Would you successfully understand a message if you were trying to follow a story pieced together by several different voices, images, and lines of text? You might make out the narrative, but it will have been a difficult and frustrating endeavor. Ultimately, you might feel that it wasn’t worth the effort. As an organization creating a video for your target audience, the last thing you want is to lose a viewer’s interest due to a confusing narrative.
Many organizations experience unsatisfactory results from their videos, but don’t understand the cause of the problem. During my years of experience as a video marketing professional, the first question I’ve asked is whether there is a clear narrative. If you aren’t sure of the answer, below are some tips for identifying challenges with your narrative and building a better one.
The Dangers of a Confusing Narrative
The most successful video is one that leaves no chances for doubt or confusion. Your video should have a clear message and story arc. Many times, you’ll need to introduce several people, add in a few digressions, and make points to build an argument. It’s important to be very clear from the start about these elements and how they will flow together.
As an organization investing money and time into video production, you shouldn’t go any further in the process until you’ve identified your narrative and how to communicate it. Otherwise, you’ll lose viewers along the way and won’t successfully transfer prospects to the next step in your funnel. In other words, you’ll not only leave money on the table but waste it on a video that fails to capture leads, improve brand awareness, and generate income. An easy way to learn if your video is successful or not is to assess your analytics.
Building a Strong Narrative That Gets Results
As a professional videographer, I urge organizations to prioritize high-quality equipment, but I know that this equipment means nothing if it is not used in conjunction with smart pre-production story planning. When producing a video, the story is built using techniques like voiceovers, testimonials, interviews, motion graphics, and text. All of these tools are powerful, but in combination with each other, they can be your biggest downfall. Further, using them without a clear intention can be just as harmful.
The 80/20 Rule
The best way to avoid a confusing narrative is to pick one primary narrative technique. If you must use more than one, then it’s important to follow the 80/20 rule. For example, it’s common for videos to use a strong narrative voiceover that is supplemented by some interviews or text. This method can be powerful, but only if it is well-planned and done in moderation. Make sure your primary narrative technique makes up about 80% of the narrative.
Keeping Intention in Mind
In addition to using narrative techniques in moderation, you should also make sure you have a strong intention behind using the techniques you choose. If you want to use a voiceover, text, motion graphics, or testimonials, make sure you can answer the question, “Why am I choosing this technique?”
If you can justify your choice with a solid answer, then you have a much better chance of building a strong narrative that your viewers will understand and feel moved to take action. Having a strong answer to this question means that you understand your story and message fully and will communicate it well to your audience. It also means that you’ll be able to finish with a strong call to action, which ultimately makes or breaks the success of the video within your funnel.
If you have any more questions about using narrative in your video, contact Monzo Media Productions.