Why Narrative Storytelling can be a Lucrative Niche in Social Video Marketing

By Joana Inch

Traditional marketing videos rely on certain, fallible tenants that once guaranteed viewership and conversion. Nowadays, as 76% of content marketers turn to video marketing, we all must re-assess the field of social video and how we reach our audience.

Once, it was acceptable to create a strong ‘story’ of your company. A video that would focus on the tools and materials that go into your product. Content that would focus on your journey. Bookended with a message of your greatness. While there still is a place for this format of video, there are too many companies today offering up their own story. Consumers do not want to sit back and watch video after video about the greatness of various companies. Without being too overt, the fact of the matter is consumers want to hear about themselves.

How do you market your company as a story about the consumer? Let’s talk about forming an emotional connection with your target market.

The Emotional Narrative

  • By far the strongest positive reinforcement a marketer can create is an emotional connection to a product. Companies like Apple and Coca-Cola are absolute masters at this craft.
  • It’s important to tell the emotional journey of your customers. The product should remain in a supportive position. Your product enables the customer to achieve their goals. When they fall short, the product is there to pick them up again.
  • Pick a theme related to the nature of your product. If you make fancy soaps the video could follow people working out, or children playing (and getting dirty). If you sell web design, focus on the journey of building a small business and all the beautiful chaos that follows. If you’re a restaurant, then follow a happy family reunion that ends at your location.

Get Customers Involved

  • One creative way to connect with your customers is to reach out to them and ask them to tell their own story. Give them flexible parameters related to the theme of your marketing campaign. Find the physical or social activity related to your product, then ask people to submit a small segment as a home-made video. Within the framework of your own, more professional piece, these short segments build trust and add to the story of the consumer.
  • Thread real-world testimonials into a single, cohesive narrative. This one speaks more directly to the product, but the focus is still to find the emotional, human element in their words. Invite the viewer to put themselves in the seat of the speaker and realize your company’s necessity to their story.

Be Creative = Be Sharable

  • Viewers want to share stories and if those stories contain valuable information that’s purely incidental. A good story has a strong emotional connection. It also engages with the audiences; allowing them to see themselves in it.
  • The last thing it needs to do is be original. Even if the change is subtle, companies like Dollar Shave Club were able to add subtext by meta-critiquing the formulaic type of video they were making. That video went viral and if you find an original angle then yours might also.
  • It’s said that there are only 7 stories in the world. Even if that’s true, there are an unlimited number of ways to tell a story. Your product is the key to a unique perspective on each of them. If you can find the emotional connection and the theme, then you will find the story.
  • Be unpredictable, be out there, but make sure you keep it human-centric. If you lose the emotional thread of the story than the video becomes slapstick. When that happens the impact of your product to the consumer’s story is lost.

It’s important to develop an expertise around how to wrangle your type of product or service into the key position of the customer’s story. It’s time to do some real soul-searching and figure out where your company fits. If you’d like to learn more about Narrative Video Marketing then Contact Us!