Storytelling is one of the most powerful forms of communication for marketers. Combine story telling with video marketing and your brand will connect with customers in meaningful ways.
As children, we learn about the world through story. From books and cartoons, to made-up tales told while playing with toys, storytelling is at the heart of what we learned and HOW we learn.
Then, we grew up. But, still, the story is compeling! Humans were built to love stories. It helps us make sense of a crazy world and brings meaning into our lives. Storytelling is the most effective way to communicate because it allows people to empathize with your message and it builds trust with your audience. Add video and you have the best medium for eliciting emotion in your audience.
So, what goes into an effective brand story?
Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to generate emotion in your audience that symbolizes the values of your brand. It becomes a lot easier for you to focus on creating a more likeable and memorable brand.
There’s no secret formula for creating an effective brand story, but there are components you can’t leave out. In order to engage your audience and make a lasting impression, an effective brand story should be:
Start with your ‘why’. This is how you connect with your audience. Your ‘why’ is the common ground you share with your audience. The best brand stories are driven by the desire to solve a problem your audience is struggling with. Why do you do what you do? Why do you make your product or sell your service? At the heart of every brand is a story that started it all, and a story that keeps it going.
You’ll form a deep connection with your audience by identifying a problem that resonates with their values. This connection brings out the passion in people which ultimately leads to engagement with your brand.
You want to set yourself above the competition by creating a one-of-a-kind brand story. Your brand needs to have unique presence in order to stand out in peoples’ minds. Try telling your story through a different angle or using a specific storytelling technique. Even changing up the format of your video content can have a lasting impact. The good news is, no one has YOUR story (even if they’re in the same business!) You are you – and the approach you take, with your customers is unique. When thinking about your brand story, think about how you would tell a nine-year-old why you do what you do, and then what that nine-year-old would say back about it. Your brand story is a feeling and it’s not crafted just by you – it’s what your customers say about you, how they feel about your business. Everyone remembers that once ice cream store in their town, owned by the same family for decades, where summers were spent, traditions were built. That ice cream store’s brand story is written not just by the owners, but the customers, the traditions, the summer feelings that everyone gets when they think of their beloved hometown ice cream store.
What drives majority of purchasing decisions? You guessed it, it’s emotion. Not only does it drive sales, but it creates a loyal customer base that is willing to spread your story through word-of-mouth or user-generated content. And that’s priceless. People buy from people (and brands) they love. In the past, big brands (think Coca Cola) built their brand through the experience of drinking a cold Coke on a hot day, but also through their advertising, which was emotional and hearfelt. Now, customers are the architects of the emotional story and brands reflect what customers put out there. Worth noting, many brands are now using customer-generated video in their advertising because the pandemic has quashed any model-actor-studio production. And that customer-generated video is emotional. It connects with other customers.
With everything being online, it’s easy to fake an identity. But today, people are becoming more aware and seeing the differences between honest brands and brands that fluff everything up. So it’s important to be honest and open about your brand. Building trust with your audience is the foundation of building a brand. With social media, everything is transparent. Every customer has a voice in saying how your brand represents itself, how your business is conducted. But with truthfulness also comes authenticity. Authenticity is so valued that even if a brand is stumbling, it’s truthfulness and authenticity can often win back customers.
Marry storytelling with video
Now that you have storytelling framework outlined, it’s time to put that on video. A good example is a client of ours who specializes in renovating houses. We helped him create a video that showed the progress of his renovation work. The story begins with a not-so-pretty house and ends with a beautiful home. It can be as simple as that.
Another great example of a company who marries storytelling with video is Nike. Nike creates videos that tell the story of social injustice. It fits with their brand because they support many professional athletes who are impacted by social injustice. They capture your attention by using powerful emotions.
One way to create a compelling brand story is by replicating the hero’s journey. Think about it – superhero movies are one of the most popular genres in the world. If you can demonstrate that your brand (the hero) has to overcome obstacles (the villain) to achieve success, then consumers are more likely to become engaged with your brand.
The best stories are the ones you don’t forget. Take advantage of that by showing your target audience a narrative they haven’t seen before. You don’t need special effects and video editing skills to create a successful brand story – all you need is creativity and emotion.
Make sure you have a plan before diving right into the creation of your brand story. Your checklist should include:
- Knowing your audience and what they need and want right now
- Delivering a message that resonates with that audience
- Having a creative narrative
- Demonstrating honesty and authenticity
Once you have your plan, it’s time to take action. If you have any questions or need help with creating the video itself or brainstorming ideas for a narrative, reach out to us and were happy to be of service.
Don’t underestimate the power of brand stories told through video. It will truly define your brand and carry benefits that last a lifetime.
Want to get started? Download our Video Rocks guide with easy-to-implement video tips: