It’s becoming increasingly apparent that there’s been a shift during the last couple of years regarding how buyers prefer to consume content. With business information seekers as well as consumers expecting to be entertained, delighted, and even inspired, the rise of content being crafted into stories has transformed the way brands deliver messages.

A typical visitor to your company’s web site will read as little as 20 percent of your content.

A typical visitor to your company’s web site will read as little as 20 percent of your content. That’s why video should be part of your content strategy. Stories told via video can pull in visitors in when the written word doesn’t. 

Some marketers are hesitant to use video because its production costs make it more expensive than other content types. However, as you prioritize your marketing budget for the remainder of this year, think about the ROI that video content – which is proven to be more immersive and attention-grabbing than other formats – can deliver to your company. 

Videos say more in less time. By combining both interactivity and authenticity to create thought-provoking content, well-crafted videos provide greater value than static content. They enable you to present your brand’s essence and differentiation in a manner that’s  more enticing, engaging, and user-friendly. 

Video Spurs Business Leaders to Act

Consumers watch a lot of product-related video. 72% of them prefer learning about a product or a service through a video.

But what about business leaders? Are they getting their decision-making information by watching videos? Surprisingly, a joint study on video usage in the C-suite conducted by Forbes and Google found that 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business-related websites weekly (and 52% watch work-related videos on YouTube weekly). This implies that video serves a greater purpose than just gaining awareness…B2B buyers rely on it through the entire purchase continuum.

The study also indicated  that executives – across all age groups – are spurred to take some kind of an action after viewing an informational video. 65% of them visit a vendor’s website after having watched a video that’s not located on the site, and 53% search the Internet for additional information about the brand’s video they just viewed!

"Video in the C-Suite: Executives Embrace the non-text Web" -Forbes Insights

Effective Video Storytelling

As a content type, video is being used across the entire marketing spectrum, from enriching a company’s website, providing instructional or informational information, and generating leads, to delivering loyalty program benefits, providing post-sale support, and everything in between.

But not just any type of video will do. Marketers need to be aware that the days of heavily scripted and dry corporate videos are passé. Instead, video content needs to be crafted in such a way as to meet the needs of the savvy buyer. It needs to provide an interesting and relevant experience that is specifically targeted to its audience. 

While not all companies sell products (or services) that are visually oriented or make sound, clever, creative agencies can make videos that are sure to entertain and delight the viewer – even if they’re instructional or informational in nature.

Storytelling videos, like the above one developed by Boston Digital for Five Star Senior Living,    can be highly effective. They follow these best practices:

  • Create an instantaneous connection with the subject
  • Draw the viewer in and immerses him/her in the essence of the story unfolding
  • Provide a relatable experience
  • Evoke an emotional response
  • Trigger an action
  • Drive engagement through a willingness to do more 
  • Be purposeful

How does a marketer ensure that he/she does it right?  A brand that IS doing it right is IBM. Their specialized storytelling group, “IBM Originals” is on a mission to tell stories that connect the consumer and the product in what are, at times, unexpected ways. Their motto says it all:

In a world where brands bombard audiences to get noticed: 

We make less stuff that matters more. 
We are a team of original storytellers. 
We create original content with a purpose.

Their secret sauce…. they apply a more human-centric, storytelling approach to proving the value of their technical products. For example, in response to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, IBM created a recently-released film (video), Bonds of Trust, that offers an emotional glimpse into how the promise of blockchain technology can unite a response community of insurance providers, governments, and citizens, streamlining the flow of information and resources to those who need it most. While clearly the content is intended to showcase a very specific IT solution, it does so by drawing the viewer in by delivering a relatable story about a societal issue which impacted so many. 

While not all products and solutions are appealing, if an IT provider like IBM can sensationalize blockchain technology, think of what you can do with your brand’s offerings through creative and compelling video storytelling. Using a documentary filmmaking technique is one such way of bringing your brand to life where there is a societal impact, but other approaches like customer testimonials, how to’s, promotional, or behind-the-scenes videos can work equally as well to illustrate your product or solution. The key is to work with a team who is not only adept at creatively telling your story but also in leveraging technology to bring it to life.

When used as part of a broader marketing strategy, video stories make for more effective content because they elicit an emotional response. They can influence who we trust, harken our nostalgia, and help us more easily make sense of complex information. Effective video storytelling will make us learn, laugh, muse, and take action. So, what are you waiting for? 

Filling the Funnel: Taking Lead Generation to the Next Level