Ammon secret intro

5 Secrets to Effective Brand Storytelling

SHHHHHH! Turn your volume down. We’re about to let you in on the five top secrets for awesome brand storytelling.

The day has come. This is the last piece to our storytelling puzzle. Before we part ways and roll the credits on our series, we want to let all of you in on the five secrets to set your brand story apart from the rest. If you haven’t seen the rest of the series, check out our previous, some might say magical, installments.

Secret 1: Understand the Core of Storytelling

 

To tell a great story, first you have to understand what makes a great story. Do your research, know your stuff. Watch films or read books, find what captures your attention and why. Learn how to properly create a structure for your story. Luckily, Blueforest studios already has set you up with a few resources to get the ball rolling.

Secret 2: Find Your Own Story First

If you’re going to tell your brand story, you have to find your own story first. What do you value? What led you to this point? What are you trying to say? Write the answers to these question down and start to create a roadmap. We discussed this process a little further in our 5 Simple Storytelling Steps blog post. Making your brand story personal to you, is the best way to ensure it’s unique.

Secret 3: Get to the “Why”

Let’s be real, people don’t really remember or care about what you do, or how you do it until they learn the why. If you cut through the what and how and jump straight to the why you will engage people a lot faster. The “What” is something every company in the world knows about themselves, some dig a little deeper and know “How” they do what they do. But very few people take the time to connect with the “Why”. Simon Sinek explains this in greater depth with his Ted Talk called “Start with Why”. 

Secret 4: Keep Asking Why

That’s right, “Why” is so important it takes up two whole secrets. You’ll find most of the time when you first ask yourself “why” you’ll get a pretty shallow answer. For example we may ask ourselves:

“Why do we make videos”?

“Because it’s fun.”

“Why is it fun?”

“Because we get to be creative while helping others tell their stories.”

Now which one of those answers was more interesting and memorable to you as a viewer? The more we ask ourselves why, the juicer answer we get.

Secret 5: Use Advanced Techniques

 

So now that you’ve mastered the basics of storytelling and you have a good grip on what good storytelling is, it’s time to start implementing some advanced storytelling techniques. These will include things such as: How do you use suspense to tell your brandstory? How do you use the human body to the your brandstory? And finally how do you use multiple points of entry to get people hooked? You can explore storytelling from unlimited angles as you explore more advanced techniques.

The End

 

There you have it folks 5 secrets on how to tell your brand’s story. With these golden nuggets of knowledge, we draw our series to a close. We hope you learned something, whether it be how important your values, what it takes to be remembered, the value of “why?”, or maybe even just how to make a proper sandwich. Stories have been told and passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years. There’s a reason: they’re powerful. They have the capability to make us feel far beyond and deeper than we think we are capable of. Stories make us believe, make us act, and ultimately bring us joy. So go, tell your story, share your passion, and inspire someone.

If you still have questions about how to kick your story up a notch we’d love to help, give us a holler here.

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh Video Production company dedicated to telling powerful brand stories.

friends intro

Remembering Is Vital

Remembering is Vital! A video where Ammon, discusses the importance of being remembered in marketing.

So we’ve talked about storytelling but let’s dive a little deeper into the brand part, and start thinking more about the marketing side.

Problem Solving

So let’s start by putting ourselves in the shoes of your ideal customer. First of all your ideal customer is going to be someone who has a problem that you can offer a solution to. For example we here at Blueforest studios (an awesome Raleigh video production company), offer a solution to people who need help promoting their brands. You may sell laptops (solution) so your ideal customer will be someone who has a broken laptop (problem). When we tap into the psyche of a customer that is going through the process of choosing who/what product to be the solution to their problem, we have a better idea of how to most efficiently market ourselves to them. Let’s break down the steps a buyer might take while making this decision.

Step 1 What do I know?

 

As the buyer, the first thing they will turn to is “What do I already know? Who do I know instantly that can fix this issue? What do I remember?” It may be something they’ve heard on television, a company you’ve heard others talk highly of, or maybe even a company that’s just so unanimously know for its product people begin to view it as the product itself. (They’re called adhesive bandages people, Band-aid is a brand)

Step 2 What else is out there?

 

What else is out there? The next step is finding out what else is out there. Maybe you, as the buyer, could only think of one company and you’re not sure it’s the right one. What do you do next? Let’s face it, it’s 2019, 99% of us will end up Googling it.

 

Step 3 Recommendation from a friend

 

The third step is to ask around. What do the people I trust use, what’s their real life experience with this product? People believe the opinion of those around them more than a Google ad. The consumer will ask a friend who might be knowledgeable on this sort of thing or to verify if something they’ve discovered is worth the investment.

What do all of these steps have in common?

They all revolve around remembering! When it comes to the buyer remembering either what they know, remembering what they saw online or a store or remembering what a family member or close friend recommended. Your goal as the marketer is to think, “What can I do to make them remember me”

Marketing Materials

Your marketing materials should be based around the buyer remembering your brand. And the best way to do that is to say something unique that evokes an emotion from the consumer.  The longer that the buyer remembers your commercial you have a big success with that brand marketing. Maybe the buyer will remember you two years down the road.

The Goal as the Marketer

Your goal as the marketer is not to have the  flashiest style or just the right font. Your goal is to make them remember you. One of the best ways to do this is to tell your brand’s story, because that’s by far the most unique thing you have to offer.  You as the marketer need to show what your company values and that your product or service is geared towards helping the buyer with their problem. To be the best solution out there, you have to connect with what’s most important to them. Your end goal is to have the buyer remember your company at the key point in the decision process. You need to have your company top of mind when the buyer has a problem or needs a product. By using marketing tools that evoke emotion, whether it be laughter:  joy, sadness, or security, people will remember you based on how you made them feel.

Stay tuned for our next segment on storytelling 5 Secrets to Effective Brand Storytelling!

You can also check out our previous posts on our blog.

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh Video Production company dedicated to telling powerful brand stories.

 

magic rainbow gif

Three Magic Words

Every Story Needs a Little Bit of Magic

Story by Robert McKee is a great book geared towards Hollywood screenwriting, but the principles of good storytelling can be applied anywhere. The lessons in this book have helped the Blueforest Studios team transform our techniques, and we want to help you perform the same magic.

What’s At Stake?

Abracadabra! Those are the three magic words. ‘What’s at stake?’ Congratulations, we have levitated your story, from mediocre to brilliant.

An inexperienced writer will feel the need to tell you the viewer in great detail about their character. They will describe in great detail the color of their hair and the car they drive. But, there is no suspense, there is no interest, and there is really nothing for the audience to connect with. The audience isn’t going to root for the character throughout the movie because of the color of their hair or how much cream they put in their coffee. Try not to exhaust the audience.

How Do We Overcome this Dilemma?

As storytellers, we have to ask ourselves ‘What’s at stake?’ Why are the two characters arguing, what happened, how will they resolve this issue? What do they have to lose and why do we care? These are all great questions to answer as storytellers because this is what the viewer needs to learn. That’s why they’re watching in the first place. Displaying a conflict and overcoming the conflict is what will lead to an intriguing story.

When You Do Not Answer These Questions

The act of not answering the question ‘What’s at stake?’ leaves the viewer with this empty unsatisfied feeling. The viewer is not being told the whole story and needs more information. The most common examples of videos that do not answer this question are actually most TV commercials and bad marketing. They talk a lot about their product and services but lack to mention you the audience and ‘What’s at stake?’ for them. How is your product going to help the viewer? How is the companies’ product going to be the hero to help the customer solve their problem? If you lack the answer to this question in your marketing you will end up with a pretty boring piece of content. 

How to Up Your Brand Storytelling?

So there you have it, the three magic words that can transform your writing instantly. The only thing standing between you and great storytelling is the answer to one question ‘What’s at stake’?

Next up we will delve a little deeper into marketing by discussing the importance of remembering.

Don’t forget to catch up on our previous series posts on our blog

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh Video Production company dedicated to telling powerful brand stories.

Ammon eating story sandwich

The Story Sandwich

Here’s Ammon delving deeper into this delicious concept of brand storytelling.

How to Make a Story Sandwich

Ahhh the sandwich, one of the most versatile and universally adored culinary inventions. Why? Because it’s everything you need in one convenient package. Although it may sound like a strange concept, a good story is a lot like a good sandwich, and much like a good sandwich, a good story should leave you feeling satisfied.

Think about a sandwich, it’s made up of two pieces of bread and some sort of meat or various fillings in between. Remove any one element and you no longer have a sandwich. Take out the filling and you’re left with two pieces of toast. No bread and you have a pretty unusual salad…

A story, like a sandwich, is comprised of three key elements: character, value, and threat. These elements are all dependent on one another and are crucial to the structure of the story. If you take away any one piece, you are left with something completely different.

Character 

A character acts as the bottom piece of bread, the thing that keeps the whole sandwich from falling apart. If you look at any good story there is a character. The character creates a perspective for the audience to follow. You simply can’t have a story without them (just like you can’t have a sandwich without bread). The character is the foundation which all other elements of the story are built upon.

Value

What does the character value most in life? This gives your character depth, and a reason for the audience to root for them. If your character isn’t likable then the audience has no reason to stick around. Value is your filling. It’s what gives the sandwich substance. Without it, it would be pretty bland like eating a dry piece of pumpernickel bread.

Threat

The threat is the second piece of bread. It’s the hook, line, and sinker. Now that the audience is invested, we must threaten what the characters value. This is the catalyst that makes the viewer want to see the story through. They want their happily ever after. When we threaten this, it creates suspense.

Change

This is a bonus. It’s the extra little kick. Like banana peppers or mustard, it adds spice. An unexpected change can take an already engaged audience by surprise and keep them on their toes. This creates a level of depth and intrigue to your story. Having a “change” or “shift” occur could be just what you need if your story feels predictable. Think of all the timeless films that have been remembered solely for their twist endings.

Have you built the right sandwich?

Now that you have a deeper knowledge of the key ingredients of a great story sandwich, put yourself in the viewers’ shoes. Take a taste. Is something missing? Identify every layer of your story sandwich. Has it left you satisfied? Or wanting more?

Tell us what you put in your sandwich here, we’d love to take a bite! Stay tuned for our next segment on The Three Magic Words for brand storytelling.

Still hungry? Go check out The Tell All to Storytelling and 5 Simple Storytelling Steps to learn more!

Stay tuned for the continuation of our storytelling series. Can’t wait? Contact us now. We’d love to help tell your story!

Book a Creative Session!

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh Video Production company dedicated to telling powerful brand stories.

venn diagram rolls

5 Simple Steps to Telling Your Brand Story

In “5 Simple Storytelling Steps,” Ammon Ehrisman breaks down
brand storytelling in five simple steps.

5 Simple Steps

So you want to tell your brand’s story? Then you’ve come to the right place. It seems like a daunting process. Some of you have probably already spent many an hour staring down at a blank page, or with your fingers hovering over the keyboard while being mocked by a blinking cursor on your empty Google Doc.

 

No need to fret. We’ve all been there. You have something you want to say but you don’t know how. Luckily, you have Blueforest Studios to help (that’s us) and like with anything in life it’s best to start simple.

For those of you who are new, journey on over to The Tell All to Storytelling post to catch up on the many glorious benefits of utilizing good storytelling to enhance your brand. (You can also learn about why using video to tell your brand story is one the most powerful mediums here)

So let’s break this down to five steps to get you started on your masterful storytelling adventure.

Step 1: Start With Your Values 

 

What’s important to you? What do you care about?  What gets you out of bed every morning? Why did you start and what pushes you to keep going? Ask yourself this, and write it down. It’s the absolute best place to start. When you’re passionate about something, it shows. And ultimately, that’s what’s going to stick with people. It’s also going to be what makes you unique. It’s a huge part of what you’re going to be bringing to the table. Need help figuring out what you value? We’ve created a handy dandy cheat sheet to help get the juices flowing.

Step 2: Know Your Audience

 

Who are you talking to? You need to know who your target audience is. What do they value? What are their priorities? Different groups will react and resonate with different content based on what matters to them.  

Step 3: Find the Common Value

 

What’s the common denominator, folks? Take those two lists (what you value and what your audience values) and find the common ground. This should be your platform, your driving force, your message. If you are able to connect with it, AND your audience can connect with it, you’re on the path to something unstoppable.

Step 4: Build your Brand around those Values

This is the ticket. If you connect with what you’re saying it will cause people to not only hear what you have to say but feel it too. People might not remember exactly what you say but they will forever remember how you made them feel. By crafting your brand around a common value between you, and your audience you create something authentic that resonates with others. Being relatable gives life to your brand. You become more than just a company but an entity that someone can connect with.

Step 5: Use Stories Everywhere

Use. Stories. Everywhere. Look for every opportunity to get your story out there. Whether it be videos, on a business card, taglines, events you sponsor as a company, or even by word of mouth. Think of creative ways to showcase it individual to you. Own your story and give it all the air time it deserves. This is what will separate you from the hundreds of other companies in your field, your story is uniquely yours.

 

Stay tuned for our next post on how to prepare your very own story sandwich. Can’t wait? Contact us now. We’d love to help tell your story!

Book a Creative Session!

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh Video Production company dedicated to telling powerful brand stories.

WakeMed NICU infant batman

Medical Video Production

A Spoonful of Medicine

At Blueforest Studios we have produced hundreds of medical videos in several different categories. We love that medical videos often have very compelling stories about real people. What can be better than saving a life or making a life better by helping someone to heal?

Check out this short video showing a bit of our medical video production experience:

Here are a few of the different categories of medical videos we have produced:

Hospital Video Production

We have worked closely with WakeMed (based in Raleigh, North Carolina) over the past few years to produce literally hundreds of videos for them. We have produced fundraising videos for their annual gala. We made dozens of 60 second educational videos that give tips on improving health, which air on local broadcast TV. We’ve produced tons of doctor bios, doctor recruiting videos and more. We films videos all over Raleigh, Apex, and Cary for WakeMed and our FitBits love it because we often walk miles around the large campuses. And as with everything we do, we always focus on keeping story at the heart of it.

Doctor Bios

As a patient, it’s important to select the right doctor for yourself. You need to feel comfortable with them and for many people, seeing a video of the doctor is very helpful. They can see how they talk, become familiar with them and decide if they are the right doctor for them.

In addition, having a doctor bio can be a big boost to your online presence. Consider creating a Google Maps listing for each doctor in your practice. By adding a physician bio video, not only does it give patients a chance to view it, it helps your SEO performance.

 

Patient Stories

Telling patient stories is a great way convey what your organization values and the impact it has on real people. We love this stuff. Patient stories can be emotional, authentic, and powerful if done right. You might have noticed we like stories a lot. Check out this example that we did for WakeMed’s charitable foundation to help raise funds:

Medical Education

Yes, we’ve all seen some very boring medical education videos. But it doesn’t have to be that way! With the right combination of good scripting, engaging graphics, good on screen talent, music, and b-roll, you can make videos that truly capture attention and educate your viewers.

We have worked with NASCEND to create a series of compelling educational videos training NICU staff on how to deal with moms and infants who have been impacted by substance use disorder and trauma.

We combined real life stories, clean animations, graphics and b-roll with the on screen talent to create these videos:

 

Medical Devices

Like education videos, videos about technology have a tendency to be boring. But again, they don’t have to be. We really think that no matter the subject you can find a way to add some story to it. So even if you just need an explainer video about what your high-tech thingamajig does, we’d love to add some story and make an impactful video for you!

Medical Procedures

Medical Procedures are often complex and hard to explain. But, we love to make them understandable for patients. We can take complex procedures and boil them down to the necessary information and also tell the story of a patient’s experience with the procedure. We find that patients who are researching a procedure often want to hear from someone who has had the procedure themselves. Put your clients at ease and give them a friendly face to hear from!

If you are in the medical field and you think that a video (or a few dozen videos!) might be the right next step for you, reach out to us. Set up a creative meeting right now! We can meet at our office in Raleigh, North Carolina, meet you anywhere in the Triangle, or talk on the phone if you are further away!

Schedule a Creative Meeting!

Your job is to tell stories

Choosing the Perfect Video Production Company in Raleigh

If you’re reading this, then you already know that video is a powerful tool that should be part of your marketing strategy. What you might not know is choosing the right videographer is crucial to the success of your campaign. First impressions are everything, and you only get one chance to make a good one. The video should reflect your brand as you intend and engage viewers. Not all videographers were created equal, and not everyone will provide your business with the quality video you deserve. To help you make the right decision, here are some things to consider:

LOOK PAST THE FLASHY REELS

Most video production companies will feature a highlight reel on their homepage. The purpose of this flashy video is normally to show you who they are and what they’re capable of. Demo reels are great! They’re entertaining, and normally do an awesome job of getting our attention. But DO NOT limit your decision making to just that one video. One of the most important things you need to keep in mind throughout the decision making process is whether or not they’re able to capture your company culture and brand.  Most Raleigh video production companies will have a library of previous projects available for you to review. Reviewing samples will give you a solid understanding of the quality and scope of work they’re capable of doing. You need to ensure their work is professional, high quality, attractive, and engaging. As you gauge their work, ask yourself these questions: What is your first impression? Do you recognize any famous videos? Are the videos engaging and professional? These questions will help you narrow down on possible videographers as you continue your search for the perfect video production company in Raleigh.

At Blueforest studios we focus on brand storytelling. “A brand story is more than a narrative. The story goes beyond the copy on your website, the text in a brochure, or the presentation used to pitch to investors. Your story isn’t just what you tell people. It’s what they believe about you based on the signals your brand sends. The story is a complete picture made up of facts, feelings, and interpretations, which means that part of your story isn’t even told by you…” The Fortune Cookie Principle

DO THEY UNDERSTAND YOUR COMPANY VISION, AND GOALS?

I repeat: one of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a video production company is whether or not they’re able to effectively capture your brand essence and the story you want to tell. Content that tells a story can set you apart from your competitors. Today’s consumers don’t want advocacy; they want authenticity. Finding a video production company that can authentically tell your story should be at the forefront of your objectives in choosing a videographer. The right video production company will understand that storytelling allows you to identify and present your passion, build lasting relationships with your customers, and create a foundation to develop your business off of.

It’s always best to avoid making a decision before speaking to someone from the company. A short phone conversation should help you determine whether they care about you and your business, or if they’re just after your money. If you’re unsure about your project, have them pitch you some ideas. This will get the creative juices flowing, and you’ll see if they are able to come up with something special.

Visit our Facebook Page: Blue Forest Studios: The Video Production company in Raleigh.

ASK ABOUT MARKETING

Marketing your company video is just as important as the video itself. Many people fail to realize that even the most impressive video will not generate the results that they need without the right marketing strategy. Promoting ANY business is an ongoing process, even with awesome video content. How is your new video production company going to help you with this? A few companies offer extensive marketing services as an added feature for their videos. Ask about the different channels they will use to promote your video. Your video should be promoted on social media accounts such as FacebookInstagram, and YouTube. It should also be posted at your audience’s peak viewing times. Learn more about placing the video on your company’s website to help generate online traffic and engage prospects looking for information about your business.

 

Your job is to tell stories

It always comes down to brand storytelling

DO THEY FIT YOUR BUDGET?

Video production can get pretty expensive! It’s important to keep in mind that your video will be one of the first things people associate with your brand. We recommend setting your budget first, and then finding the best video production company that will fit that price range. You’ll quickly realize that there are companies out there for everyone. Just remember: You ALWAYS get what you pay for!

Remember: choosing the right video production company for your business is crucial, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Keep these tips in mind, and good luck on your search!

Are you interested in speaking to one of our team members about your upcoming project? Book a meeting with our creative director Ammon!

Creative session with ammon