5 Ways to Craft a Powerful Brand Story with Video
Brand storytelling is a thing. Well, it’s not just “a thing” – it’s more of a communication revolution. Tomato, tomahto.
Since the boom of social media and digital communication, we all have a massive amount of noise to sift through. Naturally, marketing teams needed to adapt and still find a way to reach their audience standout against the competition. This is the reason why businesses are steadily shifting towards storytelling.
There are 5 essential tips you should keep in the back of your mind when you begin crafting your brand's story.
1. Define the elements
Correctly defining the parts of your story is a critical first step. I could go in-depth into the aspects of a story (and I have), but for this let’s keep it simple. Every story has a main character who faces a challenge, who then discovers something valuable that will help them overcome that challenge and ride off into the sunset.
The hero of your story is the customer. The product or service your brand sells is a valuable purchase that will help your customer overcome their challenges.
Pretty simple, right? Well, there are still a lot of brands out there doing the opposite. All of their messaging is about how great they are. When you craft a story that is focused on how great your customer is, it will resonate.
2. Be authentic
Readers have BS detectors, so the next rule is pretty simple as well – be straight up authentic. People don’t do business with corporations, they do business with people. 90% of people say authenticity is essential when deciding which brands they like and support.
Let your audience get a peek behind the veil to see the people they do business with. Let your personality shine through in the messages you deliver. The more personified your brand is, the more authentic you become.
Finding a nice blend of branded content and user-generated content is another way to boast an authentic brand. 58% of consumers view user-generated content as the most authentic form of content from brands. Check out this excellent example of branded vs. user-generated content created by Stackla:
3. Get to the point
Poetry is for poets. Gimmicks are for used car dealerships. They have no place in marketing. Cutting out all of the fluff messaging and get it down to the core message. It will keep your listeners interested in what you have to say.
Consumers want to be talked to, not spoken at. People are conversational, and we enjoy experiences. Don't be that brand that interrupts the conversation. Join in, get to the point, and make sure your message is adding value to the discussion.
At the end of the day, you aren’t selling a product or service, you are selling the beneficial experience that comes with it – that’s what sets you apart after all.
4. Create multiple formats
5 seconds, 30 seconds, 2 minutes – those are the different formats your story should be crafted in. Having 3 options of how to deliver your story will let you tell it correctly no matter the setting, who you’re talking to, or how much distraction is surrounding you at the moment.
Each version will influence your audience in different ways.
5 seconds will hook them and intrigue them to learn more about your brand. This influences consumers to jump on your site to learn more about your brand.
30 seconds is enough time to tell a brief overview of a specific offering. This influences the consumer to seek out more information about what you’re offering.
2 minutes is for delivering a complete overview of your brand, offering, mission, etc. This influences consumers to learn more about the topic and makes it easier for them to get involved.
These are not hard and fast timeframes to follow. Play around with the lengths and see what works. Just make sure you have a short, medium, and longer message with all of them being under 2 minutes.
5. Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse
Once your story is written, it's time to commit it to memory. You should be rehearsing when you’re in the car, shopping, taking a shower, mowing the grass, at family functions, in the mirror, etc. The more you practice, the more natural it will feel – to you and the listener.
Say it out loud as much as you can, and then go out and do it for real. Hit up networking events, leads on LinkedIn, or whatever your method is for finding potential customers.
In reality, there are only so many potential customers you can reach on your own, and that’s why video is so important. You can deliver the same message you’ve been rehearsing and spread it to your entire audience. When your message is unified between you, your team, and your videos, it helps you deliver a consistent message.
If we were able to see a volume knob for today’s digital world, it would be on 11. It’s noisy out there, and a well-crafted story is how brands are breaking through the threshold.
Crafting your story takes a lot of work. It won’t come overnight, and it sure as hell won’t be perfect. Dedicate time to work on your story every day until you’re ready to tell someone. Get as much feedback as you can and keep polishing the edges.
The feedback process continues even out in the field. Your listeners won't usually give you feedback on your messaging – they will tune in or they won't. Pay attention to the engagement with your videos and your in-person discussions. See where they trail off, and then polish those areas.
Communicating with your customers should be a meaningful experience on both sides. We've certainly evolved marketing to adapt to the rising noise levels, but there are still some lingering "best practices" that are outdated. Like poetic verbiage and gimmicky frills that invoke eye rolling. Be the brand that people want to hear from.