Storytelling + Video = Power to change behavior

A common refrain: Our video has a great story, great message, and clear call to action. But only 350 people watched it. WTF?

Story of Sushi
The "Story of Sushi" by Portland's Bamboo Sushi tells the story of how industrial fishing is destroying ocean life and presents alternatives. Something to think about with your next sashimi.

There are no simple reasons to explain why some videos take off and others languish in the dustbin of irrelevancy.

How did you distribute it? What was the keyword strategy? What sharing tools were used? Did you use AdWords, Facebook ads, or other paid marketing? How big is your social media audience? How engaged are they? Was Will Ferrell in your video? Useful questions though maybe the answer is simpler: people just didn’t connect with the story.

Perhaps you’ve seen the story of sushi video created by Portland’s Bamboo Sushi. We’ve embedded it below. The video is both clever and lovely in its simplicity and clarity of message. There is a story here: bad guys that overfish the seas, good guys that do it right, and the hero is the viewer – the person that has the opportunity to ask questions, know what’s going on and force change to happen.

What’s missing? The 2 x 4 over the head that has “take action now by calling your Senator.” The action is the story itself and its ability to make the viewer think about their behavior.

We will be the first to tell you that if you’re in the advocacy business you need to know your call to action in every message be it email, video, blog post or presentation.

But there is often greater power in using story to lead people to act on their own. A good story guides the participant to their own conclusions and you need not hit people over the head with your advocacy. Sometimes a big stick just scares people away while a good story makes them think. Thinking is good.

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