Let me throw a quick scenario at you. You’re an adventure enthusiast looking for the perfect shoes to make your treks comfortable as ever. You have two options to choose from:
1. A big brand name that sells products in fancy packaging worth $$$
2. A brand launched by two long-time trekkers who wanted to design the sturdiest, most stylish, and snug-fit trek shoes for travel junkies like you
If you’re like me, there’s a high chance you’d go for the second brand.
Why? In one word: storytelling.
The second option gives you a story to resonate with and relate to. It convinces you to learn more and (maybe) place an order because the founders have been in the same boat as you. That’s the power of storytelling.
Retailers can tap into this powerful concept to make their marketing campaigns more impactful and effective. When paired with video, storytelling can pay even bigger dividends.
In this article, we’ll discuss four best practices for brands to include storytelling in retailing videos and leave a strong impression on shoppers. We’ll also add examples to inspire your video storytelling efforts.
But first, let’s understand why your retail brand needs a storytelling strategy.
Why do retail brands need storytelling in video marketing?
Savvy shoppers now take every marketing attempt with a grain of salt. They know exactly when they’re being sold to. This makes it more challenging for retailers to reel in potential customers and increase sales.
Enter: visual storytelling. Unlike flashy ads based on past actions, storytelling appeals to shoppers’ emotions and shapes their buying intent. As Marcel puts it, retailers need to find and define a unique brand story to stand out in a swarm of the mainstream, regurgitated marketing content.
Let’s look at the four biggest reasons why retail businesses need to invest in storytelling videos:
Humanize your brand and products: Shoppers are no longer swayed by hefty discounts and fancy websites. They want to learn more about a brand’s value and back story. After all, research shows that people make buying decisions based on emotions more than logic. Storytelling gives your brand a voice and establishes a strong rapport with your target buyers. It helps shoppers feel more connected to human identity.
Create a more memorable impact: The marketing world is noisier than ever before. If you want to stay top-of-mind for your shoppers, giving them something worth remembering is important. This is where storytelling can become a differentiator for retailers. Great video content delivers an immersive experience to inform potential customers about your brand and influence them to purchase.
Earn shoppers’ trust and loyalty: Businesses can cultivate a genuine bond with shoppers and win their trust by including storytelling in retailing video content. Besides increasing sales, storytelling in marketing fosters a positive brand experience and nurtures client loyalty. It convinces potential shoppers to become customers and existing customers to become long-term brand advocates. Bonus, retail brands can also use these videos to nurture a healthy culture within their workforce.
Educate and engage shoppers: Your shoppers are overwhelmed with ads all day long. Mainstream marketing tactics can't stop the scroll and capture their interest. Storytelling adds extra oomph to your video marketing campaigns to grab shoppers’ attention, keep them engaged throughout the buyer journey, and nudge them to take a chance on your brand.
Now that we’ve established why your eCommerce retail brand needs storytelling videos, let’s break down our four best tips on creating video content for conveying your story.
4 proven tips to ace storytelling in your retailing videos (+ examples)
A lot goes into creating the perfect storytelling videos. Without the right strategy, your video marketing budget can go down the drain. We've compiled these four actionable tips with examples to help you create compelling videos and take center stage with your brand story:
1. Outline your brand’s purpose and values
Your brand story finds its true meaning in your brand's purpose and values. These values define what you stand for and add a thoughtful dimension to your video content. So, it's important to consider why your brand exists to determine the essence of your story. Answering these questions will help you narrow down your brand’s purpose and value:
What’s the mission we’re working toward?
What are our biggest values as a business?
What drives us to succeed with this business?
How are we contributing to making the world better?
What difference are we trying to make in shoppers' lives?
Build a deeper brand identity that goes beyond your logo and business name. Consider how you can inspire and rally your target shoppers around your brand. For example, you can be a retailer selling cookware or a retailer selling cookware designed out of your passion for creating unforgettable gastronomical experiences.
Case in point: BioLite
BioLite’s videos perfectly express their purpose and values. In this video, they feature Vince & Wendy, a couple living on a ranch in Colorado. The short video beautifully captures the story of their daily lives to showcase the BioLite HeadLamp in action.
Pro tip: If you've created the perfect video conveying your brand's story, convert it into a shoppable video and drive your sales. Videowise makes it easy to deliver an immersive experience by embedding shoppable videos on your website, social media, emails, QR codes, and more. Here's what iGel Beauty's team achieved in just a week of using Videowise:
"Within just a week since implementing, on-site added time reached 24 hours, and 1034 videos were watched. These are just the starting numbers, and I'm confident Videowise will help us increase exponentially once we analyze further."
— iGel Beauty
2. Understand and tap into the audience's emotions
Emotions are one of the biggest driving factors behind buying decisions. Even if shoppers don’t remember the exact script of your storytelling videos, they’ll remember how they felt after watching this content. So, the goal of your retailing videos should be to provoke an emotional response in the audience—make shoppers feel positive, empowered, inspired, and excited through your story.
This is where it’s critical to identify and categorize your audience properly. You can’t appeal to every shopper’s emotions in a single video.
As a best practice, define your ideal buyers and segment them into different personas. Create different narratives for each persona to give them a relatable story and evoke the best emotional response.
You can also use video editing tactics to present the right moods and themes for your videos. For instance, slow motion with a harsh background score can depict pain, whereas colorful overlays and picture-on-picture effects can add a quirky vibe.
Case in point: Ball and Buck
Ball and Buck, a retail brand selling outdoor adventure products, create mini-films with vintage filter and effects to give viewers a reminiscing experience of the good old days. The protagonists are involved in many adventurous activities, like fishing by the lake in this video, to elicit the emotions and memories of such outdoor adventures.
3. Communicate your story in crisp, clear videos
Have you ever heard stories from a bad storyteller? They ramble on and on about insignificant details instead of quickly getting to the point. They just end up wasting everyone's time. That's what your videos would feel like if you didn't cut them short.
With attention spans getting shorter by the day, it’s important to consider how you deliver your story. Even the most intriguing stories can seem boring if stretched too long—The Irishman is proof!
So, instead of creating a couple of long videos, retailers should capture their stories in several short videos. They can distribute these across channels and maximize reach without putting viewers to sleep. Besides, you can’t cram too much information in these short videos, making it easier for shoppers to get the message.
Case in point: GoPro
GoPro is famous for its short YouTube videos showcasing its products from multiple perspectives. These short videos, like this example, combine on-theme music and visuals to give shoppers the necessary information.
Once you've created a library of short videos, use Videowise to host them across channels and track the ROI from every video. Make your strategy more result-driven and maximize the direct revenue from shoppable videos with complete support from our team, like our client, Fiona Frills.
"We absolutely love the overall look and feel of the app/videos on our site. The shoppable videos make it easy for the customer to buy. The back end is very straightforward to use, and whenever I have questions, the Videowise team is ready to help."
— Fiona Frills
4. Create strong narratives around your products
Humans respond better to stories—research shows that many areas of the brain light up when we listen to a narrative and get reeled into it. Karen Eber, a keynote and TED speaker, explains why storytelling is so powerful for video marketing.
“When you watch a story, your entire brain lights up—each of your lobes will light up as your senses and emotions are engaged. Your brain mirrors the activity of the story as though you’re actually experiencing it in real life. In a way, storytelling gives you a sense of artificial reality.”
As a retailer, you can leverage this scientific fact about the human brain to your advantage by producing video stories spotlighting your products. Instead of enticing shoppers with clever copy and expensive display ads, use the power of storytelling to leave a positive imprint on your target buyers.
Here are a few best practices for effective product video storytelling:
Speak your shoppers’ language to assure them that you understand their aspirations and expectations from your products.
Start by answering why people need your product, then create a sense of urgency by emphasizing the immediate need for it.
Choose the right storytelling structure from the seven universal plots to convey your product’s capabilities in the best possible format.
Case in point: Lulumelon
Lulumelon has always featured real-life stories to inspire shoppers and market their products. In this storytelling campaign, every video narrates a protagonist's empowering story and presents the best features of their shoes too.
You’re ready to craft compelling videos for your retail brand
Your marketing efforts are incomplete without a strong and purpose-driven brand story. This narrative is powerful enough to attract new shoppers and turn them into lifelong brand advocates. It gives people a reason to rally behind your brand and support your mission.
But conveying this story through video is tricky. Your message can get lost in the many moving parts of video production. That’s why we created this quick guide to help you cover all the bases and produce impactful video content.
Don’t forget to convert this content into the shoppable video format with Videowise to give viewers the convenience of placing an order in a few clicks. Book a demo to learn more about Videowise.