Storytelling has been a part of the human experience for centuries. As the marketing world sheds its hard-selling habit, an age-old tradition takes its place. Storytelling marketing is making its way into the mainstream.
Unlike heavily promotional marketing, storytelling marketing can make an audience really feel something. It forms an emotional bond between brand and consumer; as a result, it reinforces brand awareness and compels viewers to take action.
Furthermore, video marketing is especially suited to storytelling. This is because video is easy to digest and appeals to both auditory and visual senses. As a result, it provides plenty of opportunities to trigger emotion.
Four Key Elements of a Compelling Story
Believe it or not, most stories follow the same basic structure. Include these four elements in your video when trying storytelling marketing to really engage your audience:
Every good story has a hero. For example, think Cinderella, Frodo Baggins or even Buster the Boxer.
Therefore, put a character at the centre of your storytelling marketing who your audience will relate to and empathise with. This could be a completely fictional character; alternatively, it could even be one of your previous customers.
To get your audience to invest emotionally in your hero, you need to give them a goal. This is the element that will really drive your storytelling marketing.
Cinderella, for example, is desperate to go to the ball; Frodo is on a mission to destroy the Ring; and Buster the Boxer wants nothing more than to jump around on that trampoline with his animal friends.
Allowing your hero to achieve their mission with minimal effort doesn’t make for a very interesting story — or a strong emotional payoff.
Therefore, in your storytelling marketing you need an obstacle between your character and their goal. For instance, for Frodo, that was the evil Sauron, his black riders and a hoard of orcs. For Buster the Boxer, it was a simple patio door.
Reward your audience by allowing your hero to overcome any obstacles and achieve their goals. Everyone loves a success story.
More often than not, the emotional payoff is what will make your storytelling marketing truly memorable. After all, no one could possibly forget Buster the Boxer bouncing around on that trampoline.
Four ways to use storytelling marketing for a more engaging video
So, how can you apply these storytelling elements to your video marketing campaign? Here a handful of examples to get you started:
When produced to a high standard, fictional marketing videos can be very effective in storytelling marketing. The John Lewis Christmas ads have, for example, been very well received over the last few years.
Give your leading role to one or more of your previous customers. Allow them to tell their story in a case study video. For example, how your product helped them overcome a problem and achieve their goals. Put your customers front and centre of your storytelling marketing; as a result, this will add a personal touch and build your audience’s trust.
Take your audience behind the scenes and share the story of your brand’s conception or the development of a particular product. As a result, a behind-the-scenes video adds a human element to the business and helps to build the relationship between brand and customer.
Interview industry thought leaders, employees, customers and partners in your storytelling marketing. This is an easy and effective way to generate stories organically. Create a series of interesting interview videos, using the storytelling elements to guide your questioning.
Want to find out more about using video to boost your business? Get in touch!