Digital Marketing, Online Video

The power of storytelling

In his 2011 book, Sapiens, Yuval Harari suggests the reason that homo sapiens is the dominant species on earth is because “we are the only animal that can cooperate flexibly in large numbers”, and the thing that allows us do that, he says, is our ability to tell each other stories.

“We cooperate effectively with strangers because we believe in things like gods, nations, money and human rights,” he writes. “Yet none of these things exists outside the stories that people invent and tell one another.”

Stories have the power to change everything, from the way we view the world to the way we see ourselves.

I recently attended a workshop held by the Scottish Documentary Institute, where I heard a producer with more than 30 years experience in film and TV advise documentary makers to aim for “emotion over information”. Avoid specialists, find characters, find humanity and humility, they suggested, and the film will be more engaging.

It’s advice that could equally be applied to online video. For organisations or brands, engaging audiences means finding a compelling story to draw them in.

It doesn’t need to be a Hollywood blockbuster – it could be a talking head or a 30 second Instagram spot – but thinking about the audience, the central character, and the narrative arc, will make it more likely that people will pay attention and engage with the message.

To find out more about how Fat Toad Films can help you with video production for your organisation, please get in touch.