Social Networking Video Tip: The Power of Serial Storytelling

Are you wasting time and money on dull social web videos? Serial Storytelling videos can give a unique intimacy to your social networking marketing which sales and promo copy, photos even ordinary videos, cannot. The secret is providing adventure and suspense, so that your audience will return to your site for the next exciting episode.

If you are posting text and photos on Facebook or other social networking sites, but no Serial Storytelling video, you might be missing out on an opportunity to engage more effectively, and more profitably, with your audience.

If you use Facebook strictly for personal sharing, you can build stronger online relationships with use of serial storytelling video.

And if your Facebook or other networking site is being used to influence a wider public, for profit or for a favourite cause, you should be using video in ways that makes them want to keep coming back to your Facebook page. That is what Serial Storytelling is designed to do.

What IS Serial Storytelling Video? It is sharing your product, service, or idea as a natural drama, in video installments. We all like a good story, and the essentials of a good story are that it has a beginning, middle, and an end, and we are taken on a suspenseful adventure, which leads from one chapter to another.

Great playwrights, authors, and successful TV producers use Serial Storytelling to keep their audience looking forward to the next scene, to keep them turning the pages, or to keep them turning back in to the next installment. You can do the same by posting your web videos in installments, chapters, or episodes, which take us on a journey.

Serial Video is simply taking your product, service, or idea and making it the ‘hero’ of your story, and giving your audience reason to keep coming back for your next installment or chapter, and to urge others to visit your site.

How It Works

The Journey Think of promoting your product, service, or idea in three chapters, sort of like a three act play. You can include more chapters if you want, but they should play out as part of your ongoing story.

Act One If this were CSI, Act One would introduce a crime. In your case you’ll introduce your product, service, or idea and show us how you thought it up, invented it, or stumbled upon the idea. Tell us what an uphill battle is ahead, and promise to tell us about the drama to come. You have now established your product, service, or idea, given it a dramatic value, and we now have a reason to ‘tune in’ again for the next chapter, which you will automatically send to us a few days later because we have signed up to your mailing list. In the meantime, we are invited to visit other parts of your website where we’ll learn more about what you are promoting. Those other pages are where you’re your promotion or sales copy, or bullet points belong. Keep them away from your three-act play.

Act Two In CSI, the second episode would be the struggle of good over evil, full of twists and turns and suspense. In your social marketing video, Act Two will be about the adventure of discovery, or tough challenges. The main thing is to tell us about the life, the growing pains, and the journey of your product, service, or idea. Think of it as an adventure story, and bring us right up to the make or break point, then leave us wanting to see more.

Act Three This is where we build to the climax. Quickly re-cap, and then push us to the edge of the cliff serial iraniĀ  where you face success or failure. Maybe it’s the fact that your entire product launch depends upon a part that is stuck in a snowstorm, or any one of thousands of other drama points. Then hit us with the climax, the eureka moment, when your product, service, or idea all come together. That is followed by telling us what a success it has been, the happy ending. But wait! Tease us with a promise of more adventures to come.

For Example Let’s say that you are a plumber. You could just stand in front of a video camera and say, “Hi, I’m Paul the Plumber, and I do good work at a fair price. Please visit my website.” Good luck, Paul. He has just bored us. But, if Paul posts a Serial Storytelling video, in instalments, he stands a much better chance of creating a following.

Let’s follow this through Paul’s new episodic video is presented in three parts, each less than three minutes long, running perhaps over a three week period. It rolls out like this:

In part one, Paul is seen arriving on a job, where he discovers a hell of a mess on his hands, so to speak. He shows us how difficult this job is going to be, including some potential surprises. He says he has to break the bad news to the owner of the house. That, he says, is coming up in part two. Paul explains to us that he is a skilled and honest plumber, that’s why he is putting in so much time investigating the problem. And by the way, Facebook Friends are invited to comment on the plumbing crisis he is facing. End of part one.

In part two, Paul begins with a brief re-cap of part one, and now he must face the music with the client. We see the conversation, and the shock of the client. They haggle and plan what to do next. Paul tells us his plan. But he says he’s not sure it will work. Paul tells us that he is in a tight spot, needing to bring the job in on a shoestring budget, and quickly. Yet his pride will not let him to a sloppy job. More suspense, and buzz for Facebook friends. End of part two.

In part three,Paul briefly recaps parts two and three, and we then se the climax. He figures out a way of his crisis and the job is a big success. He talks about lessons learned, and why the client was lucky to have him on the job.

It may well have been that Paul’s story was filmed in only one or two hours. But by dividing it into chapters, and giving it a suspenseful three-act structure, he has given his Facebook or other social networking audience something with which to become emotionally involved. And by spreading the series over a three period, he increases his odds of building buzz. And of course, Paul the Plumber will cross promote his video on Twitter and other platforms.



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