Telling a story allows you to bring your audience in and feel more invested in both your brand and your organization. According to Forbes, “Storytelling is what captivates an audience, it’s what gives brands a voice.” Without it, you’re just another company slinging products that 100 other companies are trying to sell, too. One great way to help tell your target audience your story is through the power of video.

Whether you’re on Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, or some other social site, you’re likely seeing a pretty healthy mix between still images and videos ranging from 2 seconds to 20 minutes. Videography is a great and important investment for your social media marketing strategy, but it’s important to know why and how so you, too, can do it successfully.

Why is storytelling important?

Forbes goes on to note that storytelling is more than just trying to “convert sales.” Taking the time to tell a good story will tell listeners the persona behind the brand and “[build] interest and trust.” While the most important thing is to ensure your audience knows that you can provide them with what they’re looking for, a good story will earn their trust and set you apart from everyone else you consider a competitor. Web Dew notes that a few other things visual storytelling on social media specifically helps you to do is engage your audience, show them your expertise, and “[encourage] action.” It also helps to create a connection, build loyalty, and make them choose you instead. 

How to create a strong brand story 

According to Skeleton Productions, stories have been previously seen by businesses as fluff, but they beg to differ. Stories actually help us build a better connection with our audience as well as “make sense of a chaotic world and bring meaning to our lives.” Videos can only help us enhance the emotion elicited from a good story. The article goes on to list a variety of characteristics a brand story needs to be successful:

  • It relates to a particular problem that your target audience has
  • It is unique to your organization and helps you stand out from your competitors
  • It works to target emotions, helping your audience form a more positive bond with you
  • It’s honest about who you are, what your strengths are, and what your purpose is

Once you know how to tell a good story, you can start creating content that allows you to successfully tell it in unique ways. In this instance, we’re going to use video content for your social media platform(s) as the vehicle for sharing your story. 

Video storytelling tips for your social media marketing strategy 

LinkedIn article notes that visual storytelling doesn’t effectively happen when there’s no strategy behind it. Rather, “it’s about crafting a cohesive and impactful story that resonates with your audience.” Everything you create should help tell your brand story to your audience from typography and color pallets to the final video you post on your Instagram Reelsfeed. Additionally, successfully sharing your brand’s story is done by:

  • Being memorable
  • Being vulnerable
  • Sharing your “personal why”
  • Focusing on authenticity
  • Giving them a reason to root for you

“Transparency is key. People respond to honesty and ingenuity – that means, at times, sharing the good and the not-so-good” (Forbes). In addition to emotional appeal and visual aesthetics, there are a variety of things you can try and do to use videography to help you tell your story and elevate your social media marketing strategy:

Ensure the structure is clear

No matter the story, ever plot has a distinct beginning, middle, and end. If that isn’t clear to your audience, the message is going to get lost while your viewers try to understand what’s happening. When creating your video, you should be taking your “audience on a journey, capturing their attention from the first glimpse and keeping them engaged until the last frame.” This will help ensure the message is effectively delivered to your audience, but to do this, the structure must be clear. Furthermore, having a juicy hook at the opening will help you reel your audience in and keep them around for the ending. 

Put your audience at the center of the story

If your audience isn’t able to connect with your story, they aren’t going to remember it. According to My Social Motto, the science behind telling a good story basically says that, if you can elicit a positive, neuro-chemical response, you’re going to create a lasting impression in the brains of the viewers, making your brand more memorable to them. By putting your audience at the heart of your video, you give them to power to “live vicariously” through you, starting that chain reaction in their brains.

Find the right length for your content

Hootsuite dug up the research telling us how long our videos should be on each social media platform that we commonly use to help tell our story. What they found was:

  • Instagram: (Videos) 1 minute or 2-5 minutes, (stories) 15 seconds, and (reels) 15-60 seconds
  • Facebook: Less than one minute – however, “3+ minutes is best for episodic web series, developing stories and live streaming”
  • TikTok: 7-15 seconds
  • Twitter: 44 seconds
  • YouTube: 2 minutes – but 10 minutes is best for “longer vlog content”
  • LinkedIn: 30 seconds or less
  • Snapchat: 7 seconds
  • Pinterest: 6-15 seconds

Finding your footing with videography and social media doesn’t always happen right away (unless you hire an expert). Like anything else, the more you do it, the easier it gets! If you’re in need of some social media content ideas (video or otherwise) to help get you generating content, check out this article.