Our brains love storytelling. It is through stories that we connect with our emotions and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the human condition. While storytelling is often considered to be an art form, it has practical uses as well. In fact, many businesses have already discovered the practicality of storytelling and its benefits in marketing – especially video storytelling.
Research shows that when we read, or hear a narrative, oxytocin is produced. This neuro-chemical signal tells the brain that we are trusted, which leads people to be more cooperative and therefore more likely to help others. If a business wants to take advantage of this, a strong story would be used to connect with the audience, making them feel more engaged and trusted. Individuals then want to share and do what is asked of them, thus behaving more cooperatively.
“Once upon a time there was what there was,
and if nothing had happened there would be nothing to tell.”
– Charles de Lint, Dreams Underfoot
Whether in business or education, it is crucial to engage your audience, because it allows your message to make a much bigger impact. As the research shows, storytelling increases empathy in the audience member, which leads to a more motivated individual. And video storytelling is perhaps one of the most effective formats – but just how can a message be turned into a visual story for a more engaged audience?
What elements does a video story need?
A basic story should include five elements:
- An introduction, or exposition.
- A main character with a particular goal
- Obstacles that create tension
- A climax
- A resolution
With these elements in mind, a strong narrative begins to form. It takes the shape of content that consumers want to share with each other. However, when writing a script and using video storytelling to engage your audience, a few rules should be followed.
Video Storytelling Rules
First, it’s important to keep the story concise. Attention and time are very valuable commodities to the audience, especially when they feel bombarded with too much information. The visual and auditory stimuli, as well as the content, can combine to overwhelm the audience, particulary when too much contextual information is packed into the video. Keeping it concise and interesting will get a lot of information across, while evoking an emotional response in audience members.
Another rule to remember is to answer the Five W’s: who, what, when, where, why and how. This allows the message to remain focused on the audience and how the information affects their lives. Answering these questions allows the story to take a more substantial shape – and, often, the audience asks themselves the same questions. Because storytelling causes people to feel more trusted and behave cooperatively, this strategy makes the story more impactful and convincing. The engaged audience connects with the story when their interests are kept at its center.
It is also important to develop your own style and format. To leave a memorable mark on your audience, it helps to create video storytelling that follows the company’s signature branding. This helps individuals to recall more easily the message at a later time. It also allows the company to appear more compelling and relatable to the audience, particularly when a personal touch is added in video storytelling.
With these basic rules in mind, your audience will feel engaged and connect with your message in a whole new way!