Mention the use of video storytelling to a large brand in regard to their content marketing and the reaction will likely be, “Sure. How much?” Mention it to a small brand operating on a shoestring budget and the reaction involves less verbiage, more cringing.
There’s no denying that video—when done well—can be an instrumental tool in bringing a brand narrative to life. It’s a visual that moves and talks, a two-for-the-price-of-one asset. The benefits themselves don’t require a ton of explanation.
What should be addressed is how to actually go about using it to bring your narrative to life. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about how much money you have to throw at the project, as much as it is understanding the more technical aspects that make a video successful across platforms. Remember, the content itself is what will attract people.
Create for the Platform
Creating videos for online dissemination is a lot different than creating Hollywood blockbusters for the big screen. On social for example, you’re of course competing with other brands but you’re also up against individual creators—friends, family and personal connections of the audiences being targeted. This, in addition to the platforms themselves, requires a different approach to video production.
There’s a fair deal of competition vying for audience attention online. Because of this, remaining mindful of your video’s pacing is incredibly important. Shorter videos tend to perform better, especially on social media, which is why long, drawn-out storylines that fail to get to the action of your narrative quickly can prove lackluster in results.
In this same vein, it can be worthwhile to experiment with video styling and the sequencing. Most narratives tend to follow cookie-cutter sequences that involve opening scenes, climaxes and closing scenes—allowing the high points of a video to be given away gradually. When you’re short on time, however, adjusting the flow to engage your audience within the first 5 seconds might prove more beneficial.
Audio as Optional
When audiences consume their content through mobile devices, on-the-go audio becomes optional. For this reason, most videos online include captions. This makes them more accessible to audiences with the sound turned off, as well as those with a disability.
Put Your Audience Behind the Camera
High production value is a necessity when producing for audiences that have become acclimated to authenticity. Because of this, putting your customers behind the lens can have a greater impact than flashy whosits and whatsits. When the story is there and told in a way others can relate to, everything else becomes less relevant.
Go Big or Go DIY
Whether you choose to hire a production agency or go at it in-house, there’s a way to achieve quality video that you can tell your brand story proudly. For those limited by budget, consider turning to online resources like Wistia for DIY tips and tricks. While you might need to invest upfront in a camera and software, the rest of your spend can be more scrappily spent and saved with a bit of creativity.
Looking for more insight into how to develop your content marketing program? Download our eBook, the Brand Publishing Roadmap.