Why Video Storytelling Is the Cheapest Way to Blow Your Budget

Video Storytelling is the Unicorn of Content Strategy

Is episodic video content cheap?

There are two answers to this question. Both are true.

The first answer is, no. It’s not.

The upfront cost is an investment. You’re buying strategy and a story that’s custom, beautiful, and narrative. Plenty of time goes into planning that story.

A skilled writer will craft the script. A production team will map out the shoots and locations. Your crew will need the right cameras, lighting, and sound equipment. In the cutting room, you’ll have hours in editing to stitch together a compelling story.

Getting all of this right requires experience, talent, and creativity. And if you’ve hired an agency in the past, you know this isn’t cheap.

Focus on episodic content. Get maximum mileage from videos that deliver dozens of content bites and nurture an organic audience over time.
- Video storytelling is the unicorn of content strategy.

But the other answer is YES, a million times over, YES.

Video storytelling is hands-down the most efficient form of content marketing you can create.

Let me explain.

One 10 minute episode will deliver dozens of content bites that ultimately become an organic, qualified lead generation tool. It’s the unicorn of content strategy.

Everything begins and ends with a well-crafted strategy.

First, identify the story.

While internal politics might sway you to tell a story about your business, RESIST! Your audience cannot, I repeat, cannot stomach one more company yammering on about customer history, product features and benefits, or “better-than” statements.

Instead, make your customer the star. Literally.

Take your cues from great literature—find a relatable main character (a very happy client). Make that customer look like the star they are. Let them share their experience, struggles, and worries. Take the audience on a journey alongside your star, and—along the way—prove your expertise, trustworthiness, and skill.

Share-worthy content

Your customer will be a star. And stars love to share their work. Every piece of content you release will entice your customer (and their network) to share it further. Your story will be told not only to your client-base, but  also to a look-alike audience.

Every good story has a great plot.

Make sure to introduce the primary elements of a well-crafted plot.

  1. Exposition: Set up the main character, the setting, and the problems facing the character.
  2. Rising action: Set up a series of events that builds conflict. Use tension or excitement in your story to engage viewers and make your star relatable.
  3. Climax: Create a turning point. It’s time for peak emotion. Leave your audience wondering how the story will resolve.
  4. Falling action: Wind up the story with solutions.
  5. Resolution: Tie that story up with a bow because you’ve just led your audience on a satisfying journey.

Now that you have your story, plan your shots with the end in mind.

You’re not trying to sell a show, after all. The goal is to drive qualified leads and create an organic audience. Ensure you get plenty of B-roll, interviews, aerial footage, and high-quality stills. Production costs can be significant, so use that time wisely.

Does your organization have multiple divisions? No problem.

Find a way to weave all aspects of your business into the story. Hit different angles. Swerve a little from your star’s story to make sure you get a little bit of content that makes every division shine. (This is the extra love that ensures internal politics stay in check.)

The magic of the cutting room floor.

Absolutely nothing should go to waste here. Every spare bit of footage can be parsed out into useful content bites. Create different bumpers to highlight those different divisions. Cut down sound bites and interviews for every conceivable use.

Episode Flowchart

One episode. Dozens of content bites.

  • Social teasers
  • Email promos
  • Full episode release
  • Feature cuts for the website
  • Use in PR/media outreach
  • TV advertising spots
  • Radio spots
  • Audio cuts for podcast episodes
  • 10-20 social media posts that drip the story over time
  • Multiple marketing emails sent to current and look-alike customers
  • Cuts to be used at live events and webinars
  • Still photographs and dialogue can be transformed into print pieces that showcase customer stories.

Now, envision releasing 4-5 episodes per year. You’re on your way to a robust content strategy that only gains traction over time. You’re ensuring customer loyalty and proving your status as a trusted expert in the field.

By breaking your budget on video storytelling—you’ve just crafted the cheapest, most efficient form of content there is.

You look like a rockstar.

Your customer shines.

And leads are rolling in.