Tom Foremski maintains that every company today must be a media company. I believe that to be true, but I also think it’s more fundamental than that. Every company must be good at telling stories in the world of new media. If content is king, stories are queen. We know who wields the power!
All great marketing requires great storytelling. The best stories connect viscerally and humanize. Organizations that successfully tell compelling, authentic, even humorous stories about products, customers, about their values and employees, and, in turn, embrace the narratives of their stakeholders, will be the victors in the changing world of new media. And aiding marketers in telling their stories better is online video.
If every company must be a storytelling company, every company should have a video storytelling strategy. It’s especially important in B2B where video storytelling has the ability to add a much-needed authentic human dimension to company communications. With video storytelling, success is often not about production values or huge budget. A Flip camera, for example, is inexpensive and video technology is ubiquitous (in cell phones and smart phones, among other devices). Video success today is not about PR talking points, or a factual analysis of features and benefits. The element of human interest matters most; it’s the basis for any great story as every journalist using social media knows. That hasn’t changed. It’s just that video today allows for better, richer and more nuanced storytelling than with traditional media.
Today, online video allows for meaningful two-way dialogue. Unlike traditional media, video storytelling often involves real customers in the story and in the process – that is customers can appear in company videos and they can produce their own videos about the company. Today, consumers don’t want to just view company content – they want to make their own. They want to be part of the story. There’s a back and forth that changes the direction and tone of the company’s narrative to the outside world. Video changes the narrative from a “brand” dimension to one that is multi-layered. If you know your customer is using video to tell their story about your organization, you have to be engaged in that conversation.