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5 steps for strategic storytelling in video production

4.2.24 / By Connor Dixon-Schwabl

“Your brand’s videos are boring.” You might not hear your audience say these exact words, but if you’re in the habit of churning out videos without changing your formula or considering a strategy, I’ll bet they’re thinking it.

As part of our 2023 recap, I touched on the idea of strategic storytelling and how every brand needs to be mindful of it. To get us all on the same page, the idea stemmed from a shift in conversations surrounding video and the ways brands are leveraging it. Although video still reigns supreme, it’s easy to let the status quo sneak its way into a production. Legacy approaches overtaking new ideas, cliches beating out originality—all of it needs to be thrown out, but sometimes that’s easier said than done.

That said, there are a couple red flags we all should be watching out for:

  1. Your next video is using the exact same approach you took last year.
  2. Your conversation starts with solving logistics and how you’ll get the video done.

If you encounter either of these warning signs, you’ll need to stop and start again. I’ll admit I found it challenging to adopt this mentality—painful, even. My producer mind jumps immediately into logistics, efficiencies and problem solving for how the video will be done. There of course will be a time and place for that, but it may surprise you where that falls into sequence.

So what should come first? How do you approach a production in a way that best serves your target audience? Strategic storytelling, that’s how. By rethinking how we handle videos and studio productions, we can tell more meaningful stories without sacrificing efficiencies (which warms my Type A heart).

To properly embrace strategic storytelling, follow these five steps:

  1. What story are we telling? What feeling does this story create and why?
  2. Who are we telling it to and why?
  3. Where in your overarching brand strategy does this fall?
  4. How can we tell it?
  5. When does it need to be told?

If you’re anything like me, you should know the first three can take a few meetings to sort out. But trust me when I say that patience goes a long way in doing right by your brand.

Looking to revamp your approach to videos or even just talk more about strategic storytelling? I’m your guy. Drop me a note and we’ll get a conversation going.

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Connor Dixon-Schwabl

Connor tells stories that spark genuine human connection, and in his 10+ years at DS+CO, he’s nurtured our studio team into ADDY and Telly award-winning storytellers who make an impact. His work reflects his personal and professional approach to solving problems, creating opportunities and making a difference. Connor earned his master’s degree in strategic marketing, has built two successful local businesses, is a Forty Under 40 honoree and sits on the board of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, where he helped found the organization’s Red Tie Society.