Make a Splash this Summer with these 4 Documentary Storytelling Tips

Documentary films can help propel a cause, business, or nonprofit organization, and their success is proven by the genre’s growing online popularity. Thanks to streaming services like Netflix, movie watchers are becoming more intrigued with this type of filmmaking and spend increasing hours online watching films that follow this style. With video content becoming the primary medium from which consumers gain information, consider these 5 documentary storytelling ideas and tips to help you launch your organization’s story.

  1. Pick the right story and stick with it.

 

Where documentary films often struggle the most is with the overall story idea. Too often, documentary films try to communicate too much information about an organization or cause, instead of focusing on a single story that captures the unique nature of the brand. If you want your film to successfully communicate your brand’s purpose or function, find the story that both interests the target audience and captures your brand’s identity.

One mistake filmmakers often make is choosing to portray the “Day in the Life” of a person, group, or organization, without finding an actual story to tell along the way. “Day in the Life” style films can give a good insight into the heart of an organization, but if the film doesn’t tell a story or portray that day in an interesting way, viewers will quickly become uninterested.

  1. Once you have the idea, define it.

A story is only effective if it’s well organized and defined. Once you find the story you believe is worth telling about your organization, sit down with your team and/or the filmmakers and hammer out the details. What is the story’s log line? This short description of your story should outline the who, what, and why of your story: who is doing the action, what are they doing, and why are they doing it? Once you clearly define these pieces of information, you’ll be one step closer to shooting a documentary video that clearly tells an important story of your organization.

  1. Use the camera to help tell the story.

Once you and your team decide the details of the story, it’s time to choose how you want it to be told. Whether it’s through interviews, sequences, visuals, graphics, narration, music, or a combination, choosing the right elements can help correctly convey your story to your audience. We recommend sitting down with the filmmakers and working together to decide which elements fit best at certain points of the story. Maybe

  1. Do your research.

Before filming begins, make sure everyone in the cast, crew, and anyone behind the scenes is on the same page. Make sure you have guaranteed permits to film in your chosen locations and that all of your cast and crew members are updated on the shooting schedule. Once you have everything in place, you can begin doing research for the film by pre-interviewing your sources, capturing B-roll footage in relevant locations, and gathering information about your story from sources like news articles, TV reports, and photographs, to name a few. This extra information will help you shape your story and give it life.

These four tips should help you and your team prepare for your upcoming documentary film shoot. At Windward Productions, we’re dedicated to telling organization’s stories in unique and compelling ways, and we want to help you do the same. For more information on our documentary filmmaking services, click here. And to contact us for pricing, filmmaking details, or more information, give us a call today!

 

How to Use Videos to Improve Your Brand’s SEO

SEO, SEM, SMO — what do they all mean? For those less familiar with these digital marketing terms: they are techniques used to increase a brand’s online presence.

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is organic digital marketing using focused keywords and specific content to increase rankings on search engine sites such as Google.  This approach can be especially effective in allowing your content to be easily seen and shared online.
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is paid digital (pay-per-click) advertising on search engine sites, such as AdWords.  This is a useful tool for promoting your content and ranking on the first page of Google.
  • SMO (Social Media Optimization) is the strategy of creating a large following on your social media platforms so that your content is easily shared and promoted by peers and consumers.

With over 2.3M Google searches being conducted by the minute, SEO, SEM, and SMO will improve your business’ online presence and can easily be found by consumers searching for a service or product you provide. If you dream of one day having your business appear on the first page of Google search or engaging high numbers of consumers on social media, continue reading to learn essential techniques for using video to improve your brand’s online presence.

 

  • Have a (SEO) Goal In Mind BEFORE Creating Your Video

 

Too often, brands lose faith in the power of SEO through video because they fail to clearly define their initial SEO goals. It is critical to decide BEFOREHAND what you want to achieve from the video content – generate tags and shares?  Target specific markets and demographics?  Promote brand exposure?  Increase followers and conversions?  If your video is made without an end goal in mind, it will likely fall flat, costing you time, money, and resources, not to mention poor ROI.

Generating social tags and shares along with building followers are two SEO goals to aim for, where utilizing video content is highly effective. We’re all familiar with viral videos– they generate an extremely high level of engagement in a short amount of time. However, now with millions of video content being uploaded every second, it’s becoming more difficult to make a video standout and “go viral”.  In order to help your video stand out from the competition and quickly gain mass followers, keep your consumers in mind. Whether it’s laughter, shock and awe, or pulling at their heartstrings, a good strategy for producing video content is aiming to evoke an emotional response.

While increasing online engagement is important, ultimately every business owner’s objective is conversion. Video has proven to be a highly effective method to turn website visitors into customers. Implementing videos on your website’s landing page and throughout other pages can help keep visitors engaged and persuade them to purchase or inquire about a product or service. Whether it’s a video highlighting a product, explaining the use of it, or introducing your brand, there are a variety of videos your business can embed online to increase online conversions. In addition to embedding, writing rich snippets can convince a consumer to visit your page and watch your video. If you make can make a snippet stand out from the other online videos, you’re that much closer to increasing your SEO and online conversions.

  1. Know How To Properly Optimize Your Content

Keywords, meta descriptions, optimized titles, and backlinks — these are just a few of the ways to tailor your video content for optimal SEO. Begin by choosing a focus keyword that best describes the theme of your video. If you’re a real estate agent and your video highlights the different ways a seller can stage their home to increase buyer interest, your focus keyword could be “staging tips”. Next, make sure this focus keyword can be found in all of the video’s details. Make sure both the video title and description include the words “staging tips”, and add “staging tips” as one of the keywords for the video. In the video description, you can include links that take a viewer back to your site to help promote your online presence and brand.

While these are some of the more basic ways to optimize for search engines, you can take your SEO efforts a step further. To optimize for all of the content in your video, you can include a transcript of your video’s audio within the video description. This can really help further its relevance and increase your search result rankings.

The bottom line is the more (relevant) online video content you have, the more it will help improve your brand’s ranking on the first page of search engine sites, such as Google. For help creating high-quality videos that will improve your brand’s SEO and maximize your reach, give our team at Windward Productions a call today! And to read more tips on using video to promote your brand and increase online traffic, read some of our past blogs here.