Time brings change, and with change comes trends. Every generation has their own style and way of doing things that can be used to advance them forward and break new ground. Trends are everywhere, from the way we dress, to the coffee (or matcha) we buy, to the apps we download. With so many options, it can be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest.
Marketing is no exception and, with the addition of disruptive technology, is finding a way to create trends of its own. Video is nothing new, but video storytelling is finding new ways to become its own captivating form of disruptive technology. If you’re not developing a visual component for your brand to further cultivate the story of who you are as a business, you could be missing out on one of the fastest-growing trends to hit the marketing scene in the last five years.
Video storytelling is a trend that has become an increasingly popular niche within content marketing, especially on the social media scene. Content as words can be informative, but the attention span of the average consumer is getting shorter. Content as video is instant, in-the-moment and mobile. With the number of smartphone users on pace to reach 2.5 billion by 2019 globally, video storytelling may soon be the preferred method of content marketing. Pair it with social media – a platform just as instant, mobile, and in-the-moment – and you’ve got a match made in marketing heaven.
While social media and blogging may be the first steps you’ve taken to boost your content marketing, here are a few ways to consider video storytelling as the added leverage you may not have known your content needed.
Tell Your Story
Every business has a story to tell: who they are, why they exist, how they can help. You want your story to be compelling and interesting enough for a potential consumer to learn more about you, return to buy from you and then tell their friends how great you are. Video marketing can help condense your story from a few paragraphs to one concise, short video.
In this video, graphic design tool Canva tells the story of what it is, how it can help and introduces their new, convenient app all in a video lasting a little over a minute. Their Instagram account goes one step further by displaying a variety of template ideas, helpful tips to use their service and more promotional videos for new products.
Use Sponsored Content
How many times have you been in an airport terminal waiting for a connecting flight that was suddenly delayed, or sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for an appointment, and whipped out your smart device to open Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to occupy your wait? Nothing is faster and more convenient than a smart device. Be it a tablet or smartphone, people have the power to consume information at their fingertips. If you’re a business, this is the perfect time to utilize any one of those platforms with video content in the form of sponsored ads that will appear in a user’s feed. Even if a viewer isn’t familiar with your business, you can customize an ad to target an audience with interests similar to your business offering, and your sponsored video content can appear in the midst of their followed accounts feed.
Choose the Best Fit For You
There are a variety of social media platforms to choose from, and it can become daunting to choose just one. What social media companies are coming to understand is that options are a healthy rivalry, and they don’t make their product obsolete. There is plenty of room for everyone and, in the end, the consumer wins. This increase in choice provides a wealth of options for consumers and has become a friendly battleground for social media giants like Facebook and Instagram.
Just recently, Facebook acquired their social media rival in a bold move to obtain a built-in community of photographers and photo lovers while simultaneously eliminating the threat Instagram once posed in photo sharing. This would initially appear as if Facebook intended to become a standalone mobile photo-sharing app giant – and it did. Instead, the deal was a win-win for both parties and gave Instagram massive design and engineering resources while providing users with a new way to link Instagram accounts to Facebook pages. It may be hard to choose just one, but why should you? With so many options, you can choose the platform that works best for you, your audience, and the intended user experience.
Keep It Short… Or Not
Most platforms allow video length times of up to two minutes. This worked well with short attention spans, but what about those that are looking for more content? Social media platforms recognized that not everyone needs to keep it short and sweet, and provided more opportunities to expand video storytelling with options like Facebook Watch, Instagram Stories and Twitter Livestream—all built within their respective platforms so you don’t have to travel far for a secondary option. If you have more to say about a product or your business, and you can’t fit it all in a two-minute video window, any of these options can provide a more flexible alternative.
Video storytelling has not only opened a new niche in content marketing, it’s also opened a new job opportunity: Content Creator. More and more millennials are taking an entrepreneurial approach to video storytelling by creating their own brands based solely on video creation. “Creatives”, as they like to be called, consist of jobs within a creative space (like makeup artists, chefs, dancers and photographers) offering how-to videos on different aspects of their profession, made available for free on every channel of social media.
(Credit: Shameless Maya)
The video content provided by these creatives has accumulated millions of views and channel subscriptions. It has become such a widespread phenomenon that it has garnered the interest of heavy-hitting consumer brands like MAC Cosmetics, Target, Google Pixel, and Marriott, all looking for the chance to partner with content creators by offering paid sponsorships for video posts they know will provide recognition to their brands.
(Credit: Jackie Aina)
Sharing is Caring
Word travels fast, but video travels faster. You’ve put your time and effort into creating a compelling video story, and worked even harder to ensure it’s seen on your preferred social media tools. You don’t want your hard work to go unnoticed. Posting your video to a platform is key, but asking associates to share those stories with their followers could give your video the chance to be seen by an even larger audience.
Whatever social media platform you choose, there are plenty of marketing tools available to help tell your company’s story and get the message of your brand in the hands of what could be hundreds to millions of consumers.