Besides live video, another type of video that’s getting a lot of attention on social media today are mini, intimate snapshots of the everyday hustle of a business such as the behind-the-scenes that are occurring close to real-time. Platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, Twitter and Pinterest have turned people into instant, effective story-tellers (LinkedIn is also rolling out their video feature via their app).
These micro events however are not limited to only short videos, but can have longer durations to appear on the homepage of your website, on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, etc – the concept is to document your business story on video. Brands and businesses have began to utilise this concept in creative ways to drive awareness as well as build trust with their ideal audience.
Remember though, telling your story is one thing – selling it is another. Here are eight tips to document your entrepreneurial journey on video to increase visibility for your brand or business and ultimately drive more leads and increase conversions.
1. Think Mobile-First
The future of video consumption are via mobile phones. 2017 statistics show:
“51% of all video plays are on mobile devices” ( source)
Mini video stories are popular these days because they are easy to consume and gives people more control of their time – they choose what to watch, when to watch and for how long. Often, they can skip to the next video story as they please.
Although it only takes a second to flip your phone sideways, studies show that most people still prefer to view video on their smartphones in its native position – vertical. Consider shooting or uploading your video stories in portrait mode; if you can give the viewer the least amount of effort to do something, they are likely to do it.
Also, most videos on social media are viewed with no sound at the beginning – so by adding some captions or text helps to capture your audience’s attention straight away which is highly important.
2. Think Plot
Currently, videos on Instagram Stories has a maximum upload duration of 15 seconds, 20 seconds on Facebook Stories and 10 seconds on Snapchat. Studies show that most video viewing will drop off significantly after 10-15 seconds so it’s important to communicate your message effectively in a short time.
However, not everyone wants to shoot a single 10-second video; they often record a series of mini stories to create an overall story. So the key is to create an overall story that’s interesting enough for people to keep watching.
Remember, stories are the telling or re-telling of events; Plot is the ordering of those events and it’s one of the most powerful techniques if done correctly, in selling your story. Here’s how you can break down a Plot:
- Intro – This is where you establish the scene and attract the viewer’s attention. Most importantly, you are setting up “the ask” – why should someone click “play” on your video? Are they asking themselves ‘what’s going to happen next?’ Addressing their point-of-pain in the form of a question is also very effective in many marketing videos.
- Body – This is where you provide enough value to keep the viewer watching. Whilst the intro addresses the “problem”, here you are transitioning towards the “solution”. You are going from “the ask” to “the answer”. Make your content interesting and engaging to keep the person from watching. Ask yourself, “How can I make the viewer feel special?”
- Outro – This is where you provide clarity or inspiration on what lies beyond “the answer”. Is the viewer inspired to do something after watching your video? Will they want to implement or take action? How will you direct him/her to a course of action? We’ll discuss this further below.
3. Show Behind-The-Scenes
One of the reasons for documenting your story is to give people access to your business that is normally out of the public eye. When people see the reality of what goes on behind-the-scenes, it makes them feel part of your community like they’re getting access to something exclusive, hence they can’t help but feel connected and engaged. It’s also a great way to show the human essence behind your brand or company.
Check out a video we created for one of our clients and notice how we show what happens in his business environment as well as outside the business. This gives the viewer some insight about our client as a real person:
4. Use A Single, Identifiable Character
It’s been proven throughout history that people connect stronger with a single, identifiable character in a story. So rather than having too many characters on your video, focus on one character that your audience can identify with. What is it about this person that is attractive, relatable and accessible to the viewer?
This also brings out the human element in your video so whoever is in the story needs to have their personality shine through in an authentic way. Are they funny? Passionate? Energetic? Calm? Will they show vulnerability?
5. Implement “The Hero’s Journey”
This widely-used concept made famous by Joseph Campbell is what makes every story-telling so powerful. In short, it involves a key character who’s called to an adventure, faces challenges, encounters a conflict, succeeds or triumphs and is changed by the experience that he/she is no longer the same person from the beginning. Think Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Frodo from Lord of the Rings, Marty McFly from Back To The Future, Rocky Balboa from Rocky…they are the heroes of The Hero’s Journey.
In popular Vine videos, users can be quite creative to utilise the Hero’s Journey in under six seconds!
6. Use Tags, Hashtags, Location
If you want more exposure and reach, start utilising tools like hashtags, location tags and profile tags. Here’s a step-by-step video I created to show you how to do this on Instagram Stories:
7. Give It Your Own Style and Swagger
Platforms like Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories and Snapchat all have features that allow us to give our videos a unique, personal touch. The use of filters, text, stickers, drawing and eraser tools gives us more options to be creative and show our unique style. Your video needs to stand out from the rest, so give it some swagger where you can be confident enough to show your personality and true character.
When you show up as your unique self with your own style, in time you’ll find that people will begin to identify with that and if it attracts them, they’ll anticipate more of what you have to bring in the future.
8. Add A Call-To-Action
Every marketing video needs three things: The attention-grabber, valuable content and something that triggers action. Depending on the outcome you’re after for your video, your call-to-action needs to be aligned to that. Though sometimes, if you’re documenting your journey simply to create trust and awareness, a CTA is not always crucial.
However, if you have a specific outcome in mind, it’s wise to guide your viewer to the next step. Do you want the viewer to visit your website? Sign up to your free offer? Contact you via email? Leave a comment, like and/or share your video? Subscribe to your channel? Etc.
Documenting your entrepreneurial journey with video allows you to communicate in the most effective way and “show” the audience instead of having to “tell” them what you do. When you can let people make up their own minds rather than feeding them with information, it becomes a more authentic experience for all. As a result, it creates trust and assurance to the viewer, creating a greater chance for them to build the desire to do business with you or become your customer.
Cover photo by Josh Rose via Unsplash
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