marketing video as much as any Hollywood movie. Show how your main character has a much better life because of your brand.
2. Use Hero VS Villain Concepts
In every great story, there is a hero and a villain. Ever wonder why this works so well?
It creates an emotional polarity.
In your marketing video, it’s important to leverage this polarity because it creates an effective narrative that your viewer will find more interesting.
But here’s the real tip!
Don’t cast yourself (or your brand) as the hero. Instead, position your client demographic as the hero of your story, and have your brand play the mentor to the hero.
This actually makes you look better in two ways. If the client is the hero in your story, they will relate to it much better. They are essentially seeing themselves as the hero in your narrative, and that story will register more impact.
Second, this strategy shows that you can empathize with your client. It shows that you understand their life story. This recognition goes a long way with creating trust, which is critical to your sale.
3. End With A Call To Action (C.T.A)
In addition to the storytelling strategy mentioned above, you have to use your video to lead them somewhere specific. It’s not good enough if your client watches your video and thinks it’s cool. They need to take action.
It doesn’t have to be so direct as “buy my stuff now!” People are turned off by that. But it should lead them one easy step closer to a sale.
To succeed at a call to action, decide what that one step is (based on your business model), and make sure that step is crystal clear at the end of your video.
Super tip: Do not have more than one call to action. Believe it or not, that will decrease your ROI. Keep it to one step, and make sure it’s a simple one!
Here are some examples of simple and effective C.T.A.’s:
- Visit your website home page (great for social media ads)
- Visit a specific website landing page
- Sign up here
- Like/Share/Comment on this video
- Learn more here
Now that we’ve covered the scripting stage of your video, let’s look at effective visual storytelling tips.
Visual Storytelling Tips
4. Camera Movement
One of the most important factors of effective video storytelling is camera movement.
After-all, our eyes are wired to sense movement, so movement effectively catches our attention.
You can use this to your advantage when you’re planning your video storytelling concept stage, which starts with what emotional response you want to invoke.
Consider what type of camera movement will work with your theme and message.
Try to stay away from jarring camera moves, or super intense movement, as that can turn some people away.
It’s better if your movement is smooth and coordinated. This looks much more cinematic.
Here’s an example of a video I produced where we use a lot of camera movement. Notice that the movement is always strategic and well planned.
5. Lighting & Darkness
A wonderful way to create effective video storytelling is to have high contrast of light and dark.
In film, this is called Dramatic Lighting. This means there is a lot of darkness, and very select places where someone or something is illuminated. This creates a mood, and the mood creates dynamism in your video.
Here’s a great example of a promotional video that effectively uses dramatic lighting:
This video skyrocketed in success, and generated over half a million dollars!
I’ve written a full case study on it so you can better understand what they did to succeed so quickly.
6. Emotional Color
Using lots of strong colour in your video will add to the emotion of the story.
This is where you will need to work with a media company who understands what emotions different colours can invoke.
In this specific video, we chose to start with a strong orange, which conveys warmth. We wanted the brand to be associated with warm emotions at the beginning. And every other part of the video was planned with a certain colour combination in mind.
7. Use Animation To Catch The Eye
One surefire way to make your storytelling effective is to use animation.
Moving graphics always attract the eye (just ask Disney), and keep attention unlike anything else.
There are three main kinds of animation you can choose.
2D Animation – This is the classic cartoon or motion graphics approach, and is great for educating or explaining something complicated.
3D Animation – 3D is great if you’ve got a prototype product to showcase. It’s also effective when you need to show functionality of something that’s challenging to observe in real life, such as the inside of an air duct, or underneath the water.
Got an HVAC air sensor, electric car battery, innovative plumbing system or something like that? 3D Animation is perfect to tell your story.
Animation & Live Action – By combining film and animation together, you can create really unique video storytelling. This is great for technology products that need to show high tech effects that may normally be invisible.
Here’s an example of a video where we combined 2D and 3D animation with live action video footage:
Storytelling For Solopreneurs & Small Businesses
8. Flex Your Uniqueness
Small businesses often have a hard time with effective video storytelling because they aren’t leveraging their uniqueness enough.
This is especially important if you have a competitive field such as a law firm, accountant, dentist, etc – essentially anything that has a lot of local options.
In this case, your video really needs to focus on your biggest differentiator.
If you don’t know what that is, we can help you determine that before we start producing your video (highly recommended).
Whichever film team you work with, spend some time better defining your biggest uniqueness, and it will pay off in spades when you highlight it in your video!
Storytelling For Corporations
9. Humanity And Relatability
The biggest challenge that we’ve come across with storytelling for corporations is the fact that they’re so big, they struggle to maintain relatability with the average person. Oftentimes when a corporation is so big, it’s hard for prospects to look at them as individuals.
Sometimes corporations can even get perceived as the villain. You definitely don’t want to play the villain in the story.
So the key for effective video storytelling with corporations is to try to showcase your company culture. Show your human side; perhaps attempt a bit of humor. Tell a personal story.
This will definitely increase your relatability, and increase trust with your prospects.
Storytelling For Startups
10. Highlight Innovation Or Disruption
Disruption potential is what makes startups so exciting!
That’s what you need to focus your video on, because it’s the most emotionally engaging story you’ve got as a new business.
Don’t be afraid to be totally different. I mean, isn’t that why you got into the startup world?
Also, your storytelling needs to make extra clear what the problem is you’re trying to solve industry-wide, and talk about how you’re approaching it differently than anyone else.
People love the David VS Goliath story because people love an underdog. And they can get behind your startup when you position yourself as either the underdog, or the unexpected game-changer.
Here’s an example of a startup company we made a video for.
We focused on how this company is tackling a worldwide issue!