Strengthen your video storytelling by following these trends

These hot tips will keep your video marketing efforts ahead of the rapidly-changing curve—and keep your audience coming back for more.

It’s never been more imperative for PR pros to effectively tell clients’ stories with video.

Major platforms like Instagram and Twitter are going all in on video content with new offerings like IGTV, and even LinkedIn has rolled out video capability for businesses, joining the growing list of platforms prioritizing video on social media.

Fortunately, creating storytelling videos that work is easier than you might think.

Here are five powerful storytelling trends to pay attention to if you want to strengthen your video prowess:

1 . Leading with striking visuals and bold text

Attention spans are short.

With video, you have the unique advantage of starting with visuals that draw viewers in immediately. Start with your most compelling asset to ensure your audience watches till the end. Make sure viewers who watch with the sound off are just as captivated by using catchy text that stops the scroll.

Apps like Animoto can help create videos with assets you already have. This Facebook video makes impressive use of simple text and images to attract its audience and keep it watching. So far, this video has earned more than 10,000 views, and was shared 97 times on Facebook alone.

Hint: Start with a compelling quote or stat to intrigue viewers and set the stage for the story you’re about to tell—even if they’re watching without sound.

2. Telling a personal story

Don’t know what story to tell? An easy place to start is with your clients’ current customers. Use a testimonial to create social videos that specific audiences can relate to. Seeing a customers’ journey shows viewers how a product or service can solve a problem. Not only is this an effective way to convey your message, it’s been known to boost sales and increase trust in brands.

Hint: Having trouble getting footage of customers? Use text versions of positive reviews or press hits you’ve gotten to create your testimonial.

3. Taking viewers behind the scenes

Sharing an insider look into your clients’ brand doesn’t just foster authenticity, it also helps establish brand identity. Today’s consumer values both. To create memorable video content that engages viewers, go behind the scenes. Even simpler, try what Vayner Media did with this Facebook video. Using eye-catching text, simple images and two short video clips, it gave the audience insight into its company culture.

4. Prioritizing engagement over sales

A key aspect of effective storytelling is involving your audience. Whether you’re starting with an interesting question or leaving viewers with something to think about, including a call to action is instrumental in driving engagement on your videos. In this Facebook video, for example, Brothers Commercial Brokerage shared a neighborhood overview paired with the question, “What’s your favorite Woolworth’s memory?” The video received 27 comments and was shared 199 times, an impressive number for such hyperlocal and targeted content.

Make sure to consider your clients’ specific audience. When creating content for a real estate broker, as mentioned above, a neighborhood overview can get viewers involved and willing to share your video with their network. Knowing your audience is an important part of creating the right call to action and a relevant story—both of which lead to engaging and shareworthy videos.

Hint: To get a better sense of what a specific audience wants, run a survey or poll on social media. Even better, ask with a video.

5. Creating platform-specific video content

If you’re posting the same video across all platforms, you’re not reaping all the benefits of storytelling with video. Luckily, a few small tweaks go a long way on several different social platforms. Here are some ways to craft your story on various platforms:

  • Go square on Facebook. Square videos take up 78 percent more space in the news feed than landscape videos, making it more likely for viewers to stop scrolling and engage with your video.
  • Be concise on Instagram. Condense your story into 30 seconds or less. It’s what Instagram users prefer.
  • Get a leg up with hashtags on Twitter. Include hashtags that are relevant to the story you’re telling.
  • Go in-depth with YouTube. YouTube audiences expect to watch longer video content. You can share a more detailed version of your story and design the video for sound-on.

PR professionals and social media experts regularly find success through storytelling videos. Incorporate these tips into your video strategy and start creating content your audience will remember and share.

Cassie Galasetti is co-founder of Social Sidekick Media, Branding & Public Relations.

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