Tag: Video Storytelling

Everyone is a video storyteller! That’s a false statement although you wouldn’t know it by the amount of claims being made in the creative space. Agencies, production houses and individuals are selling themselves as experts in that area. Some of those claims are accurate, but remain vigilant. We are surrounded by imposters that hope to stake their claim and in turn, stand to tarnish the reputation of storytellers everywhere.

Storytelling, specifically when it comes to video, has moved into the buzz word category and for good reason. It’s the best way to reach and engage a specific audience. The desired takeaway is a memorable experience that creates a much deeper connection. As you head into your next project, here are a few questions to consider when selecting your video execution partner.

Who are the team members?

The make up of the team is imperative. Most likely, you will deal with multiple individuals during different phases of the project. Experience matters! A team that’s comprised of former journalists, seasoned copy writers, animators, etc. is a great start. Their experience should make you feel confident and lead to solid ideas. Hopefully solid execution as well.

Do they actually tell stories or create content?

Video storytelling and video content are two different things. Anyone can create content. Think of the short ads you see on social media, broadcast TV or the flashy clip that shows up in your instagram feed. Storytelling is different in that the characters drive the narrative rather than the product. It’s about using a number of different elements in order to create an emotional reaction.

Do they have a fine-tuned process?

Process is critical. It ensures that everything runs as smooth as possible. Communication is key whether in person, on the phone or over email. You want to make sure that your team of choice is organized and dedicated to service, not just creative. A partnership approach will yield the best results while limiting anxiety. Top notch video comes with an investment. The worst thing that can happen is for your vendor to go dark for a few weeks without a response.

Is their work high quality?

Quality matters more than ever. Within a crowed space, it serves as a differentiator. This quality applies to the clarity of the audio, music, cinematography, variety of shots and so on. The message needs to be clearly digestible while holding the attention of the viewer. Look and feel need to match the overall theme of the story.

We like to think that everything we do at Spiracle Media is done intentionally. We work toward the intended result by putting the necessary building blocks in place. At least we hope that’s the case. There is a prominent “why” in how we have assembled our team. It’s this “why” that supports our collective belief that we’re better than most when it comes to telling stories.

We’re a video content agency built to tell stories by using our journalistic background. The word “journalistic” is the differentiator. Our team is comprised of a number of former journalists and media minds, 6 of our 14 team members to be exact. Those that haven’t walked that treacherous path themselves have been empowered and influenced by that experience.

Let me clarify, we don’t just hire anyone with a TV background. We hire former journalists, news reporters, etc that understand the process of storytelling and shoot cinematically. Here are five reasons why former journalists, and specifically our team, excel in the storytelling environment.

Ask The Right Questions

Most video storytelling pieces are driven by real people. Real interviews. It is imperative in those settings that you ask the right questions that support the story. So often, interviewers spend a bulk of the time asking about points that have no chance of making it into the video. Pick 3-4 focal points and build around that. Keep it simple.

Follow the Story

Sometimes the best story is yet to be uncovered, but you have to be willing to follow the story. A good journalist looks for hints and when they see something that might enhance the piece, they poke and prod (in a polite way of course.) This can lead to emotional and compelling content that would have been left hidden.

Adaptability in the Field

Most people don’t like change. Former journalists thrive in a fast-paced and ever changing environment. This promotes a sense of peace with our partners when adversity enters the picture. It also allows us to keep an open mind. BTW – crunch time doesn’t bother us either.

Building a Story

A number of companies and individuals can shoot beautiful video, but they struggle to tell a story using what they’ve captured. It’s common these days to see something that resembles a music video with little or no narrative attached. Former journalists have the ability to select the right sound bites and add the rest of the elements in a way that brings forth emotion and personality.

Standing Out

Quality of storytelling matters more than ever. Everyone is adding video to the mix and they should. With that being the case, it’s time to trust those that tell the story best. A background in journalism mixed with a thorough understanding of the storytelling process, plenty of experience and strong dose of cinematography is a winning combination.

See more of our work here.

A majority of marketers are guilty of creating content for the sole purpose of promotion. Using purposeful content to showcase your personality and connect with your audience on a deeper level can be extremely effective. Consider adding one of these five storytelling ideas to one of your upcoming content marketing campaigns. 

“Story is the greatest weapon we have to combat noise, because it organizes information in such a way that people are compelled to listen.”

– “Building A Story Brand” by Donald Miller

Your Brand Story

Likely you have told your partners and prospective clients what you do and where you work countless times. But have you described your brand through a storytelling point of view? Build a story around your brand that resonates with your audience. Similar to a movie, map out the narrative, characters, and any challenges along the way.

What is your brand all about? What makes you different from your competitors? Tell the story of how your business began to where it is now.

Go into detail or keep it simple. 

We created this piece to capture both the story and impact EVERFI has made over its first 10 years in business. 

Behind the Scenes

Who doesn’t want to see what goes on behind the scenes? There is a reason at the end of a movie, there are clips of bloopers and behind the scenes antics. When giving your audience a look at what goes on in the background, it makes your company more human, more personable, and hopefully your customer likes you more for allowing them to go inside the ropes.

Make it funny, entertaining, or knowledgeable.

The employees at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery explain just how their beer is brewed, why they chose Charlotte as their home base, and much more during this laid back conversation.

Focus on The Customer

Focusing on your customer 9 times out of 10 will be in your favor. Your audience wants to know what you can do for them, success stories, and feel good content. This is a classic problem and solution approach. Your customer has a problem and you are the hero with the solution.

Build a story that focuses on how your customer can benefit from working with your company.

In this video example, WeWork does a fantastic job of showing what they can do for their customer. They present their value. In the end, the service they provide at WeWork makes their customers lives much easier. Don’t you see how a video like this could be beneficial for your company?

Your Vision for the Future

Expressing your vision through video gives your audience a way to understand, visualize, and map out the future of what your company is looking to achieve. Whether it’s a new product, service, or location. Video is the best way to tell the story of your future.

A perfect way to do this is to build momentum leading up to the launch. Map out the next steps, goals, and vision. Turn this into a video, infographic, or another visual to excite your customer about the future of what your company is doing.

Junior Achievement came to us to produce a video to support “Build on Opportunity.” This featured some of Charlotte’s heavy hitters in the business world and allowed them to share their thoughts on the impact that Junior Achievement will make in their a new facility.

A Company Culture Piece

Tell the story about the people behind the company. 

Giving a little insight into everyday life can make your company more relatable to potential employees and prospective clients. Take your audience on an office tour. Showcase a day in the life of a select few employees. There are many ways you can show who you are as a company from an employee perspective. 

An example of this is with our partner, EVERFI. We traveled to their Georgetown headquarters as well as miscellaneous locations across the country to craft a story about the people behind the company.

This video is used to provide background information to potential partners and employees.

Storytelling Overview

When we hear the words video storytelling, our mind most likely defaults to long-form storytelling. There are many applications for using this device and it’s still the best way to connect with characters and storylines. Long-form pieces are great in an epidsode format, at an event or during a sales meeting. These can be powerful ways of connecting with a specific audience.

On the flip side, shorter videos generate strong results as well. We know that utilizing shorter content to drive traffic via social media is a big deal. Our ongoing project with Queens University of Charlotte is a great example. The marketing team at Queens was looking for short, dynamic videos. One of the videos featured the MBA program.

The Idea

Our creative team, led by David Kernodle, pitched a style and tone that was intended to reach a younger audience. It’s goal was to showcase the hustle and bustle of life and why the MBA program is a viable option within the midst of that chaos. Planning is the most important part of any production. It is something that can’t be underestimated and serves as a catalyst for going from good to great on the execution side.

The Execution

The use of quick cuts and natural sound was imperative. Each video in the series will take on it’s own personality depending on the audience and messaging. Using your time wisely is extra important when working with an abbreviated window. Every second counts especially off the top.

Check out more of our partners or visit our Vimeo page.