Have you ever read a novel that you couldn’t bring yourself to put down? (We’re looking at you, Where the Crawdads Sing).
Or watched a star-studded film with gorgeous cinematography that failed to hook you? (Don’t even get us started on Amsterdam).
The difference between them is simple – the story.
Using nothing but words, the former managed to take viewers on an imaginative journey of an abandoned girl who finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation.
On the other hand, the latter, supported by visuals and soundtrack, failed to connect its protagonists – who, coincidentally, also become suspects in a murder case – with the audience.
That’s what happens when you treat storytelling as an afterthought.
The thing is, stories play an important role in our lives from the moment we’re born until we die; they capture our attention, make us think, and evoke responses in us.
For an average person, this is nothing more than an interesting fact. But for business owners, it’s an opportunity to attract leads and convert them into life-long fans.
However, for that to happen, you must clearly understand storytelling in business.
A Brief Introduction to Storytelling in Business
The term storytelling might force you to think it’s got something to do with shareholders, CEOs, and employees sitting around a fire and telling each other stories.
Though that sounds incredibly fun, storytelling in the corporate world refers to creating a scenario that describes your customers’ challenges and how your products or services solve them.
For instance, let’s assume your company sells potpourris.
So, you make a video about a character, Kelly, a psychologist. She’s looking for something that produces a natural and gentle fragrance in her room, creating a welcoming environment for her patients.
She orders a packet of your best-selling potpourri and is thoroughly satisfied with the purchase.
This may be a fake scenario, but your customers will love it nonetheless.
Research suggests that the attention span of human beings is just 8.25 seconds. It’s a tiny window to convert leads into customers. However, if you play your cards right, 8.25 seconds is more than enough to accomplish your objective.
And by playing your cards right, we mean incorporating storytelling in your video.
Your customers are likelier to forget the message if it was conveyed using large blocks of text. But if they see a story about a character who faces similar problems, they’ll find it relatable.
Every business has different goals and objectives.
That means how you approach your customers will also differ.
If you want to establish a professional brand image, you’d need to keep your video’s tone serious. Similarly, a lighthearted approach will work if you sell, let’s say, confectionery.
Fortunately, you can get your message across – whether serious, emotional, or funny – by creating a story-driven video.
It’s important to mention that you should be very careful about the approach you adopt. An ill-made attempt does the opposite of attracting customers: it drives them away.
As of writing this blog, approximately 30 million businesses operate in the US. Though not all will be your direct competitors, some might be.
And that ‘some’ is enough to make it a tough battleground where every brand will be doing its best to convince customers to purchase from them.
But what if we told you about a method using which you wouldn’t need to run after customers? Instead, they will come to you.
No, we’re not talking about a mind control device or Black Magic but rather a very simple strategy – storytelling.
All you gotta do is tell a remarkable story that humanizes your brand, and voila, you’ve won over your target audience’s trust.
If you’re not one for sentimental or mushy stories, consider these facts:
You might think there’s a secret formula that suggests why emotional videos work so well, but there isn’t.
It’s just that humans tend to respond to sentiments with warmth and sympathy.
So, if your brand manages to pull the viewers’ heartstrings, it won’t be long before they browse your website.
You’re watching a whodunit film with your family, and the detective is about to announce the killer’s identity.
Suddenly, your phone rings, spoiling the suspense.
You pick it up, only to hear the following: “Hello, this is Kerry Condon from Techtopia. I’d like to know if you’re interested in our latest collection of…”
You slam the phone without even letting the poor woman complete her sentence.
That’s how customers react when all they see you do is talk about your company. Or, in other words, engage in self-promotion.
Technically, there’s nothing wrong with talking about your brand. However, if you do it excessively, you’ll sound like a first date with an enormous number of red flags.
But with storytelling, you can be the first date who maintains eye contact, pulls out the chair for you and insists on paying the bill. (As courteous as it is, you should split the bill).
Some businesses are more complex than others, which translates to how you engage with customers.
A company selling energy drinks would find it relatively easier to attract an audience through videos than construction companies.
But stories give you the power to work your way around this roadblock.
Take one of Ladder’s – a California-based life insurance company – ads as an example. It’s about a married man whose family, including a wife and two kids, attempt to murder him so that they can benefit from his life insurance.
The commercial may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly managed to make some noise; more than 26 million people have viewed it – all because it followed a simple (and demented) story humorously.
The video ends with a fun disclaimer:
But Seriously: Intentionally Killing a Policyholder Will Void All Life Insurance Benefits.
Well played, Ladder.
Storytelling Is the Heart of Every Video
Storytelling is an incredibly useful method to convey your brand’s core message in a 2-minute – or less – video. Yet many brands struggle with capturing the essence of their company.
Fortunately, you won’t find AnimationProLabs’ name on that list.
We thoroughly understand business objectives before working on a video, ensuring customers feel motivated and react positively to it.