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social media how toDo you use video on your social channels?

Looking for ways to connect with your audience?

Telling stories with video increases engagement, triggers social sharing and gives people a reason to talk about you online and offline.

In this article I’ll highlight eight ways to combine storytelling, video and social media.

use video storytelling in social media

Discover how to use video storytelling in social media marketing.

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#1: Post Stories From Your Customers

On Airbnb‘s Facebook page, the company posts video stories about places around the world, as told by Airbnb hosts. This is a great way to produce engaging and interesting content, and create an emotional connection between your customers and prospects and your company.

Post video stories from your customers to create a personal connection with other viewers.

#2: Create a Fictional Series

Creating a fictional video series is another way to integrate your brand with a story that entertains your audience.

Kate Spade New York created a video series called #missadventure, which it hosts on Facebook, Instagram and on its own website. The series, which stars actress Anna Kendrick, combines the company’s products with an engaging storyline that follows the character’s misadventures in and around a ritzy hotel. And of course, her handbags and accessories are from Kate Spade.

Create a fictional series to promote your brand while you entertain your audience at the same time.

You don’t have to hire a professional actor to produce a fictional video series, but decent acting and a compelling story definitely go a long way.

#3: Tell Personal Stories

Gary Vaynerchuk is known for stories and video from his Wine Library TV days, and he’s always innovating in the online video space (including his recent experiments with Meerkat).

On Facebook, he regularly posts videos that include personal stories as a way to connect with his audience. His videos motivate viewers and teach important, hard-won lessons about entrepreneurship and marketing.

gary vaynerchuk video post on facebook

Use video to tell your personal stories that connect with your audience.

#4: Shoot Documentary-Style Video

Another way to tell stories with video is to shoot in a documentary style. This can be a short documentary video or a series of true stories about something that would interest your audience.

Chipotle created a documentary-style video series around Major League Soccer, featuring Harry Shipp of the Chicago Fire.

Shoot a documentary-style video to tell a story that will interest your viewers.

Documentary-style video can be very intriguing, and it doesn’t have to involve a star. It can feature anyone who is involved in something of interest to your audience.

#5: Interview Guests

An interview or video podcast is a great way to draw out stories from industry thought leaders, customers or partners. Michael Hyatt posts portions of his video podcast interviews on his Facebook page as teasers.

michael hyatt video post

Do a video interview or podcast with influential people in your industry your viewers want to learn more about.

Video interviews don’t require a big budget. Just make sure you have good questions and an engaging guest.

#6: Take Viewers Behind the Scenes

People love to see “how the sausage is made.” Behind-the-scenes videos work for businesses that sell services (for example, show how your company creates a social media strategy) and products (see the example below).

Ed Sbragia, an internationally recognized winemaker, tells the story of a wine set in the barrel room. The video is short and inexpensively made, but this is the kind of content that engages viewers.

sbragia video post

Give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at an intriguing aspect of your business.

If you’re interested in giving viewers a peek at your business, look for natural storytellers on your team who can get in front of the camera and tell stories.

#7: Create Animated Stories

Another option for social videos is to develop an animated story, similar to what Chipotle has been doing with its video series Back to the Start and The Scarecrow.

You could hire a video production company that specializes in animation, but there are also a number of tools you can use to create animated videos, including GoAnimate, Powtoon and MakeWebVideo.

Tell a compelling story through animation.

#8: Show Viewers How to Do Something

The Home Depot does a great job of telling project-related stories from the customer’s point of view. In this video, Caitlin takes viewers through her project from start to finish and provides visuals to go with her story.

home depot video on facebook

Show viewers how to complete a project.

Seeing people accomplish their goals will inspire many of your viewers. Your videos can teach them how to do a project and highlight the tools they’ll need to gather to do the job.

Other Stories to Tell With Video

There are a lot of interesting ways to integrate storytelling into your social videos. In addition to those featured above, here are some other stories that are well suited for video:

  • Create a single video or a series of videos to highlight humorous situations related to your business or industry.
  • If your company’s beginnings would make an interesting story, have the founder tell that story on video.
  • Are your employees involved in interesting activities or challenges? Consider featuring those stories in your social videos.
  • Tell a fictional but realistic story on video to educate viewers about your industry.
  • Find a way to combine reality TV–style video with something relevant to your audience.

Over to You

According to the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 72% of marketers plan to use more video in their social channels. What types of videos will get the attention of your audience? Creating videos that tell stories is a powerful way to connect with your audience on an emotional level and increase engagement with your content.

Although the examples in this article focus on Facebook, you can apply many of these ideas to other social media platforms, as well as to your blog.

What do you think? Have you integrated video storytelling into your social media marketing efforts? Do you have other ideas for telling stories in your videos? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

how to use video storytelling in social media

Tips for using video storytelling in your social media marketing.

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  • Excellent ideas. I have a client that is a lawyer but one of the nicest guys you will meet. So I shot several videos of him talking about his passion to help his clients. It gives you a good idea of who he is and separates him from others in his area of specialty.

  • @kylongustin:disqus. Great example. Similar to your example, I interviewed a waterproofer who used video marketing to dominate his geographic area and it was a great way to educate as well as to build trust. Thanks for the comment!

  • sade

    Currently planning an audio-visual storytelling strategy for a B2B client (a subsea diving outfit). Your ideas are spot on, Tom. Thank you

  • Thanks @disqus_dZ6dLnoQXW:disqus. Good luck with your strategy!

  • Isabel Fuentealba

    These are fantastic tips. when I bring up videos to a lot of my home services clients they seem to go completely blank. I would like to start video taping them and take the initiative myself but I’m not sure what kind of additional rate I should be charging for going out to their business or to a job site. Any suggestions would be great !

  • Anton Eliasson

    Great post, Tom, video really is the new frontier for marketers, and it will really separate the wheat from the chaff. There are so many ways to use video marketing, everything from product videos on websites to boost conversion rates to highly engaging social videos. At Shakr we’re trying to give SMBs the chance to make great video ads and product videos easily but there is so much scope in video marketing that it really only is the imagination that limits you!

  • Isabel. Sometimes you have to take the initiative (and do a little extra for free). I did that for some of my clients. I’d shoot short videos to include on their YouTube channel and blog. You can prove the value, get practice, give the clients some extra content and have something for your portfolio. Give it a shot!

  • Agreed @antoneliasson:disqus. There’s only so far you can go with written content and visuals. Video creates a whole new dimension and doesn’t have to be high production to have an impact.

  • Many thanks for the tips for creating different types of video.. I just have to break my fear or creating video 😛 Any tips for me if I want to start of by telling my own personal story?

    Thank you!

  • Anton Eliasson

    That’s right @rightmix:disqus, marketers shouldn’t obsess about being perfect, it all depends on who you are, what your brand voice is and what target audience you have.

  • Jackson. It depends on how your story ties into your business. If your story can teach lessons that are valuable or inspire your audience, I would try to weave those lessons or inspirational aspects into it. Some people need to find more motivation and your story can help them find it.

  • Awesome real life example. Thank you for the tip.

  • Megan Kellar

    I just had a discussion about this today with my boss. We need to expand what types of content we use to market and thinking about doing videos. Its good to see so many different examples we can think about.

  • Lilach Bullock

    Fantastic article Tom. Storytelling is a vital ingredient to all content and you’ve included some excellent examples of how it can be applied within video marketing. We’re a huge fan of GoAnimate too 🙂

  • I’m glad that you found the examples helpful @megankellar:disqus! Good luck with your strategy.

  • Thanks Lilach. Yes – people can create video from the ground up or use tools like GoAnimate to get started or to add a different type of video to their marketing mix.

  • Kathy

    I w­ork fr­om co­mf­ort of m­y hom­e, doi­ng som­e sim­ple jobs that only requ­ires from you a PC an­d int­ernet acc­ess and I a­m so ha­ppy with it… It’s be­en si­x mont­hs si­nce i star­ted thi­s a­nd i ear­ned so fa­r in tot­al $36k… Ba­sic­ly i m­ake abou­t 80 buc­ks eve­ry h­our an­d w­ork f­or t­hree to fo­ur ho­urs dai­ly.An­d the be­st part ab­out it is th­at y­ou ca­n deter­mine yo­ur own wor­king h­ours and yo­u ge­t pai­d at the en­d of ea­ch wee­k

  • Good ideas!

    As a screenwriter, I love incorporating video into social media. Not only do I get practice filming (I know it’s on a smartphone), but I get to tell/show a story that can make an impact on the audience.

    Next week, the animal shelter I volunteer with is having a Summer Fair. Since I’m the communications co-chair and handle their social media, I’ve been brainstorming for ideas. I approached the president with the idea of doing a ‘street team’ theme for the event. I’ll approach guests and ask them random questions. Of course, I’ll need their permission to upload to the social networks, but I don’t think it will be a problem.

  • I agree with you Amandah that each video is another opportunity to practice and refine your (or your team’s skills). We’re doing the same where I work – getting better with each new video. Good luck with the ‘street team’ videos!

  • Kelly Burke

    Great content! Applicable and so important! Relating to the target audience through storytelling has always been one of our main goals, it’s huge for direct response tv. Thanks for all the great examples, enjoyed reading and learning!

  • This is exactly what I tell my clients. Hands down this article nicely sums up what Social Media is all about! Well done!

  • Thanks Kelly – I appreciate your comment!

  • Thanks @ed_troxell:disqus and I’m glad it resonated with you!

  • Laura Hamilton

    Great Tips – Thanks for sharing

  • Very nice article. We actually specialize in video storytelling at APZmedia. Nice examples as well @rightmix:disqus, feel free to browse our case studies for more input.