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Why Telling Beats Selling in Video Marketing

Title graphic reads 'Why Telling Beats Selling in Video Marketing" in black text on a turquoise gradient background featuring Next Day Animations logos; simple whiteboard animations of apples are featured alongside the title, with a simple play button on them; they have two bites out of each of them on either side.

Storytelling is how we communicate.

Humans perceive the world around us in unique ways. Then, we form narratives about the things that happen to us, and then share them with others. This helps us to be understood and make connections.

So when it comes to video marketing, connecting with your audience through powerful narratives can significantly enhance your brand’s reach and impact. 

Leveraging storytelling is absolutely essential if you have an important message and are looking to reach with real world audiences. That’s why storytelling is the cornerstone of our award-winning studio’s strategy when we partner with clients to produce animated explainer videos.

In this blog, we’ll explore why telling beats selling in video marketing and how you can harness the power of storytelling in your own video marketing strategy.

Why is storytelling so powerful in marketing?

Storytelling has been an integral part of human culture since the dawn of time. 

Using a strong narrative makes a lasting connection with your audience. Why? Well, it might sound like an oversimplification: but your audience is human. Humans relate most to stories we can see ourselves in. 

Storytelling is effective in marketing because it taps into the emotional core of the audience. Unlike traditional marketing tactics that focus on selling, storytelling builds a narrative that evokes emotions, making the message more memorable and engaging.

Furthermore, narratives stick in our hearts more readily than even the most convincing facts and figures.

Showing your audience – via storytelling – how important facts and figures come to life to solve your audience’s most important problems is a fast track to developing a personal connection to your content.

Check out our explainer with Rentervention: a great example of thoughtful video marketing that leverages storytelling.

Storytelling in video marketing also protects against short attention spans. By situating important information within a captivating narrative, video storytelling helps audience retention. Stories are far easier to remember than objective data, leading to a longer-lasting impact for one’s solution.

Finally, because storytelling is a natural way we communicate with one another, leveraging stories in your video marketing strategy builds trust and authenticity with your audience. In fact, some organizations are stating that as high as 76% of respondents make buying decisions with the help of product and service explainer videos.

This emotional connection is crucial in a crowded market where consumers are bombarded with countless advertisements daily. Video content marketing, when combined with compelling stories, can cut through the noise and capture the viewer’s attention.

What is storytelling in video?

Unlike static images or text, video combines visual and auditory elements to create a richer, more immersive experience for audiences. But what exactly does storytelling in video entail?

Consider the lived experiences of your audience and the small “micro-stories” your customers experience day to day. Ask yourself questions about the challenges they face, and why your organization or product is relevant to them:

• What are their challenges?

• What would solve their problems?

• What emotional experience are they having?

• How does your product or service fit into this picture as a solution?

Finding a way to connect those many stories, and demonstrate your solution as an answer to them all, is the tried-and-tested recipe for storytelling success when it comes to video marketing. 

With your narrative in mind, video animation brings it to life – and to your audience. Our in-house team of animators partners closely with our scriptwriters on every single project we produce, working to pair each element of your story with thoughtfully animated illustrations. 

From custom characters to branded colors, partnering with animation experts lifts your story from the page to the screen. The goal is to create a visual language that supports the story and makes it more compelling. Your audience will walk away with a memorable experience, and a call to action ringing in their mind.

Tips for Using Storytelling in Video Marketing

Don’t reinvent the wheel: Storytelling 101

We’ve been in the business of explainer animations for almost fourteen years, which may seem like a long time. 

But a decade and a half pales in comparison to the storytelling formula we use in almost every video, made famous by ancient philosopher Aristotle.

We created this animated explainer video to tell the story of…well – storytelling!

Try implementing this simple three part structure on your own narrative to strengthen your impact. Bonus points: learn more about using humor for engagement (Aristotle’s OTHER secret recipe.)

Take the time to know your audience:

The first step in creating a compelling story is to know who you are telling it to. The more time and effort spent on audience portfolio development, the stronger your narrative will be in convincing them to take action. Research your target audience to understand their preferences, challenges, and what resonates with them.

Digging into audience profiles is a big part of our productions kick-off call: in this crucial meeting, stakeholders from our client organization meet with their dedicated producer, scriptwriter, and illustration team, who learn about the client’s target audience and goals.

Taking the time to research your audience and get on the same page lays a powerful, intentional foundation for a strong piece of video marketing. Learn more about working with your stakeholders to determine your target audience in this blog post.

Learn more about our Kick-Off Questionnaire, and our process, in this hybrid style explainer that pairs delightful animation and live footage of our team.

Tell stories with care and authenticity:

Telling authentic stories with heart is sort of our specialty here at Next Day Animations. When we tell authentic stories, we have the power to reflect on – and even change – our reality. 

Part of our responsibility as storytellers is to make sure that stories are told ethically, because our collective media impacts how individuals experience the world.

As a BCorp and Great Place to Work, we’re consistently curious about how our business practices and storytelling lands after it leaves our studio. We provide in-house services such as our Consultation Launch to ensure that our clients leave our studio with an amazing video and the strategy they need to move the needle on their objectives.

As stated in this wonderful analysis on BCorps’ use of digital storytelling to make global impact, “Crafting a powerful story is about more than just sharing information; it’s about creating an emotional connection, building trust, and offering a pathway to action.”

Check out this blog to learn more about Thoughtful Storytelling – and how we prioritize it at our studio. Or, check out the playlist above to see some examples from our studio.

The Case for Telling Over Selling:

For these reasons, telling a compelling, succinct story is the name of the game.

Engaging, powerful stories communicated with heart happens to be our specialty here at Next Day Animations! Catering to your brand guidelines and vision, our expert team is excited to support you every step of the way to create a succinct explainer video that uses narrative to highlight your solution, creating impressions that stick.

Is your video marketing strategy up to speed? We’d love to hear your story!

Get in touch today: (202) 747-0404

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