Communicating with tales of creation, of daring, of family, of battles, of struggles and triumphs is as old as humanity itself. The art of storytelling has been honed over millennia, and our ancestors cut their teeth on legends and narratives with which they connected and from which they learned.
The intrigue, drama, and stakes don’t need to change just because you’re telling a corporate story. Why not be bold? Exciting? Engaging? Epic? Why not master corporate storytelling — and transform your entire marketing strategy?
Walk this way…
1. Get Messy. Get Personal.
Don’t do “storytelling lite.” Go deeper than the skim-the-surface, brand-centric, features-and-benefits video that we see all too much. Get to the heart of your story. It can be imperfect; it can be messy; it can show vulnerability.
It can be human and relatable.
We’ve seen few videos that get as messy, personal, relatable, and vulnerable as this spot from Heineken. Incredible. This is what your brand can do if you set your mind to telling your story differently.
2. Find the Problem — And Look At It from the Audience’s Perspective.
Storytelling 101: every story has a challenge, some sort of conflict with which the hero wrestles. In your corporate videos, clarify who, or, rather, what, the antagonist is. Find the problem your with which your audience is struggling, and bring it to life in compelling, authentic way.
Once you’ve done that, focus on your hero — the audience — and how you can help them find a solution. Framing your stories around the needs of those viewing is a powerful way to connect.
New Moms, an organization dedicated to helping mothers escape the cycle of poverty by helping them access employment training, secure safe housing, and build parenting skills, does just that. In this video, they focus on the difficulties these families face — and how moms can empower themselves to make positive changes.
3. Don’t Hog the Spotlight!
One more time, with feeling: your company is not the hero of your story! To capture the imagination, and emotions, of your viewers, you need to put real people into the role of protagonist. his is how you connect: you put a face to your brand, you give a voice to your audience.
Tell your corporate stories from the perspective of happy customers, proud partners, and perhaps most compellingly, dedicated employees. Your best storytellers are often not in your executive suite or PR department: they’re on the floor, they’re in the field, they’re on the front lines. Let them tell their stories; you’ll establish trust, credibility, and all-important authenticity.
Twitter kills it with their recruitment ad: “The Future is You!” Deliberately campy and cheesy, Twitter uses the traditional brand format to create a fun, fresh, creative video starring its employees.
4. Get to the Point.
You don’t need an hour to tell your story: in many cases, you don’t even need five minutes. Online audiences are continuously bombarded with messaging: they don’t have the time, or the inclination, to sit and watch fluff for 10 minutes while you mosey up to your point. Seize their attention from the beginning and cut out the noise.
Here’s a simple test: if you can’t capture the essence of your story in a tweet, there are too many extraneous details.
In this video from Carplex, produced by Adam Grubb Productions, succinctly lays out the challenge their audience faces (buying a good car with bad credit) and the solution (visiting their dealerships) in just one minute.
5. Wrap It Up.
Hero, challenge, conclusion. It’s a simple structure, but one that will deliver results. When your video concludes, your viewers should be left with some type of emotion — and the desire to take the next steps with your brand.
Answer the “So What?” After watching a video, your audience needs to know how their lives will change if they choose your solutions. They want to be inspired by the story and feel that they can become the star of their own.
Sigma does this beautifully in their video, written and produced by Adam Grubb Productions, “Helping Hands of a Nurse.” Rather than taut their educational and career advancement programs, they show us the impact that nurses have on their communities through the lens of a real, relatable mother. The ending is simple, yet it packs an emotional punch.
Ready to tell your story differently? Becoming a skilled storyteller takes practice and perseverance — but it will change your entire approach to marketing. Start your story today.