Finding the Plot

Online video is in demand. Facebook has been increasingly pushing the use of video within users’ news feeds. Ally that with the fact that people skim read on the internet and it soon becomes clear that if you want to engage with your online audience you need to use video.

4 Pivotal Questions for promotional videos

If you are planning to use video there are some big issues to think through. A good place to start is with four pivotal questions. These questions are so foundational I want to raise them before we get to the substance of this post:

1.       Who is your audience?

2.       What is your message?

3.       What do you want them to feel?

4.       What do you want them to do?

Whether you are trying to attract the right customers, raise funds, recruit new talent, or educate, you need to think yourself clear on why you want a video and what it is intended to achieve.

The deep levels of storytelling

Once you have clarified the audience, purpose, and message of your video you should hold back from doing the obvious – creating a sales pitch (Lights! Camera! Sales pitch!).

If you are creating a promotional video, you need to pause to consider some intrinsic elements of human nature and behaviour. If you want to move people the best way to do it is by crafting a compelling, watchable, story.

Finding the plot

What story do you want to tell?

It is a fact that, once you remove the outward trappings, storytellers keep telling the same kinds of tales over and over again.

In 2004, Christopher Booker wrote a large volume entitled The Seven Basic Plots, which he had worked on for 34 years. He wrote out of a conviction that every story was a retelling of one of seven fundamental storylines:

1.       Overcoming the monster

2.       Rags to riches

3.       The Quest

4.       Voyage and return

5.       Comedy

6.       Tragedy

7.       Rebirth

It’s pretty easy to recognise the telling and retelling of all of these basic plots in familiar books and films. Ancient to modern, and across all cultures, the same seven basic plots appear.

Don’t lose the plot

If you bypass this deeply buried desire to tell stories from the kind of video that you are looking to create you are more than missing an opportunity. You will create something that is stripped of appeal – and something that will fail to move people to action.

Listening to your story

One of the things that we work hard on at Luminous Media is listening. We need to understand our clients. We want to dig deep into the character and personality of your organisation or business to be able to tell your story.

If we are constructing a video we get beneath the surface and draw out the valuable emotional, storied, elements of your people, history, and message.

We are ready to start a conversation with you and to find the right plot to communicate your message.

Want new articles before they get published?

Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

Specialists in charity marketing and PR

We help charities with their PR, branding, and marketing. We understand the third sector and can make a difference with branding, design, video, campaigns, and media training.

Writing: Pure and Simple

Lessons from a senior editor to a junior writer in how to write pure and simple – it’s not just about technical skills, it is also about attitude, focus, and humility.