Video Storytelling: Proof Is In The Prospects

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Storytelling is far more than a buzzword. It’s quite simply the foundation of a quality communications strategy. And good video storytelling as a tactic trumps fancy graphics, special effects, and without a doubt… it trumps facts and figures.

We’re pretty fortunate to have some amazing clients who work in PR and marketing. They are communications experts, and one of them asked us to produce two sets of videos. One on public speaking techniques and another that’s all about… trumpets, please… storytelling! Hard to pass-up that project, and it turned out to be a perfect case study business leaders can learn from.

Meet the client

Rob Biesenbach has turned his passion for communications and acting into a whole new career for himself. He provides creative ways to engage employees and customers, and turn boring presentations into something an audience will remember. When it came to promoting himself, he knew he needed video support.

“For professional speakers, it’s absolutely essential to have video so potential clients can see you in action,” said Biesenbach. “My ultimate goal for the videos is get more business. On the path to that, the goals are to get people engaged with my website, provide some education on how to be a better communicator, and give people a glimpse into who I am — my personality and style. Other than appearing in person, video is the #1 way to do that.”

Photo courtesy: Twitter (@RobBiesenbach)

Photo courtesy: Twitter (@RobBiesenbach)

Know your audience

Understanding the need for video is one thing, I also love the way he wanted to cater to his audience.

For example, knowing his viewers want to see him at work, he decided on a style that comes off  with an almost “live on video” feel. In other words, he wanted some editing but he didn’t want the finished video to feel like it was edited… just professional. He wanted the videos to be something that represents what he’s truly like presenting in front of a group.

Next, he didn’t want to present himself in a sales-y way. Each clip simply has his take on various subjects relating to his field. They do a great job of promoting him as a speaker and the content you’ll find in his books, but it doesn’t hit viewers over the head with it.

“I use video on my (web) site to illustrate lessons from my books,” said Biesenbach. “Many authors actually do ‘book trailers’ like you see for movies to promote their books. Since I’m a speaker, I do quick snapshot lessons from my speeches for that purpose.”

 SIDE NOTE: to see the book trailer approach, check out another client… Gini Dietrich. VIDEO: Spin Sucks the Book

Video storytelling across multiple platforms

Now that the series is complete, Rob is doing something else I advocate with many clients, getting multiple uses out of their video.

His original motivation for the series may have been to allow potential clients to see him in action at his website, but Rob is also using the videos in his content marketing campaign. I was happy to see one of the videos pop-up in a recent blog posts.

DIY vs. Pro

On top of everything, Rob gets kudos for an easily overlooked aspect of the videos. He asked for help. Rob previously had students help him, but he finally reached a point where that wasn’t good enough.

“Buyers expect to see quality. People will judge my professionalism based on the visual and sound quality of my videos,” said Biesenbach. “But in addition to the technical aspects, hiring a pro means getting a reliable partner. Someone you can bounce ideas off of and get their judgment and informed feedback on content and editing choices.”

Video Storytelling: Proof Is In The ProspectsProof is in the prospects

The best part of all of this… the videos are working.

“I know they have. People who have never seen me speak hire me partly on the basis of what they see in the videos,” said Biesenbach.

I guess that’s the bottom line, right? Marketing is all about helping bring in new business, so it’s great to see when a marketing tactic really makes a difference.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau - T60 ProductionsTony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 17 Telly Awards for its work.

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[…] a camera-phone world, there is still a time and place for a professionally shot and edited video. But on occasion, a DIY approach is good enough — and even […]