Storytelling tips for video

/ Max Thorpe

Storytelling tips for video title imageWhy is it that we can remember childhood stories and fables with incredible clarity, but not our monthly earnings from the board meeting yesterday? The answer: it’s all about storytelling. A story is so much easier to remember than a simple snapshot of the facts… and even easier to remember when told with video. 

Stories are the easiest way to remember information over time, and video is one of the best ways to share them. Here are a few storytelling best practices to keep in mind when you create your next video. 

Less is often more

Our friends at Wistia analyzed hundreds of thousands of videos to see what the optimal video length is before viewers start to drop off. They found that a video can be up to two minutes long before a significant drop-off occurs. Keep this in mind when creating your next video to assess what content is absolutely critical to your brand’s story and message. 

Keep a basic structure

It’s a good idea to keep the basic elements of a story in place when creating a brand video or commercial. While not every video will have a traditional structure, you’ll often find that the ads that resonate with people the most rely on it. What is a traditional storytelling structure, you ask? Typically, it’s one that introduces the protagonist or main character in the beginning, includes a conflict or a problem somewhere in the middle, and ends with a resolution. 

Put your audience first

Know your audience and figure out what makes them tick. Marketers will frequently, and often unintentionally, create content that suits their personal preferences over their target market audience’s preferences. But how do you know what your audience wants? 

Well, for one, you can always ask them. Feedback surveys are a good way to get a pulse on your audience’s purchasing behavior. Additionally, you can look at past video content performance and identify themes and styles that resonate with your audience. You can also analyze what your competitors are doing and see what other credible brands’ approaches are.

As a general rule of thumb, people relate to a feeling or philosophy, rather than a single person or a place. In marketing terms, this means don’t tell a story about your product, or the what. Tell a story about the why--the benefit achieved. As Simon Sinek so profoundly explains, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

Show, don’t tell

We’ve all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but you may not have heard that a 1-minute video is worth 1.8 million words. It takes more time to read or say something than it does to illustrate it. So when you’re creating your video, show as much as you can, and what you can’t show, say. If you do incorporate a voiceover, keep in mind that WeVideo has a really cool voiceover tool.

Every person and every brand has a story to tell. What’s yours? Let WeVideo help you tell your story your way.