Video Fizzle Mistake #3:
Videos that Lack Compelling Story Telling


Young photographer girl shooting photography icons

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make in creating video happens in the content planning phases.

In video vlogs, a common mistake is that the subject rambles on without a clear structure or story in their content.  While a vlog doesn’t need to be highly scripted, it’s important to plan your talking points before you start filming, keep your content focused and concise, and tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Even James Wedmore, Video Maverick and YouTube King Extraordinaire says he scripts all of his content before each YouTube video, and that the script writing often takes him up to 10 hours per video.  He writes his content carefully with a specific goal for where he wants to lead his audience.  James knows the power of good storytelling and how important it is to engage your audience from the beginning through the end of the video.

Another mistake found in business videos is where the company shares only the facts and does not engage the audience in a compelling story.

It’s essential to tell a powerful story and not just deliver facts and opinions. A well-told story should create an experience for the viewer that takes them on a transformational journey.  A powerful story will engage your audience emotionally – not just intellectually. You want to reach both their hearts and their minds to get them on board with you.

Story is what brings dry facts to life. We are able to learn from another’s experience and empathize with their situation.  Story takes the  “what happened” and gives us an experience of it. An audience may not remember the facts, but they will remember a well-told story.

We are wired for stories at a very early age, beginning with fairy tales, then graduating to children’s shows, and then on to movies and TV for adults.

 “Follow the Frog”, a video produced for Rainforest Alliance is an example of a video with powerful story telling.  The protagonist is presented as funny and relatable. We are immediately brought into the subject’s world,  and we want to find out what happens to him.  The story is told in such a way that we take the journey with the protagonist.

Example of a Video with Compelling Storytelling

This video was written and produced by Max Joseph.  It was winner of the DoGooders Video Award for 2013 and received media praise, big PR, $3,500 in prizes from Cisco, and a place on the YouTube Spotlight. It also has almost 4 million views to date – 3,979,076 views at the time of this article. That’s the power of great storytelling.

When you craft your content, ask yourself if there is a story that illustrates the point. Then decide how this story will be told, such as through a script with actors, interviews, testimonials, supporting images and/or b-roll.

What are the videos you’ve seen that have captivated you with great storytelling?  Have any of them won you over to being a loyal fan of the brand?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

If you need support in creating an engaging brand story for your video that converts your audience to being raving fans of your brand, please contact us at michelle@mlangemedia.com to learn more about our content development and content writing services.

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Comments & Responses

2 Responses so far.

  1. chris yonker says:

    Great points here. There is a lot of noise out in the world of written and media blogs. I myself need to spend more time planning and scripting my own video blogs. Thanks for the solid advice Michelle.

  2. michellelange07 says:

    Thank you Chris! I’ve been studying what makes a video go viral and for scripted video, great story telling is definitely a key factor as is eliciting strong emotions whether it’s laughter, disgust, nostalgia, and surprise. I was taken by James Wedmore saying he spends up to 10 hours scripting content for a single video. That was inspiring!

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