Video Storytelling: Not As Hard As It Once Was

I am a firm believer that everything is a story. This likely comes from my undergraduate school experience where I was a Digital Media student. I had a professor who will likely become a Disney historian one day as he often preached the storytelling philosophy of Walt Disney. We even took a trip once where we went to Disneyland and then Disney World (crazy, I know) to study this philosophy first-hand through backstage tours, meetings with Imagineers, and lunches with real Disney historians.

Stories are long or rather they can be. I’m a storyteller myself, so no conversation is short when I’m telling you about an experience or happening. I like details and believe stories move people by evoking a reaction or emotion. For the purpose of my company, I’ve found it most effective when I let the people tell their own story.

One of my favorite expert blog posts came out last year and was written by Alfred Lua on Buffer Social. The blog, entitled 20 Creative Ways to Use Social Media for Storytelling, helped me think strategically about the content I was sharing on my organization’s platforms. One route that I will always advocate for though is trial and error.


Video has become increasingly important and not all that hard to accomplish thanks to smartphones.


Everyone has their own reason to use or not use video, but some of the top reason’s businesses should consider are:

  1. Boosts Sales
  2. Good Return of Investment
  3. Builds Trusts
  4. Increase Exposure in Google Searches
  5. Appeals to Mobile Users
  6. Provides Explanation
  7. Engages “Lazy Buyers”


One of the most common misconceptions of video is that the process is hard and the means to produce are expensive. I’m here to tell you it’s not. There are two components to crafting a production – whether big or small – which are audio and video. It’s been found that a medium quality video can be successful with the pairing of good, clear audio.


Many digital media producers are using their smartphone to capture and produce video, but how can this be done effectively? Professionals with a limited budget or new to the video production process can purchase a smartphone stabilizer and microphone on Amazon for a total of $120. It’s almost impossible to argue to ease of video production with the tools and technology offered today.

Now back to the story. Thanks to upgrades on social media platforms, more time is allowed for you to tell your story. Instagram now allows up to 60 seconds for video content while Twitter can upload up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Facebook allows hours of video content, although longer video content can be a challenge to attract viewers.

We know why to make video, how to make it easy, and specifics of our platforms in terms of what they accept in a video file, but what is the story? What’s amazing about storytelling is that stories are everywhere. Every single person has a story. Every person has an account of where they came from, the experiences that made them who they are today, and the challenges and triumphs along the way. Some stories are more enticing than others, but then again you may be able to find an angle that sets the story apart from others. Even businesses have stories. Tell these stories and let the celebrities of your production take ownership of their video debut.

Here are some examples of success stories from my organization:

Personal Interest

This video turned out to be one of the most engaged of the season on Instagram and Twitter. The simple :20 video is of a softball player at our championship tournament, explaining why there’s a toy snake wrapped around the entrance of their dugout. Turns out it’s the team’s good luck charm after scaring their coach with it numerous times. Luckily for us, the player in the video (Jackie), also has a huge social media following. When we tagged her, she also shared with her viewers and a following of Bowie State University alumni and fans found our platforms to also follow.

Legendary Status

Coach Perkins is a treasure in the CIAA. She’s known for her ability to lead, her compassion, her trailblazing of women in athletics, and also her 7 Coach of the Year Awards. We let Coach Perkins tell her own success story when she received her award, which earned nearly double the hits that we typically receive when we publish a simple graphic of the coach of the year. You can hear her passion for her athletes and the sport of tennis in her voice. These are just things you can’t create artificially.

Call to Action

This is our best engaged video of 2017-18. We utilized student-athletes from all our schools to invite their fans to come out and support them during their games. “We need YOU” was the reoccurring message. The CIAA posts previews and match-up graphics every week, but this first-person invitation was more moving to our viewers. Plus, who is going to say no to our student-athletes? Now, if only we knew which of these viewers actually showed up to the game.


So, next time you have something compelling to share, consider who is telling the story or good news and remember. Each of the CIAA examples above were filmed using a smartphone and smartphone microphone. So also remember, video isn’t as hard as it once seemed.

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