At a time when capturing customers' attentions is more challenging than ever, the most successful companies are telling the right stories. The kind that stop us in our tracks, move us emotionally, invite us to reimagine a concept or challenge us to change our perspective. And they’re doing it with video.
The Power of Brand Storytelling
Used by 87% of online marketers — up from 63% in 2017 (WordStream) — video content not only introduces people to your brand but also provides an opportunity to make it irresistible. According to a report by HubSpot Research, more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands.
When done well, video storytelling can have quite an impact — a statement backed by science. Behavioral psychologist, professor and author Jennifer Aaker builds a strong case for video storytelling in her own video, “Harnessing the Power of Stories,” which includes the following nuggets:
- Stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone.
- When listening to a story, our neural activity increases fivefold.
As consumers, we’ve been treated to recent gems like Nike’s “Dream Crazy” and “Dream Crazier” campaigns, Ben & Jerry’s “Leena the Lactose Intolerant Employee,” GoPro’s Million Dollar Challenge, Harley-Davidson’s Find Your Freedom intern search and many others.
The reasons for video marketing’s growing popularity are many. By leveraging the power of sound, vision and storytelling to bring your brand to life, video storytelling can benefit your business by:
- Boosting conversion rates. When people visit your website, you want them to do more than window shop. According to HubSpot, including video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%.
- Enhancing your email nurture campaigns. With all the marketing noise that surrounds consumers daily, getting them to open your emails can be a huge challenge. Including video in an email leads to a whopping 200-300% increase in click-through rate, according to “Assessing Video Email Opportunities,” a report published by Forrester.
- Making it easy for search engines to find your business. If you post your videos on YouTube — the second largest search engine behind Google — your visibility and opportunity to show up in searches may increase significantly.
- Encouraging social sharing. In the age of viral videos, a well-produced piece of brand storytelling can quickly make its way onto thousands, even millions, of desktop and mobile device screens.
- Building trust and credibility among your target audience. Storytelling is a great way to reach customers on a personal level. According to HubSpot, 90% of those who watch online product videos say the videos are helpful in their decision-making process.
The 4 “E”s of Video Marketing
When broken down into its simplest form, a story, after all, is a connection of cause and effect. And that’s exactly how we think. We think in narratives all day long — whether we’re recapping a great weekend in our minds or reflecting on a recent “fire” we put out at work.
Effective video narratives should be most, if not all, of the following:
Engaging. As human beings, we’re hardwired to engage in storytelling. In fact, our species has been telling stories for over 40,000 years. However it’s delivered, your core message must resonate with your audience.
Emotional. Whether it’s through laughter, surprise or tears, evoking emotional responses can help you connect with current and prospective customers.
Educational. One of the goals of every video should be to share with your audience something about your brand — from a core value to the value of your services — that they didn’t already know.
Empathetic. Videos show and tell, making them an effective tool for developing trust and evoking human empathy.
8 Pointers for Success
Whether you’re a video-storytelling novice or a seasoned pro, there are always ways to up your video marketing game. Here are a few must-dos:
- Think through your narrative. Before you can engage your audience, you’ll need to ask yourself these questions: What am I trying to communicate to the viewer? How will I tell our story visually? Is the message I want to convey clear and compelling? Is my story relevant to the audience?
- Be intriguing — immediately. Attention spans are short. Start with your most compelling asset, and present it as imaginatively as possible. Animoto, which offers dozens of video templates, is one of many online resources that can help your business create engaging videos.
- Pick a platform that sets up your video for success. For example, if you’re explaining the features of a product or highlighting the benefits of a service, YouTube could be the ideal platform to accomplish either task.
- Keep it short. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to creating the perfect video, research shows that videos up to two minutes long seem to get the most engagement. However, do some research to determine what’s ideal for the platform you’ll be using. A video on Instagram, for example, may be 30 seconds tops. Much like with joke telling, a long-winded story can make it difficult to keep the audience engaged. Also, too much content may lead to a disconnect between the goal of the video and the message the audience comes away with.
- Show; don’t tell. Whenever possible, use visuals and sounds to convey the message you want to share through your story, rather than stating it directly. In this medium, words are often more powerful when used sparingly.
- Be interactive. If they’re appropriate, in-video links, quizzes and viewer polls can all boost your video’s effectiveness and engagement levels.
- Include a call to action. Whether it’s asking viewers to subscribe to your channel, download a piece of content or sign up for your company’s weekly e-blasts, be sure to include a desired action.
- Leverage analytics to fine-tune your strategy. As you publish videos, track each one’s performance to determine which platforms are generating the most views and when viewers are dropping off. Having real data will help you make the adjustments necessary to maximize your ROI while guiding future content creation.
Script Your Next Success Story With Video Marketing
Video storytelling connects, resonates and ultimately sells. Now, that’s what businesses would call a Hollywood ending.
To discover how Hileman Group can maximize your digital marketing, contact us.