What’s Your Story? Ready. Set. Go!

David Saggio

At some point we are compelled to tell our story. We may be asked or we may be openly trying to share it. Our story may be about our careers or expertise, our lives and challenges, or, as professional communicators, the brand or company we represent. Telling stories is what we do.

Often times we have to articulate that story swiftly and concisely to a very preoccupied audience (the proverbial elevator pitch). That’s why the proliferation of online video bodes well for those of us who earn our living telling stories.

Image from Sam Greenhalgh used under CC license.

Movies and television permeate our lives, but when you look deeper at the numbers, it is still staggering the impact video is having on all of us. Conservative estimates put 80% of all Internet content in the form of video by 2017; that content is 1200% more effective than text and links and it drives action with 800% more conversion. In the business world, video has become a critical information source for senior executives with 3 out of 4 watching business-related videos at least weekly and over half viewing them on YouTube. The social element for senior executives is especially strong as 50+% share videos weekly.

With these types of figures video should - no - needs to be a key component of any organization’s communications strategy. From creative short-form pieces (Caterpillar takes backhoes and forklifts to a whole new level, Intel fights a good fight, GE introduces a product line and Western Union moves money better), to long-form branded documentaries (see Pantene’s “Beautiful Lengths”) there are many ways your story can move beyond the obligatory talking head corporate video. These are just a few examples of how brand can be conveyed in a memorable moment, turning viewers into advocates through reaction and sharing.

This ability to drive action and deliver consistency of story - no matter the channel - plays in perfectly with the elusive connected customer experience. Video provides a form that we can fill with information and emotion, immersing the audience in an experience, not just a message. Delivering this experience across the digital eco-system creates a consistent and connected interaction point for customers on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, your site, email, text, on mobile, via a tablet, etc. – anywhere they live online. For you, the ROI of video increases with each view and channel. It’s not one video, it’s 3000 interactions! And speaking of ROI, you don’t need to have a Hollywood budget to accomplish this. There’s a long-held belief you need multi-hundred thousand-dollar productions to be effective, but video can be part of any marketing budget if its purpose and expectations are well defined. The magic is in the storytelling, not the dollars spent.

More and more I’m having the conversation with clients that PR is more than just getting coverage, it’s about creating the moment that gets coverage. Video is that moment.

If you’re interested in talking about what your moment can be, you can reach me at dsaggio@pancomm.com.

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