Your Local Business Has a Story to Tell

June 12, 2017 David Ferraro

Video Advertising for Local Businesses

Solving Business Challenges with Video (Part 1 of 3)

“The most powerful person in the world is the story teller.”  -Steve Jobs

Perhaps you run a small or medium sized business with more than enough challenges to face in the course of a day. Maybe you find yourself developing leads, making appointments to fill the sales funnel, networking, conducting product demos, working with training and safety/risk management, or working with web consultants to optimize a website. Who has time to take on anything else?

You and your company have a story to tell. But how to get it told, without time or expertise, and where to start?

The good news is that pent-up demand is there: people have an endless appetite for stories.

For tens of thousands of years, since humans first walked the earth, we’ve told stories. Campfire tales are how legends and lore, of gods and myths, have been transmitted for hundreds of generations. We’ve learned that people like to hear stories with a beginning, a middle, and an end. That lend context. That engage our imaginations. And that move us to action.

As business people, don’t we want to move our customers to action? It’s not enough to present facts or bullet points. When we tell people a story, we engage the heart and the imagination. People become open to what we have to say, rather than suspicious of our motives.

Not only has evolution, custom and practice wired our brains to be receptive to stories, research shows us that good stories can activate our brains differently by connecting cause and effect. We navigate a sea of narratives all day long.

In the blog Lifehacker, Leo Widrich cited the differences between hearing facts and hearing stories:

“If we listen to a PowerPoint presentation with boring bullet points, a certain part in the brain gets activated. Scientists call this Broca's area and Wernicke's area. Overall, it hits our language processing parts in the brain, where we decode words into meaning. And nothing else happens.

When we are being told a story, things change dramatically. Not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.”

Good stories engage and put the brain to work. We work to experience the story, to relate it to one of our existing cause and effect relationships to make better sense of it.

 

Talking in terms of the other person’s interests is a key human relations principle. Knowing that, good storytellers assess client needs and objectives and interpret those in terms of the customers’ interests. 

Even though your business may not need or want direct-to-consumer advertising schedule, you still have stories to tell. Such as:

1. INTRODUCE YOURSELF – Do people know about you?  Introduce your organization and tell your story your way.  Have an anniversary or a special event? Your video is the best way to promote it.

 2. CLIENT TESTIMONIALS – One of the best ways to extol the value of your product or service is to let other people tell the story. Testimonials are a powerful, often under-utilized tool that enhances credibility. Adding testimonials to your website or social campaign could possibly be the best add you can make.

3. NON-PROFIT/FUNDRAISING – Many companies support causes or specific charities. A specially produced video will help create awareness and encourage support. One of the things that successful advertising does is get the viewer to feel something. The best videos in this class do this as well, to the benefit of the organization you want to support.

 4. INFORMATIONAL/DEMO – Illustrate a concept or an idea that’s difficult to grasp with just text, or show the features of a product with an “explainer” video.

So what does Video Production Services from Cox Media have to do with good storytelling?

Everything.  Storytelling is the work we do every day.

In today’s media landscape, we often get one chance to make a good first impression. Cox Media’s creative professionals are in the business of creating stories for maximum impact and engagement that deliver for clients. We advise our clients that the story is the foundation upon which a successful advertising campaign is built.

Cox Media’s creative professionals can advise you for maximum effectiveness. 

Check back next week for our next installment, where we’ll explain why quality execution matters, and why connecting information to emotions across media platforms is what Cox Media does best.

 

About the Author

David Ferraro

David Ferraro is Production Manager for Cox Media Virginia, and is responsible for coaching and leading a team of experienced STO. Not surprisingly, his advice includes emphasis on storytelling. His team has earned dozens of awards including the CAB Award of Excellence, Telly and ADDY Awards. David has worked public broadcasting and other media for decades as a producer, director, and creative manager. He takes pride in developing people and helping them extend the limits of their vision. He is also an avid photographer.

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