What's the story behind your brand?

There is no question that using online video as part of your brand marketing strategy is a smart thing to do. People love video and the majority of folks watch video before they read any text. Pairing video with social media is a no brainer and doing so regularly forms the basics of a successful video marketing strategy.

But there is more to a successful video production than you might think. Consider the various styles of video that are available and make a conscious decision about which style would best suit your desired outcomes.

There are a lot of video styles including product demos, general promotion, educational and testimonials to name a few. These styles all play an important part in the marketing funnel, but one style that I believe to be one of the most powerful is brand storytelling.

People love stories

There are 2 ways to share knowledge. You can push information out to people or you can pull them in with a story.

The key is to take your brand and wrap it up in a story that is authentic, creative and inspirational. Do this and your videos will form a personal connection with your target audience.

Storytelling is effective communication. It makes a campaign richer, it helps you understand what a brand stands for and builds a relationship between the customer and the brand.

"Meet the Hosts of Airbnb: Nelson, Philippines"

Shot for Airbnb, this is a great little video story about Nelson, an Airbnb host located in the Philippines. I really like how this video provides his unique perspective and how the video focuses on the rewarding experience of being a host rather than simply giving a testimonial for Airbnb. 

Remembering that emotional connections drive brand loyalty, I love the way this video ends with Nelson and his wife sitting outside their place, as if waiting for their next guest, ready to welcome them as part of their family. Fits neatly with the Airbnb catchphrase 'Belong Anywhere'.

Nelson travels the world - every time he welcomes a new guest on Airbnb. Discover the world right at your door, when you join the Airbnb hosting community.

Tap into authentic human experience and remember that emotional connections drive brand loyalty.

In one of the most famous Dove films, Real Beauty Sketches explores the gap between how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. Each woman is the subject of two portraits drawn by FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora: one based on her own description, and the other using a stranger’s observations. The results are surprising…

Put your target audience in the picture

Involve your audience in your story. Think about their problems and concerns and how you can help them. What is it that need to feel better about themselves? How does your product or service improve peoples lives? Wrap up the essence of your business in a story and make your customers the main actors.

Think about your core values and ideal customers. Tell positive brand stories. Understand that positivity outweighs negativity, stories open minds and inspire action. Researchers have found that videos designed to produce positive emotional responses from viewers opened their minds to making a strategic decision.

The goal is to create maximum emotional response while keeping branding to a minimum. Focus less on your product and more on your mission.

Take people on a journey that moves them to feel differently than they did before watching the video. Typically after the emotional ride, hit them with a catch phrase that sums up your core value or goals, then brand it.

Which brand features in the following video?

Tyler Fernengel - an up and coming BMX star - sessions the abandoned Silverdome in Pontiac, MI, making the desolate stadium his own playground. Fernengel, a native of Wyandotte, Michigan, just south of the Motor City, grew up going the best sports spectaculars at the stadium, and even raced Supercross there as a young boy.

How a person feels about your brand will determine whether they become your customer. 

Once you engage your customers emotions with effective branded storytelling, you will increase the potential to drive revenue and establish a loyal customer base.

For your brand story to be captivating, it must ideally have three acts that setup the situation, outline the conflict and then provide a resolution.

I believe the ultimate goal when video marketing is to inspire. You want to customers to feel good after watching your video and create a desire to be associated with your brand.

This powerful video, entitled Graffiti, was created in collaboration with Pfizer Canada and advertising partner zig. Filmed in downtown Toronto, the short film about courage follows a teen graffiti artist spraying an unseen paint message in a dark, urban alleyway. As the teen returns home, he is met by his seemingly disapproving mother, before entering into a room where his seriously ill younger sister lies in a hospital bed. He pulls back the curtains and a beautiful and moving message of hope and optimism appears in her window.

What's your story?

Keep it personal. Think about what inspired you to create your business. What are the stories behind your brand coming into existence? Make your customers the main characters with your brand being the supporting actor that helps them find that happy ending.

Customer testimonials are powerful stories. Sure, you could film an interview with a customer and dictate to them all the nice things you would like them to say about your business or you could take the time to really listen to their story and produce it like a film.

A testimonial story that explores your customers situation and outlines the challenges and how their problem was ultimately solved thanks to your services will stick with viewers long after they have watched your video.

I am seeking business owners who want to use online video to share stories about their brand.

As a video producer, I am 'chomping at the bit' to find business owners with stories to tell. So if like me you are inspired after reading this article and would like discuss your own ideas, be sure to contact me here.

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