Streaming Forum: Limelight Offers Tips for Video Storytelling

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The second day of the inaugural Streaming Forum conference in London – one that will be full of HEVC, MPEG-DASH, and CDN discussions – started with something completely different. In a keynote presentation, Jason Thibeault, senior director for marketing strategy at Limelight, gave a multimedia presentation on the importance of storytelling – or “storyshowing,” when it involves online video.

The talk was about the what of video, Thibeault said, not the how.

In a well-received presentation, Thibeault offered nine tips on making stories compelling. In the digital age, there are too many demands on people’s attention, he said, so people have stopped listening to messaging. The goal of good storytelling is to cut through that and make a connection with the viewer.

“When it comes down to it, people want to tell stories,” Thibeault said, asserting that messages are more effective, compelling, and repeatable when told as stories.

By using digital media, organizations can get their messages out to more people and tell richer stories. Use apps, images, video, and words, Thibeault said, to tell stories across platforms.

Thibeault started by defining the elements of good digital storytelling: the story needs to establish a connection between people, commit to engaging with customers, be about the company’s customers, and offer a relatable character. The story also needs to end well, in a way that satisfies the viewer and brings the message home. “I’ve just been infected with the story virus; I got it,” Thibeault said.

Because the talk was about online video messaging, the presentation also addressed how to turn stories into sales. Stories need to be accountable, Thibeault, with measurable results that justify their budgets.

“It really comes down to how do I measure engagement?” Thibeault asked.

Story messaging needs to be consistent across devices and platforms, drive the viewer to buy the products, and make an emotional connection.

By using storytelling effectively, companies can reach an intimate relationship with customers sooner, Thibeault said. Relationships are currency in the digital world, he offered.

Talking about the power of online video, Thibeault said that the medium makes stories more impactful, and asserted that humans would rather watch something than read something.

“Video is what makes stories awesome,” Thibeault said.

In the audience question-and-answer time, one attendee asked if video storytelling should be different for business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing. Not at all, said Thibeault; in either case the audience is made up of people, not problems, and marketers should connect with them the same way.

Watch the full keynote address below:

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