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The 6 Cs of Online Video Storytelling

OnlineVideo.net is pleased to present this excerpt from Online Video for Dummies. Read to the end to find out how to download your own copy for free.

So far in this chapter, we've talked about the components that every story needs (the narrative arc) and why it's important that stories have those components -- to elicit an emotional reaction. But we've only talked about the stories, or the output. What we've neglected to talk about is you, the storyteller . . . and what you need to do in order to make your stories memorable.

Dummies2 As you create stories, keep the 6 Cs in mind. Here's what each C stands for:

  • Connected. Stories have to connect us to other people. They have to involve us in a shared experience (no matter how much Facebook wants us to think we are the center of the digital universe, we really aren't).

  • Committed. Embracing storytelling isn't a "one-and-done" mentality. Companies regularly commit tens of millions of dollars to reshaping the way they engage and interact with audiences through content. Commitment requires a life-long change.

  • Customer. The story has to be about the customer. It can't be about your product or your company.

  • Character. The story has to have a character. The audience forms an emotional bond with that character. Any characters you include have to be in conflict, and they have to have something to lose.

  • Crescendo. The story has to have an ending. It has to wrap up somehow. You can't leave audiences hanging.

  • Consistent. Users interact digitally on multiple devices every day. The story must remain available and consistent across all of those devices. You can't tell one story to one device and a different one to another. The experience has to maintain consistent branding, style, and tone across all channels.

The Need to Stay Relevant

It's not enough just to deliver your story. You need to create new stories based on what's happening in the market and with your audience. That requires you to be nimble, agile, and all those other words that equate to publishing your content quickly. But to publish quickly, you need the right tools. You can't have stodgy old software installed on archaic servers in some basement. You need state-of-the-art tools that leverage the cloud to enable you and your team to keep the story fresh and inviting.

The Tools You Need

The stories that we've been talking about aren't bound with leather and collecting dust in a library. They are living, breathing, vibrant, and interactive. They don't just tell you the story, but they show you that story with their thoughts, feelings, and actions. They are digital multimedia. And because they sprout from bits and bytes, you'll need some different means to get them in front of your audience. Some of the tools we describe here are obvious. Others might sound a little new, but you'll soon learn to love them.

Content management system

Your website is a central part of delivering your story. Why? Because people go there. Well, at least you'd like them to.

Remember: A content management system enables you to create, manage, and deliver the website to support your story. You can create pages, publish them, organize them into your navigation, and so on. And, what's more, some of these software packages include technologies that enable you to personalize the story experience for each and every visitor.

Social media engagement platform

Users log on to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Your story needs to be there as well. These tools, such as SocialBro and Buffer, help you manage the preparation and distribution of content into your social networks. But more than that, they give you insight into how your audience is engaging with your content.

Online video platform

When it comes to storytelling, words alone aren't enough. People just don't have the time to give you their undivided attention. That's where video comes in. But video requires a pretty specialized kind of content. You can't just type a few words and create a new web page with your content management system. You need to manage video, make sure it plays across all devices, and deliver it so your users watch your captivating story. An online video platform will help you manage your videos, put them into playlists, publish them onto your site, syndicate them to third-party sites (like YouTube), and manage all interaction.

Excerpted from Online Video for Dummies by Jason Thibeault. Copyright (c) 2014. Used with permission of John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Visit the book's page on Limelight.com to get a free copy (registration required).

Jason Thibeault is the senior director of marketing strategy at Limelight Networks. He is also the co-author of the upcoming book from Wiley Recommend This! Delivering Digital Experiences that People Want to Share.

Jason Thibeault's article first appeared on OnlineVideo.net

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