From Stories to Narratives to Purpose

by Dave Toole  22 March 2017

So, you have discovered the power of video but you want to broaden your reach and potential? If this sounds like you, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to explore the options that come with video production and narrative. Some of the most successful businesses out there have built up a solid reputation by communicating with their target audience on a more personal level. One of the many ways in which you can get personal with each and every one of your video viewers is by telling a story. From the foundations of your business to the pinnacle of success, there are multifarious things you can share with your viewers to evoke emotion. According to Forbes, storytelling is the “new strategic imperative for business”, so why aren’t you capitalizing on it? Becoming a major contender in your particular niche is entirely possible if you adopt the right approach to storytelling. Narrating online video will deepen engagement and solidify your brand, not to mention make it memorable. In order to show yourself in a new light and ensure the outcome outweighs the effort, first familiarize yourself with the role narration plays in human motivation.

How Does Narration Sway Customer Decisions?

Just like the narrator of a movie can draw the viewer in and make them feel as though they are part of the story, narration can have a huge impact on the way a customer feels about a brand, product and/or service. There is a story behind most triumphant business endeavors, which should be enough to make you want to start producing video with a storytelling twist to it. Of course, statistics, facts, and figures remain relevant for video production to remain informative and accurate, however, this information does not communicate with the viewer on a personal level. Targeted messages that have a simple yet intriguing message can be a game-changer in terms of convincing a customer. Think of it this way – the more stories you tell, the easier it will be to build a relationship with your audience and improve customer retention overall. In fact, storytelling could become the most powerful marketing tool for businesses over the next few years, so don’t underestimate it.

Narrative for Business Promotion

Whether you plan on turning a PowerPoint presentation into a video or producing a video from scratch, you should definitely consider your narrative options. In order to leave a lasting impression on the audience you are producing the video content for, you must focus on the main points of video narrative. They are as follows:
  • Balance
  • Prompt
  • The mission
  • Surprise
  • Choice
  • Culmination
  • Resolution
By including the above elements in your video narrative, you can pretty much guarantee that your target audience’s attention will be maintained for as long as the video runs. Don’t forget to introduce characters (if necessary) and use an elegant or deep voice for the storytelling narrative.

Taking Inspiration from Narrative Summit

On November 10, 2016, the Narrative Summit event took place. Organized by the Digital Storytelling Association, the event served as an ongoing conversation for worldwide storytellers. It focused heavily on the use of technology for telling stories. Through audience participation and conversation, discussions propelled action for many business owners. Narrative Summit took place in San Jose, California, but it has sent a ripple of motivation across America, if not further. A good video will have a natural narrating curve, so don’t ignore the importance of painting a clear picture for your audience through the use of words and commentary. Company culture can be shaped when you present your audience with narrated videos, which are a useful tactic for communicating your brand’s strategy and making a change.

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