Incorporating storytelling into corporate videos

So it’s apparent that we retain much more information from watching a video than from just reading a chunk of text – you might think it seems ironic to keep reading this, but stick with us. However, there is a reason that videos are so effective and it all depends on the way your message is constructed. You can’t just stick any old video in front of someone and expect it to make an impact. It needs to tell a story, have a hook, and keep the audience engaged. Even if it is only a couple of minutes long, if there is a narrative to it your audience are much more likely to remember it and feel more of a connection with it.

We all remember Sainsbury’s most recent Christmas advert, set during World War 1 where soldiers from both armies met in no mans land to exchange gifts. The chocolate bar featured in the advert sold out due to popular demand, and it was one of the most talked about Christmas adverts of last year. The reason for this: there was a story to follow, and a sentimental one at that.

You might think that corporate videos should just be fairly standard and as straight to the point as possible. Whilst this is true and you should always make sure your company’s message or product is portrayed in the truest form, there also has to be a factor that makes your video stand out from rest.

If a viewer finds something interesting about your video, they are more likely to tell a friend or family member about it, who might then tell their work colleague, who might then tell their window cleaner, and your video will become known through audiences who might not have seen it otherwise. We’re not saying every video with an interesting narrative will reach a million views on YouTube, but you’re much more likely to gage a reaction from people if they have something they can become emotionally attached to. This video that chronicles the life of Coco Chanel is done simply, but very effectively. Not every story telling video has to take a week to shoot and cost the world to make.

Having your video tell a story shouldn’t mean that it looses clarity or focus, it is still important that your viewer is clear on what product you are selling or what service you can provide them with. But in a time where videos are becoming more popular and thought provoking, it is vital that yours is memorable and hooks the viewer from the start. You’re much more likely to remember an advert about vacuum cleaners if it involves a family of them having human characteristics, compared to your average shot of someone vacuuming their living room.

It is human instinct to react to stories and we are presented with them through all aspects of our life. So why should your corporate video be any different. This clever one from Google shows how powerful the right story can be, whilst perfectly advertising their product by making it a key factor in the story.

Whilst we all know Google and wouldn’t think it even needed any more advertising, it shows how promoting their service through an engaging and emotional storyline can make even the simplest of tasks (like googling a sweet shop) into a video that you are much more likely to discuss with your friends. It didn’t get over 12 million views for no reason.

We’re not saying that all corporate video needs to have a story – sometimes, straight up product demos work perfectly, but it’s always worth thinking about weaving something a little different into your video that makes it stand out from the rest. Whether a small or big budget, live action or motion graphics, it’s always possible to spin a bit of magic and draw people into your story.

Post written by Abigail Ramsey (edited by Hatty Settle)

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