Videos that motivate your viewers to take inspired action

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How to create inspiring marketing videos.

Create a video that truly engages

Can you remember a time when you were deeply moved by something that someone said? Do you remember the last time you saw a video that moved you emotionally, you just had to do something? Do you remember an event that was a turning point for your business or organization? 

Chances are you have had plenty memorable events, both big and small, that moved you emotionally. Events that prompted you take an action. How did that happen? 

 

Here’s the thing, events are simply a set of data points that occur simultaneously. However, the reason they are meaningful to you is because these data points are weaved into a story. It is the story that provides meaning to the event. Otherwise the various data point would make no sense. It’s the stories surrounding the data points that provide meaning. 

What do I mean by story? Well, let me speak from a video producer’s perspective. For example, a video story could be a narrative, but not all narratives are video stories. A story in a video production has to meet certain conditions…. a narrative does not. A video narrative, as we describe it to clients, usually follows a simple step-by-step process. For example, in many corporate video productions, the video explains a manufacturing process - first this happens, then this, then this, then that, then it’s completed. This sort of video narrative can quickly leave the viewers bored and uninterested, particularly if the subject matter is not that interesting to begin with. It’s simply a recounting of steps, and usually only positive steps are listed. Often the narrative includes a list of features, promises, and sometimes it’s just bragging. Intuitively, we quickly recognize these types of corporate video narratives.

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Corporate video stories on the other hand, as we utilize them in our video productions, typically fall into a specific structure. The most basic structure includes a beginning, a middle or major turning point, a course correcting decision, and finally a resolution. One of the keys to remember is that the story should include a turning point that briefly throws events out of balance. 

In order the keep the audience emotionally engaged, we like to introduce an authentic push and pull in the video story structure. We need to keep the audience invested until the negative turning point is resolved and balance is restored. Otherwise, you really don’t have much to say in terms of audience engagement.

A summary of the story elements in a video production:

 

  1. Open with a balanced introduction of the main subject, person, or organization, in other words - introduce the protagonist. The protagonist is often a person but it could also be a group of people or an organization.
  2. A person or event throws the life of the protagonist (e.g. company employee, customer) out of balance.
  3. At this stage of the video story, the protagonist needs to make a major decision to restore that balance.
  4. Finally, the balance is restored through a satisfying solution.

While these point are highly simplified, they nevertheless provide your team with a basic frame work for creating your next video project. Most viewers do not like promising or bragging as a technique in corporate video productions. Telling an engaging and structured story provides the viewer with much more entertainment, information, and insight into your organization. It creates interest. When following this basic story building framework, the likelihood that the viewer will take a desired action increases dramatically.

 

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About the Author: Sven Kielhorn

About Sven and eTown Videos: Sven Kielhorn founded eTown Videos in 2006. Sven has been working in motion graphic design and digital video production for over 15 years. Today, eTown Videos, LLC has developed a team of ten video specialists covering all phases of video production. The eTown team works with a wide range of clients including small businesses, large businesses, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions. As Creative and Marketing Director at eTown Videos, Sven works with his team to help organizations in developing strategies to incorporate web video technologies into their online presence. Additionally, he works on all phases of video production, post-production, and video marketing.