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Today, you don’t need a big video production team and expensive camera equipment to capture viewers for videotelling.  Smartphone technology and video production apps have made it even more affordable to tell your organization’s story.  Although, it is great if you do have funds to budget for the professionals.  Sometimes, life just happens and those on the frontline are able to capture it in great videos that can be turned into a storytelling video (aka videotelling). You just can’t plan for real life footage.

#1 Stick to Short Persuasive Storyboard.

The formula for persuasive writing has been around forever. It is how our brains think.  Use it in writing or in video.  It works. YouTube channels are filled with 7+ minute videos of a speaker preaching to their viewers on who “we” are at the organization. Then there are the long videos with multiple inserts of great footage lost in a long time stamp.  Yet, the short 0:60 to 0:90 second videos that capture something totally unplanned positioned in a classic persuasive storyboard have the highest views.

#2 Capture Emotion Quick

Capture emotion as quick as possible. Yup, the average adult has an 8 second attention span. It is important to engage them in that short time frame.  Show them the satisfaction of using a product. Show them the appreciation of the charity recipient. Show them the eyes of that lost puppy.  Whatever it is, get to the point quick, then tell the story and pull out the emotion.  Emotions can be funny, sad, empathetic, and more.

#3 One Feature

Try to focus on one or two feature individuals versus a large audience.  Although a large audience of people are impacted in a flood or crowd experience, individuals relate with one individual the most. Stories can be anywhere in the world; the stories positioned to be relatable to the viewer resonate most.

#4 Provide a Call to Action

Now that you have their interest, what do you want your viewer to do?  Share, give, attend…what? Provide a tiny URL so they can follow-up with you.  Give a short number to text.  Whatever response method you decide, provide it.

#5 Build a Library

So many video opportunities are missed by not being ready.  For example, brides provide signs on their reception tables asking guests to share their photos and videos on a specific Instagram or Facebook account of the event. Volunteers are helping great causes and are right there making good.  Use your network.  Go ahead, ask your entire team to record some videos when they are on the front line.  (Just remind them to record in the landscape mode and not to turn their phone while recording. Videos are intended to fit on a monitor; therefore, horizontal is best.)  Finally, archive all this footage.  This years stories can be used in next year’s campaigns; provide an update on the story.  People love “before and after” stories!


Here are some more great tips on making your own videotelling.

More Storytelling Tips – Classy.org