How to Tell a Great Story Through Video in 60 Seconds

September 30, 2021

Human beings are storytellers. It’s kind of our thing. From sitting around campfires to scrolling through social media feeds, we naturally gravitate toward a good story.

But as any video storyteller will tell you, it’s getting increasingly difficult to grab and maintain an audience’s attention. In fact, according to a landmark study from Microsoft, you now have about eight seconds to hook a viewer before they head off to greener content pastures.

Sounds pretty bleak, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be as long as you keep a few key best practices in mind. So on that note, I wanted to share a few video storytelling tips we use at Castleview to help our clients move the branding needle and connect with their audiences.

Keep It Real

There’s nothing more powerful than authenticity. It drives trust in your brand and helps your messaging stand out in a crowded field. And while I’m all for creativity and daring to be different, it’s absolutely critical that you remain true to your brand as you go.

Ultimately, no matter what industry you’re in or audience segments you’re trying to connect with, your customers can sniff out anything disingenuous from a mile away. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, considering the average consumer spends nearly one-third of each day engaging with digital content – they know what’s real and what’s fake.

Unfortunately, once your audience marks you with that particular scarlet letter, it’s tough to get back into their good graces. Therefore, the moral of the story is to take chances and be bold with your storytelling, just remain genuine every step of the way.

Understand Your Audience

Read the room. It’s sage advice from meme culture that carries a mighty stick when it comes to video storytelling. Before writing a script and rolling cameras, it’s imperative you answer two essential questions first:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do you want them to do?

There’s a reason why trailers for Hollywood tentpoles usually don’t show before an indie arthouse film  – those are two wildly different audiences. The same premise goes for your storytelling, where you need to understand who your audience is, what they expect from you, and, just as importantly, what you expect from them.

What do you want to compel your audience to do? Buy your latest widget? Sign-up for a service? Or maybe just gain a better understanding of who you are as a brand? Let the nature of your audience and ideal end state guide your storytelling and call-to-action.

Choose the Right Method to Reach Your Target

My final tip on telling a great story in 60 seconds concerns that last part – the 60 seconds. As I said up-top, you don’t have much time to grab a viewer’s attention. And even if you’re able to catch their eye, you don’t have it for long.

Naturally, that means you have to hook the audience quickly. From there, you need to decide on the best method to convey your story. Should you use an on-camera actor or a voiceover? What should the voiceover sound like?

Granted, there’s no absolutely right or wrong way to answer such questions. It all depends on my previous point, where this third tip is more a plan-of-action based on your understanding of the viewer. But when you put all these components together – authenticity, understanding, and the right method to connect with the viewer – you have the foundation for a great story. Now what you do from there is a topic I’ll save for a later day.