Cloudinary Blog

Three Easy Ways to Improve Video Storytelling

Prosper Otemuyiwa
By Prosper Otemuyiwa
Three Easy Ways to Improve Video Storytelling

Video storytelling is one of the most effective means of conveying messages to your audience. It’s also a popular marketing tool because most people are automatically drawn to video. In eCommerce, if accompanied by attractive images and a compelling narrative, video storytelling uniquely connect with potential customers without fail.

In addition, video storytelling resonates with all age groups for eons. No wonder that, as adults, we still remember the brands we came to know from watching videos during our much younger days.

Webinar
Delivering Compelling Video Experiences at Scale

Understanding What Makes Video Storytelling Popular

Famed statistician W. Edwards Deming once said, “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” Let’s look to data to find out why video storytelling is popular. Here are a few eye-opening statistics:

  • Ninety percent of online shoppers at major retailer websites find video helpful for making purchasing decisions.
  • If a webpage contains both video and text on the same subject, 72 percent of the audience would rather watch video.
  • Ninety-seven percent of marketers say that video boosts consumer understanding of products or services.
  • The average person watches more than an hour and a half online video per day, with around 15 percent averaging more than three hours.
  • Eighty-one percent of consumers make purchases after watching a brand’s video.

Other similar facts and figures from research studies abound. Bottom line: if you’re not promoting your product or service through video storytelling, you are missing out on a significant number of potential customers.

Rendering Video Storytelling Engaging

Below are three proven ways in which to tell captivating stories in video.

Trigger Emotions With Visual Components

Be supermeticulous about your video’s visual components by ensuring that the answer to these three questions is a resounding yes:

  1. Do the video convey your message without accompanying text?
  2. Does the video convey your message with muted audio?
  3. Are the visual components slick and attractive enough to leave a long-lasting memory?

An excellent example is how Apple triggers emotions in video ads. I found this iPhone X release trailer so enticing that, after watching it, albeit without audio, I couldn’t wait to try out that new iPhone model. So, remember: show, don’t tell.

Length-wise, an enthralling video need not last more than a minute because the core message would already be passed to your audience in that short time.

Create the Right Mood With Colors

Here’s sound advice from renowned artist Hans Hofmann: “Colors must fit together as pieces in a puzzle or cogs in a wheel.” Psychologists agree that colors play a vital role in human lives. Different colors evoke different emotions. And you are more likely to forget something that’s in black and white. So, generating the right mood with multiple colors in your video goes a long way toward engendering acceptance from and engaging your audience.

Research has shown that different colors imply different things, for example:

Color Implication Logo Examples
Black
    Evil power
    Darth Vader in Star Wars.
Blue
    Reliability and dependency
    Social-media networks, e.g., Tumblr and Facebook.
Red
    Alert or warning
    Fire trucks.
Green
    Health, prosperity, life, and a source of peace and serenity
    Agriculture, livestock, and lifestyle brands, e.g., Eden.
Yellow
    Warmth and energy
    Petroleum brands, e.g., Shell.

With Cloudinary, you can easily specify a background color for your video by adding the b parameter to its URL. You can set that color as an RGB hex triplet (e.g., b_rgb:3e2222), a specific color (e.g., b_green), or a three-character RGB hex (e.g., b_rgb: 777). See this example:

Ruby:
Copy to clipboard
cl_video_tag("dog", :width=>300, :height=>300, :background=>"green", :crop=>"pad")
PHP:
Copy to clipboard
cl_video_tag("dog", array("width"=>300, "height"=>300, "background"=>"green", "crop"=>"pad"))
Python:
Copy to clipboard
CloudinaryVideo("dog").video(width=300, height=300, background="green", crop="pad")
Node.js:
Copy to clipboard
cloudinary.video("dog", {width: 300, height: 300, background: "green", crop: "pad"})
Java:
Copy to clipboard
cloudinary.url().transformation(new Transformation().width(300).height(300).background("green").crop("pad")).videoTag("dog");
JS:
Copy to clipboard
cloudinary.videoTag('dog', {width: 300, height: 300, background: "green", crop: "pad"}).toHtml();
jQuery:
Copy to clipboard
$.cloudinary.video("dog", {width: 300, height: 300, background: "green", crop: "pad"})
React:
Copy to clipboard
<Video publicId="dog" >
  <Transformation width="300" height="300" background="green" crop="pad" />
</Video>
Vue.js:
Copy to clipboard
<cld-video publicId="dog" >
  <cld-transformation width="300" height="300" background="green" crop="pad" />
</cld-video>
Angular:
Copy to clipboard
<cl-video public-id="dog" >
  <cl-transformation width="300" height="300" background="green" crop="pad">
  </cl-transformation>
</cl-video>
.Net:
Copy to clipboard
cloudinary.Api.UrlVideoUp.Transform(new Transformation().Width(300).Height(300).Background("green").Crop("pad")).BuildVideoTag("dog")
Android:
Copy to clipboard
MediaManager.get().url().transformation(new Transformation().width(300).height(300).background("green").crop("pad")).resourceType("video").generate("dog.mp4");
iOS:
Copy to clipboard
cloudinary.createUrl().setResourceType("video").setTransformation(CLDTransformation().setWidth(300).setHeight(300).setBackground("green").setCrop("pad")).generate("dog.mp4")

Add an Element of Surprise

The greatest movies and series share a common element: surprise coupled with numerous wow moments.

I’m a big fan of Power, the popular TV series by 50 Cent. Spoilers ahead. I’ll never forget the episode in which Raina (Ghost’s Daughter) was killed. That was an amazing plot twist, which took me completely by surprise. Later on, I discovered online that my wow state was widely shared among those who’d watched that episode. Raina’s murder was a dark element of surprise that kept me glued to watching Power till the end of Season 5.

Mind Blown

The element of surprise for iPhone X was the Face ID feature, which Apple brilliantly spotlighted in the launch video. A week after the launch, many aficionados were still exchanging jokes and observations on what Face ID would affect older folks and millennials.

Wrapping Up

Effective video storytelling promises to galvanize interest, motivating the audience to take a good look at your product or service. That could ultimately lead to purchases and recommendations to family and friends. Literally and figuratively, it pays to master the art of communicating through video.

Toward that end, leverage Cloudinary’s comprehensive API, with which you can easily transcode videos from one format to another. You can also further manipulate them by applying various effects. The possibilities are endless! For details, check out Cloudinary’s API references.

About Cloudinary

Cloudinary provides easy-to-use, cloud-based media management solutions for the world’s top brands. With offices in the US, UK and Israel, Cloudinary has quickly become the de facto solution used by developers and marketers at major companies around the world to streamline rich media management and deliver optimal end-user experiences.

For more information, visit www.cloudinary.com or follow us on Twitter


Further Reading on Video Manipulation

Recent Blog Posts

New Learning Pathways From the Cloudinary Academy

In December 2019, Cloudinary launched its customer education platform, the Cloudinary Academy, replete with courses taught by the company’s experts on developer-oriented products and digital asset management (DAM) solution. The courses comprise interactive lessons and hands-on assignments, a proven way of familiarizing the audience with the course material and illustrating it with live examples.

Read more
Maya Shavin: How I Built My Website

Besides working as a senior front-end developer at Cloudinary, I'm also a content creator, a blogger, and an open-source developer. Follow me at @mayashavin and on mayashavin.com.

In the beginning, my website, mayashavin.com, was mainly for showcasing the status of my development projects and keeping me organized with my speaking schedule. Initially, I built it with Vue.js, later on switching to Nuxt.js (aka Nuxt) for a higher SEO score, and deployed it with Netlify. After some time, I added a blog section with Netlify CMS as the content management system (CMS). Everything was fine until I added more content and features, which led to a significant decline in the site’s performance. Also, the site design needed a modern look. So, I gave the site a makeover.

Read more
Automation Frees Up PetRescue’s Staff to Help Pets Find Their Forever Homes

As we spend more time at home, many of us are adopting pets for the joy, companionship and a surprising range of health benefits. In Australia, where our nonprofit customer PetRescue is located, there’s a shortage of pets to adopt. Last August, the Guardian reported that dog shelters in Australia emptied and adoption fees for puppies were running as high as $AUS1800.

Read more
Cloudinary and Contentful Make Modern Content Management Easier

I am pleased to share that Cloudinary and Contentful have joined forces to further streamline the creation, processing, and delivery of online content through Cloudinary’s digital asset management (DAM) solution and advanced transformation and delivery capabilities for images and video. What’s more, the partnership delivers a headless approach to DAM. By leveraging APIs for media management tasks, marketers and developers alike benefit from an integrated stack of optimized assets for optimization and automation. As a result, page loads are fast and beautiful, and at scale—with less overhead and effort.

Read more
Introducing Cloudinary's Nuxt Module

Since its initial release in October 2016 by the Chopin brothers as a server-side framework that runs on top of Vue.js, Nuxt (aka Nuxt.js) has gained prominence in both intuitiveness and performance. The framework offers numerous built-in features based on a modular architecture, bringing ease and simplicity to web development. Not surprisingly, Nuxt.js has seen remarkable growth in adoption by the developer community along with accolades galore. At this writing, Nuxt has earned over 30K stars on GitHub and 96 active modules with over a million downloads per month. And the upward trend is ongoing.

Read more