Telling the Right Story With Web Video

So you’re going to make a video, and people searching the internet for product/service X are going to see your video and decide to buy from you. That sounds easy enough.

Let’s think about what’s involved here. First of all people have to be able to find your video. Second they have to watch it. And finally the video has to persuade them that your company is the one to buy from rather than your competitor around the corner.

Several of my colleagues are writing very good blogs about where to put your video and how make it easy to find, so I’m not going to try and second guess them. I’m going to think about how we tell the right story about your business to persuade people to buy. In my blog about how and why to edit I talked about how editing is used to elicit an emotional response from the viewer.

Now let’s think about how we use that to encourage people to choose your business to buy from. There are many stories that can be told in a video, so we first must consider what best suits your business. Then plan what shots will be captured on video, and how they will be placed together to tell the story.

Let’s have a think about three different companies, their videos, and how they may choose to tell their stories.


A hairdresser wants to show the transformation that takes place when a customer comes into their salon, to encourage people to try their salon

How do they show this?

They will shoot video contrasting how a client looks before and after and showing the various stages of the transformation. They will video the client sitting in the chair, they shoot video regularly at different stages of the styling process, with shots of the client’s hair being washed, being cut, being coloured, being styled. Perhaps they show the client having a glass of wine, or a cup of tea while they are having their hair styled to show the high level of service and how relaxed the client is. Finally they shoot video of the client with their completed hair style, smiling and happy.


A plumber wants to show that they are flexible and available 24 hours a day and provide great service.

How do they show this?

They decide to show a customer calling them on the phone and one of their vans arriving at the customer’s house at night. They want to establish how trustworthy they are as a company so they choose an elderly woman to be the customer in the video. They want to show the good service that they provide while at the customer’s home, so they shoot lots of video of the plumber hard at work, and a shot of the customer shaking the plumber’s hand as he leaves. They then shoot the van driving away into the darkness. They use a voiceover to explain what is happening in the video and tell viewers about their company.


An Accountant wants to highlight an upcoming change in accounting law, and show that their firm are experts in this change.

How do they show this?

The video takes the form of one of the firm’s partners talking directly to the viewer about the coming change and explaining how it will affect businesses. The partner does not attempt to ‘hard sell’ their firm but instead concentrates on a brief, clear explanation of the coming change, and simply ends the video by offering advice if the viewer calls their number. Talking to camera is hard, but you can take a look at a video HERE for some advice on how and why to do it. In this instance the partner has established trust with viewers by looking them in the eye, and by talking calmly and concisely. In addition by not attempting to sell anything they have suggested themselves as independent experts.

So very, very briefly there are three different stories told on video. Each one tries to speak directly to potential customers who are seeking that particular business and get them to feel that they should choose them.

Of course none of this tells us anything about how they’ve chosen to frame their shots, and when they have chosen to cut between shots, and how they have chosen to light their shots or process the video, or what music they have used, etc. etc. etc.

So we’ll return to some of those topics next time.

Thanks for reading and good luck,

Jonathan Jeeves