Animation of Video Storytelling Components

Design Anatomy 101: Video Storytelling

Video is a “must” for your promotions toolbox. Video builds trust with customers while keeping them entertained. One of the most engaging ways to capture an audience is through video, where your story—framed by music and a call-to-action—comes to life. Video marketing not only has been proven to build brand awareness and generate traffic from search engines and video sites, but on social media sites as well.

Although many marketing budgets have been cut or greatly reduced post-COVID-19, the good news is that video’s ability to influence your target market is unbeatable.  Whether you’re advertising a product or service, raising brand awareness, or just looking to entertain, great videos can come together in five simple steps:

1. Planning

2. Set the Tone

3. Storyboarding

4. Watching Critically

5. Sharing

Video Outline

1. Planning

What needs to be communicated?

These questions will help drive the creation of your compelling story. Our client, the National League for Nursing (NLN) wanted to: showcase the rich history of the Foundation for Nursing, celebrate nurses during 2020’s Year of the Nurse, and compel donors to continue their generous support. Eyedea helped the client develop the written content that would appear in the video.

TIP: Keep in mind the fundamentals of storytelling is to create a smooth flow of action: the characters, setting, plot or conflict, climax and resolution.

2. Set the Tone

What do you want the viewer to feel?

Use the music selection, imagery and speed of the transitions to set the stage for your story. Consider your target audience and keep it aligned with your brand identity.

Looking for something heartfelt and hopeful? Select mid-tempo music using classic instruments that gradually rises. Imagery should appear as authentic live-action footage with natural lighting. An entertaining, funny story, on the other hand, may include upbeat music with bright live-action and/or animated sequences in a fast tempo, punctuated with comedic timing.

At this point in the creative process, you will want to determine whether you will use a voiceover, text-on-screen or a combination of both.

Storyboard of Video Story and Imagery

3. Storyboard

How will the content translate to video?

Compile the assets into a rough storyboard, a sequence of planned shots with footage, directions and dialogue. Keep your music in mind as you sync the footage and allow enough time for on-screen words to be read by slower readers. As you get towards the end, consider how all the events will effortlessly lead up to the call-to-action. As your story closes, this is where your logo will shine; typically, with your URL, social media handles (or hashtags). These should be the last items on the screen for your viewer to remember.

4. Watch Critically

Ask yourself these questions each time you watch (and watch, and watch…)

  • Is there a clear beginning, middle, and end?
  • Is the story logical?
  • Is the story relevant to the call-to-action?
  • Is the story relevant to your audience?
  • Does the emotion match the story and your brand identity?
  • Are the transitions timed naturally with the music?

5. Share Your Story

Where do you want your story told? Where are the viewers that will share your story?

Not all social media platforms are created equal. A story that gets great reception on LinkedIn may not work as well on Facebook. Consider any partners that may share your story on your behalf, and any websites your target audience may frequent. If the main plot line of your story is your brand message, consider a home for it on your own website as well. Be sure to let your designer know where you plan to share the video so they can export the final video to the best format(s).

The Video Storytelling example we included is recent work Eyedea completed in cooperation with National League for Nursing.