Are you a business or nonprofit that wants to create a video? You may have an idea on what you want to convey but are a bit lost when it comes to structure and focus. Stories can be told by almost anyone, but memorable stories are told with purpose. Have you ever known someone who rambles on and on and you do not know what the point of their story is? You do not want to be that guy, especially when you are creating a brand story for your business. It’s important to get your point across in an efficient manner without adding confusion. I will outline two story structures that can benefit your business or nonprofit. I have learned the following information from Muse Storytelling.
An origin story – An origin story focuses on a brand, business or idea that came about. Thereare six steps to this process.You need to choose a character that was involved in creating the brand or business. Choose wisely, and pick someone who has heart and passion, this will go a long way on camera.
Find an early conflict that occurred during the building process of your brand or business. What kept you from your desire? Without conflict you really do not have a strong story, so find the conflict and how you overcame the conflict. When you choose your conflict be specific. Details will help you personalize the conflict within the story. What was the first hurdle that allowed you to overcome the conflict? Next, try to remember a few major events that occurred on the way to overcoming the conflict. Last, focus on the takeaway. What do you want people to do or remember from the story? Think of this as the conclusion and make it strong.
An Impact story – These stories are best for nonprofits.Base your story around you client or customer. Instead of a CEO telling the story, use someone who has benefited from the service of the nonprofit. People will identify with someone who has benefited more than they will a CEO. Once you find your character you want to use for your story have them talk about the problem they faced before they received the nonprofit’s help. Then have the character talk about why they needed help. The character can then talk about the steps they took in finding a solution, this is the journey they went through. Next would be the character’s experience with the nonprofit. They can talk about the service they received and how it made a difference in their life. The last step of the video would be the call to action. What do you want the audience to do? Do you want them to donate money? Share the video?
There are several other story structures you can use, but I feel these are a great start. If you have any questions or need help with telling your story feel free to email me or call me.
You hired a video production company to create a stunning video that represents your company brand, but do not know what to do with it once you receive it. The first thing you need to consider is what target audience was the video was made for. Once you figure out the target audience, you can market the online video on several social media platforms (if it fits your target audience). If anyone is confused about the term marketing, it is best described as getting your potential clients’ attention by offering them a service or product or in this case a story about your brand. Some of the best social platforms to market video are YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and Instagram.
YouTube is a great social platform because people use it almost as frequently as Google. Google owns YouTube and Google owns close to 86% of the global search market. If you have a video on YouTube, you will benefit from Google’s search engine. Whenever someone is curious about a product or service they turn to Google and YouTube. So, YouTube is a great social platform to place your branded video.
If you are shooting behind the scenes footage your best bet is to place it on Instagram. Instagram seems to have a more of a personal feel to their platform. If you want to get to know a brand search Instagram and you will see up close and personal behind the scene video and pictures. Instagram has just launched IGTV which people can upload up to an hour long video.
Vimeo is a great platform known for their less compressed video algorithms. This means when you upload your video to Vimeo the video will not lose its quality as much as it does when you upload it to other platforms. One of the cool video benefits of Vimeo is that it allows companies to combine their videos into an album. So, let’s say you have a video marketing campaign that involves three videos. You can create an album that will have all three videos inside it. The link from that album can be shared and once shared the recipient will receive all three videos. It’s a great way to package your campaign. Vimeo even has some great background skins that you can create to give your album a polished look.
Facebook is another awesome platform that allows people to share video content. You can load your video and use hashtags to promote your video organically or you can set up a Facebook ad campaign. Setting up a campaign on Facebook is easy and the pricing is reasonable. You can target your audience. Facebook allows you to chose what area the video will be played. So, you could set the campaign to run your video only in your city or nationwide. You can set the audiences’’ age, demographics, and likes. Facebook ads gives you great flexibility and it has proven to work.
Ideally, you would want to create this online video strategy during the pre-production phase of the video. You do not want to place the video somewhere that your audience isn’t. Some video production companies can help you out with an online strategy, so it might be worth asking them where you think the video should live online. I offer this service and I offer ways to help create the video message if needed.
You defiantly want to place the video on your website. Write about it and use keywords to describe the video. Google’s keyword planner is a wonderful tool that shows you data for words you may or may not want to use. The keyword planner tells you how frequent a word is searched for, and it’s free to use as long as you are just searching for keywords and you do not create a campaign.
Now days there are many social media options for companies to market their video. The only question is where?
I write about storytelling and how it can help businesses sell in the marketplace. It is only logical to back up the information I have shared with you. Like many who strive to learn more about their craft I immerse myself in learning more and more which helps me become that much more knowledgeable in my video production field. One of the tools I use are podcasts. I listen to video storytelling professionals and specialist on podcast that have significant value. I came across Clare Edwards, a neuron scientist who explains what happens to our brains when we hear or watch stories.
We have been using stories to communicate ever since the beginning of time. Stories were used to communicate way before language was used. Story is a part of us, it is built into our making. One of the most important things I took away from the podcast is that when we are presented with facts and figures during a presentation such as on a power point, our brain goes into overload mode. But once we tell the same information by engaging into story, our brains tend to relax and become more receptive to what it is learning. We tend to remember more when we hear a story because we rely on our own past stories to help connect with the one being told.
Stories become even more powerful when you add emotion. Applying emotion to a story makes our brain go into its rolodex and it pulls out memories so that it can connect emotionally. Adding plot points to a story really makes the story powerful. We as humans are curious by nature, and when you add curiosity to a story (plot points) a beginning, middle and end, that entices the brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and plays a major role in the motivational component of reward-motivated behavior. This is what causes us to want to know more. Aspiring to know more about the story keeps us on our feet.
Lastly, we use our sight and hearing when we use video to tell a story. Our brain is in full mode when it uses both hearing and sight. We all learn by using our five senses, all are very important; sight though, is number one. Edwards says that when the brain combines sight and sound it releases neurons called mirror neurons which allow us to feel what we are viewing. Whenever I watch America’s Funniest Videos, I cringe when I see someone flip and fall. I feel their pain and almost move about like I just hurt myself. This is what the mirror neurons are doing. They give us an experience that we can identify with and almost feel.
If you take all the info I shared with you and use it to create a story for your brand you will get more clients willing to engage. Data seems to confuse the customer and really doesn’t resonate with them. Video storytelling is a great strategy for online video.
There are many ways businesses and or organizations can create an online video. My approach is to create a stunning short film using brand storytelling techniques. You may be wondering what constitutes a branded story. A branded story is a visual story about your company minus all the facts and figures. This type of visual storytelling is about emotion and focuses more on why the brand does what it does. What the brand stands for? Why the brand is important, and what the brand is communicating to their audience. The main idea behind brand marketing is different than the old show and tell technique, but rather it strives to create an emotion through strategic storytelling. Your audience will relate to emotion more than they will a show and tell video.
The first question I ask any company that wants to hire me is to ask them why they want a video? What is their goal for creating a story? And what does the company or organization hope they will accomplish with a branded story? Once we figure this step out the next one is who they hope to target? I have learned a storytelling process taught by Muse Storytelling that includes four pillars that relate to making a strong story. Here are the pillars: People, who are the best people to tell the story and who has the most passion to tell the story on camera? Purpose, what do you want the audience to do or what is the takeaway? Plot is the third pillar which is one of the hardest. Plot focuses on the different events that help shape the story. Lastly, Places is the last pillar. This is where the story takes place. This is a great time to show your plot rather than tell it.
The next step is to figure out keywords. This is a step I use to help guide clients to help them achieve their goal. It is a story strategy that enables the vision of the video to come to life. If the client already has a vision and would like my input, I can accommodate them in that way too. I find meeting my clients halfway is refreshing. If they already have a concept I can better understand what they want and how to get to that point. Also, I can share my experience and suggest better ways to get the same result. Working together with a client has great benefits.
The next step is to figure out who is going to drive the message? Will it be a CEO who is uncomfortable on camera? Or will it be someone who has benefited from the product or service? If it were up to me I would choose the client who has benefited from the service. For one, will come across as being uncomfortable on camera. You don’t want anyone on camera that doesn’t show charisma, shy or doesn’t really care. The audience cares for the character, and if you do not have a character that shows passion and that is charismatic the audience will tune you out. People will be more likely to listen to a past client’s story. I would rather buy a story from someone who benefited from a service rather than someone who says try us we are good. What I have just described is part of pre-production. To tell your story, you need a strong foundation and if you spend more time in pre-production it can only help with solidifying that foundation. These are just a few ideas to start you off in pre-production. There are many more to consider, but if you follow this list of ideas you will be on the right track in telling a beautiful story that you can share online. Down below is a video that won a Silver Telly Award for its storytelling. I spent many hours in pre-production to create this short-branded film.
Let’s face it, non profits work to help others succeed. Most non profits, or charitable organizations run on a very thin shoe string budget. Charities rely on the public to give to their cause.
I have been a videographer for over 18-years and I have a strong passion in helping non profit organizations tell their story. It is important for both the public and for non profits to tell their story. The most impactful approach in telling a charitable foundation’s story is to explain why they do what they do and their purpose. They shouldn’t focus too much on facts and figures, but rather success stories, why they do what they do, and who benefits from it. Motivational stories are so much stronger than facts. People relate to people and if you have someone on camera talking about their passion and why they strive to do what they do, it will most definitely be remembered. When was the last time you remembered a fact or figure? I know when ever I hear a fact I really do not remember it. However, when I hear about a personal story and how an individual puts their all into a non profit to benefit society I know I will remember that story. We as humans are hard-wired to learn from stories, and to remember and recite stories.
So, it’s only logical for non profits to tell their own story through a short form video. These videos could be placed on their website to bring about awareness, they can be a creative way for marketing, and a great way to raise money. If people do not understand what your non profit provides, it’s very difficult for them to part with their money. You as a charitable organization are better off using video to help educate the public in what you do and why you do it.
It is my belief that creating a branded story about your non profit, is one of the best ways you can raise money. In the year 2020, 90% of marketing will involve video. It’s time that non profits understand this huge opportunity and start developing a strategic plan for video marketing.
One way a charitable organization could use video is as follows: Someone who is passionate and knows they beginnings of the non profit goes on camera and explains why they do what they do. You need someone who is passionate, or else it will look bland. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the founder but whoever it is needs to know the big WHY and they need to be an employee. The branded story about the non profit could also focus on one person who benefits from the organization. Getting their side of the story and focus on where they where before and how the organization helped them. The videographer could get footage of the person in their environment to help tell their story. The storytelling would need to focus on the non profit as well as the person. The person who received the benefits from the charitable organization makes the video more human. If you only show a founder in front of the camera speaking about facts and figures people will yawn. Again, I will state it; when you tell your branded story through the voice of someone who has benefited from your non profit the video will be that much more powerful.
Not only could you use the video on your website, you can create a strategic plan and place it on social media. Focus on where your clients are on social media. If you notice they are on Instagram, Great. Instagram has just now launched IGTV where you can upload videos longer than one minute. As of now, they are allowing 15-minute videos and in the future, you will be able to upload one-hour videos. If your clients are on Facebook, you could launch the video there too. These are all tools to help you raise more money for your charity so that you in return can help others. You really can’t help others without having funds, and that is where creating a branded story can benefit you.
Here is an example of how an adoptee and her mother benefited from City Without Orphans, a non profit, which is located in the Central Valley.
Corporate videos are becoming more common than ever. Statistics show that in the year 2020 video will be responsible for 90% for media content. Businesses may or may not have a budget to hire external help for their corporate videos. In the case when a business is strapped and wants to produce the videos in house, there are three things I can share with you that will make your videos look more professional.
Many people say that audio is just as important as video; and they are right by saying so. Have you ever watched a video that has terrible audio? You can’t quite hear the person speaking? Or there is a bunch of noise in the background? A lot of this is due to the camera operator relying on the microphones on the camera to capture the sound. These microphones are picking up all types of sounds, probably because they are set to automatic gain control. When the automatic gain control (agc) is selected, the camera is hunting for any sound and then boost that sound. Therefore, it is best to select manual on your camera for audio so that you can control how much sound is being recorded. For instance, if your talent speaks very loudly you can set the control of the manual volume so that it doesn’t distort. If you have the same talent and have the camera set to auto gain, whenever your talent is quiet, the camera volume will rise and pick any sound that is available. Therefore, auto is not a good choice. Dave may be silent for a bit and then suddenly you hear traffic or air conditioner background noise.
You can use a lavalier microphone and clip it to your talent’s shirt. This will give you decent audio and you can either buy a wired lavalier microphone or a wireless. When you use a wireless mic, you have the downfall of recording other radio frequencies that may be competing with yours.
For most of my shoots I use a boom mic and place the mic above the talent’s head. These microphones are a bit pricier, but the quality is fantastic. Boom mics are not wireless, so you will need to connect them to your camera via an xlr cable.
If you are a business and want to showcase some of your success stories you may want to use someone in house to deliver the on-camera message. Since the employee is not a professional broadcaster and may feel intimidating speaking on camera, you may want to invest in a teleprompter. There are several inexpensive teleprompters out on the market. You can even use an iPad or a Samsung tablet for your screen. There are apps that you can buy and download that will allow you to type up a script and then display them on the tablet. The only thing you will need to purchase is the teleprompter glass.
By using a teleprompter to deliver your business video, you can be better prepared and less frightened to speak on camera. Using a teleprompter for your business video, branded business story, or marketing video will really give you a polish look and set you apart from the others.
Lastly, I would like to suggest using led lights to light your subject. Turn off the office lights and place two to three lights three to five feet away from the talent (depending on how bright the lights are). The lights that you place in front of your subject should be about 45 degrees above their head. You do not want to place the lights to high, this will cause dark circles under their eyes. You will also want to pay attention to people who are wearing glasses. The light may reflect, and you will see it in the talent’s glasses. The third light could be placed in the back of the subject just out of frame to highlight their hair and back. This will create depth and make your video look more dimensional. Some led lights are more expensive than others but shop around and look for lights that have a high cri rating. Usually, the higher the cri the better the light. A light with a low cri rating has the chance of creating green or magenta light. Here is a video that explains how and where the lights should be placed.
These three tips will greatly enhance your in-house business video production. Try it out and see if it can work for you. If you feel that it is takes too much time and energy than hire someone to do the job for you. There many creative videographers out there to choose from. I hope this helps your business and video needs.
Corporate videos are a representation of who you are as a company and how you do your work.
Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors. It will also account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019 according to Forbes! So videos are every online marketer’s best weapon yet. But with a lot of viral videos getting attention on social media, it’s hard to drive traffic to your site with just the traditional way of creating your own corporate video. Think of bland, scripted presenters trying their best to explain why you need their product or service. In today’s web climate, that won’t catch anyone’s attention. Many buisnesses now are creating stories that reflect their brand in order to stand out from the crowd.
You need to think outside the box and incorporate strategies to your make your video both appealing and memorable to the audience. This helps in increasing your conversion rates and brand awareness. In order to achieve this, you need to utilize five essentials to make your corporate video stand out. Here are a few ways to do it.
1.Inject Natural Humor
As naturally as you can, inject humor to your corporate video using some playful sarcasm or self deprecating humor. If you have a serious story, then try adding an upbeat music that will leave audiences puzzled and maybe even laughing out loud in the middle of your video. Try adding an “offbeat” character or element for comedic relief. If all else fails, consider going way over the top absurd, like Squatty Potty’s viral sales video.
2. Entice With Effects
Modern video effects can capture audience attention and hook them to viewing your video even further when done well and relevant to your product. VFX is a great way to make your corporate video stand out evoke an emotion towards your audience, and it’s always the emotion associated to the brand or service that makes them want to purchase. Check out sites like Fiverr.com for affordable effects services.
3. Add Motion Graphics
Some companies can better explain what their company does with an animated explainer video which uses motion graphics to tell their story. With these elements, your audience can follow thru what you’re telling them by just simply following the direction of your graphic elements. Text graphics can also be helpful for viewers browsing on their phones when on silent.
4. Avoid Jargons and Keep It Conversational
Jargons and scripted actions can be a bit confusing and predictable. Make your corporate video stand out by using easy to understand concepts instead. Direct your presenters to speak comfortably as if they are speaking to a friend.
5. Use Cinematic Camera Equipment
Cinematic equipment like a camera crane, stabilizer gimbal or slider can really up your production value and create more emotional experiences for the viewers. Make the scenes come to life compared to just shooting with a fixed or handheld camera alone. These pieces of equipment help you experiment with interesting angles and dynamic movements that can capture viewers with ever lowering attention spans.
You don’t need too much work on your plate or a huge budget to make your corporate video stand out, just remember to tap resources like the right talent which you may already have or search for affordable yet quality camera supports that will raise your video making standards. With some practice and creative thinking, you can have confidence that your video will make an impact on your viewers.
If you need help with your storytelling I am more than willing to help answer any of your questions or help with the video production. You can view my work at www.cookfilms or you can email me your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Conlon is a young freelance writer who recently graduated from a university filmmaking program. She manages the blog and social media program for video equipment maker ProAm USA. When not on her laptop, Katie can be found snapping images of friends and family, or hiking outdoors with her beloved dog Turner.
Hello, my name is Jeff Cook - videographer, editor, producer and storyteller.
As an infant I was abandoned, placed in foster care and then adopted. Stories have always intrigued me even though, I only had half of my own story to share. Through the years I always wanted to find out the missing piece to my life puzzle, my birth parents. During my struggle to find who I was, I was certain on one thing…storytelling. I love telling and listening to stories especially stories about people and how they overcame life’s obstacles. Due to my situation as a child, my heart goes out to those who have faced life challenges. There is a part of me in them, thus this draws me close to those who have hardships, and it is my goal to help tell their heart-felt stories.
I believe in telling stories about people, businesses and organizations. By sharing our experiences with others, we can help others succeed. Businesses and organizations can talk facts all day long, but at the end of it all it’s who you are that draws people closer. What do you represent, what is your desire, why do you do what you do? How did you get to where you are? What drives you? These questions will differ from person to person, you want to know why? Each person is different, and so should your story. What is your story?
You know your purpose in life when you love what you do. It’s the thing that makes you tick. It’s the passion that makes you want to become better at what you love to do. My passion is to tell stories. It is my fuel to feeling good. I want to be able to tell stories to benefit people, organizations, and businesses. There is something about sharing someone’s story that is uplifting for me. I really do feel alive when I am behind a camera, editing, and interacting with people during the shoot. My hope is to tell as many impactful stories that I can, and in doing so, I hope I can better the business, organization or person I am telling the story about.
I have always wanted to keep Fresno clean and safe. As the years have gone by, I have seen it get dirtier and dirtier. My son and I clean up a street in our neighborhood that is trashed daily. We go out and clean it up about once a month.
In late 2017, I was on Facebook and came across a page that was dedicated to Shaw Ave. I asked to join. I was welcomed to the group by Jim Jakobs the founder of the group. Jim and I used to work together. The comments that were on the page were very thought provoking and people had enough with the trash and panhandlers they saw daily. I sent Jim a homeless documentary that I worked on a year ago and he was very impressed with what was said in the documentary. He began sharing it on the Facebook page Save Shaw Ave. Many people were interested in it and learned a lot from it.
One day I suggested to Jim that we together should shoot a mini documentary that focuses on homelessness and panhandling that occurs right here in our own backyard…Shaw Ave. We both met for coffee and discussed what our objective was and who we wanted to interview. Jakobs mentioned that he wanted someone from the city to talk about the issue and I knew I wanted Pastor Rob to comment on the topic. I asked Pastor Rob if he could bring a disciple who has gone through being homeless. He brought with him Harley. Harley was once on the streets, and we felt it was necessary to get his perspective. Jim thought it was a good idea to have a business owner to talk on the subject and how it affects their business. Rani who owns Kwik Serv stepped up to the plate.
Our goal was to get not only one persons’ perspective but those who represent the area. We had a person who represents the city, H. Spees, a pastor who reaches out to the homeless, a former homeless individual and a business owner. We used their words to create a very thought provoking video, that we hope will help people re-think giving to those who are on the corners of our streets.
Once we finished the interviews Jim and I headed out to get some (broll) video footage of Shaw. Footage was needed to illustrate what our interviewees were talking about. Jim took it upon himself to log all the footage and write the script. I oversaw the video footage, music, editing, and color grading.
Once the video was done, Jim shared it on Save Shaw Ave Facebook page. It caught fire not too long after. I received emails from the Fresno Bee to do a story, and Jim was approached by ABC30, KMJ and KSEE 24.
This is exactly what we had hoped for. We hoped to spread the word about the panhandling issue here in Fresno. Homeless people are different than panhandlers, and every time you give panhandlers money you are enabling them. Watch the video below.
I have been working in television and media for over 18 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, producer and storyteller.