This is the last post in a three-part series on using storytelling to market your business with video.
The belief that some businesses are too boring for storytelling through video is, perhaps, one of the most insidious misconceptions about video marketing.
You’d be amazed to discover just how many people think their businesses are too stuffy or humdrum for the cameras. Hey, you might actually be among those doubters!
Some of us simply aren’t able to perceive what we do the way others can.
If every film director or documentary maker thought of their subject matter as intrinsically boring, we would never have had Titanic, one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
Let’s be honest, we all knew how that movie was going to end—the ship sank.
It was the story of the forbidden love affair between the characters of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet that made the film riveting, not the weakened rivets in the ship’s hull. No one left the cinema chattering about the gritty technical aspects of the ship’s structural failures. We all wanted to know why Kate didn’t make room for Leo on the floating door!
Yes, there are some businesses where engaging stories are not immediately apparent. If you run a legal, tax or accounting business, you have to put some extra thought into the stories you create. The good news is, however, no business is inherently doomed to being yawn-inducing.
So, if you’re on the fence about whether your business or talent is worthy of video marketing, let’s take a look at the top reasons why the idea of “too boring for video” is a myth.
It’s not about you
Not every story you’d tell at a dinner party would be about yourself (at least it shouldn’t be).
Similarly, when you are using marketing videos to grow your business, not every video needs to focus on your company.
One of our past clients was a national water company. They provide water and sewerage services to homes and businesses. This company wanted to revamp its image and do more public education. The folks there, however, weren’t quite sure where to start. Their thinking was, hey, we’re all about pipe-laying, water processing and aquifers; not exactly scorching stuff, is it?
Well, we were able to convince them they needed to dig deeper and explore how their activities touch the lives of ordinary people and the communities they serve.
Instead of telling the story about the installation of five miles of 60-inch diameter pipelines, we created videos which demonstrated the hope pouring through those pipelines. Children in rural towns no longer have to wake up an hour earlier to collect water from a nearby well before going to school. Families in remote areas could rest easy knowing their drinking water is safe.
Those are the stories people are interested in hearing because it reflects real lives and experiences.
Putting the audience inside your story is a power move that builds a following and brand loyalty. When the stories in your video content are about viewers, not your business, your message will have a natural, magnetic pull.
Why not cut a path in your field?
You have two options.
1/ Stick with the belief that you’re disqualified from storytelling with video because of your industry or business.
2/ Become a pioneer of video marketing in your field.
So, you’ve chosen B. That’s great!
Some of you may be familiar with a television programme called Mad Money. The host talks to the camera like he’s speaking into a hurricane. If he’s not shouting, he’s smashing set props with a baseball bat…and still shouting!
The show is a fiery circus of flying facts and figures coupled with throbbing temple veins and a flurry of on-screen graphics. Amid all the stage-managed commotion, it’s easy to forget the host is ostensibly talking about investments, stocks, bonds and other financial matters.
Finance isn’t exactly riveting stuff for most audiences. The producers and the host of Mad Money, however, bring a turbocharged vision to generally starchy subjects. Granted, that show isn’t for everyone, but the over-the-top host is someone’s breath of fresh air compared with the stuffed shirts over at Bloomberg Business Week.
We’re not suggesting you practice video marketing by going berserk with a sledgehammer or bringing a gasoline canister and a book of matches to your set. There’s no need to be overly-wacky or eccentric.
The larger point is, by finding your unique storytelling voice in an industry considered a bit stale, you immediately give yourself an edge.
Video marketing, to a certain extent, is about distinguishing yourself from competitors. Telling your story with video, while few others in your field are using the medium, is definitely a useful advantage.
Look beyond what you do
Peer past the paper clips, invoices and filling of customer orders. Video content doesn’t always have to catalogue the activities of your company.
It can very well focus on in-house traditions, or better yet, employees who bring a special flair to their work no matter how mundane it may seem.
We work with a client who provides environmental services. Part of their service includes maintenance of public parks and tourist attractions.
In the eyes of their field crews, landscaping work doesn’t exactly put a spring in anyone’s step early in the morning. Except, our client has a field supervisor who breaks the mould. He corrals the crew every sunrise with a short pre-game stand-up comedy routine. Nothing in his shtick would get him a night at the Apollo Theatre or a Netflix special. It’s just some simple, folksy humour that dilutes the mood ahead of a morning of tough work.
While the service the client provides is of tremendous value, it was the unique manner of that field supervisor that made for an excellent video that was a joy to both create and watch. You may very well have one such employee or a standout tradition or production technique that puts a distinctive spin your story as a business.
Rekindle the romance
Many small business owners and entrepreneurs don’t think of what they do as particularly interesting because their perception is shaped by the length of time they’ve been doing it.
Do something long enough and it can seem rather run-of-the-mill or routine.
One way of finding your fire again is by taking a stroll down Customer Review Lane. Re-read some of the positive comments of people you’ve helped with your products or services. Better still, take a look back at your humble beginnings and contrast them with how much you’ve grown since then.
A little candlelight reminder of your early beginnings and accomplishments can go a long way towards stoking those passions once more. In turn, you’ll want to share that enthusiasm through your videos.
Boring for whom?
Maybe it would make sense worrying about your videos being boring if you were just trying to reach random audiences, hoping your content will hit a chord.
Think about a topic you might consider obscure or dull. For instance, go to YouTube and type in ‘knitting for beginners’. Look at the view counts on the more recent videos. While you may not have an interest in knitting, clearly there are others who enjoy the hobby tremendously.
It is a big wide world out there, so you are sure to find a demographic of folks who will find your video content anything but boring.
When you’re trying to spread the word about your products and services, you want to target your communications outreach to audiences most likely to be receptive to what you have to say. As such, you don’t have to worry about being boring because you are targeting a specific audience. This is an audience that likely has an interest in the goods and services your business offers.
When you zoom in on customers interested in what you have to offer, boring doesn’t enter into the equation at all.
Customers NEED your video content
Getting caught up in fears that viewers may think your video content is tedious can blind you to the fact that customers actually need those videos.
There are many companies selling specialist equipment. For example, a business may sell exotic fish and tanks and pumps for saltwater aquariums.
Caring for saltwater fish can be quite challenging. That’s why so many people take it on as a hobby. So, it makes perfect sense to do videos on ocean fish care and tank maintenance.
Never miss out on an opportunity to be the sage, solution-whisperer and chief problem-solver for your customer.
By posting useful instructional videos on your website or sharing your expertise, you become a go-to expert in your field. The customer will remember your name because you share video content that’s helpful to them.
Video as a tool for internal communications
More often than not, when the topic of video marketing comes up, folks talk about distribution across social media networks—Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, et cetera.
Naturally, you want to focus on building bonds with customers. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that you also need to think about internal communications.
Video content is an ideal way to communicate effectively with staffers and employees who are the driving force of your business.
One of the problems many small businesses have is scheduling time for employee training sessions.
Recorded training videos can update employees on new tax compliance procedures, amended safety practices or health and sanitation protocols for kitchen staff in restaurants. That’s just a few applications.
Using video for internal communication makes the best use of the hours in each day as training videos can be viewed by employees as their schedules permit.
Now, this type of content isn’t video marketing in its truest form. However, it makes sense to take full advantage of video to help your business function more effectively. By using video to strengthen the delivery of your products and services, you strengthen the marketing capabilities of your business.
Video provides boundless opportunities
Any business, no matter the service or product, can leverage video to grow opportunities.
The mere fact that you have a business in the first place is proof that there is an interest in the products and services you offer. It is simply a question of tapping into that innate interest by creating video content that reaches your customers.
Sometimes all it takes is a good sit down to have a think about the nature of your business and what it means to customers. Put some thought into how you fit in the marketplace and the minds of your customers and you’ll start to see ideas and angles for videos you’d never imagined before.
So, don’t worry about being boring. Businesses are just like all human relationships: there’s someone for everyone.