I recently had the pleasure of talking with Brendan Gahan, Director of Social Media at Mekanism, a digital ad agency that works with brands to tell stories with their video ad campaigns.  The mission to convert brands to a storytelling kind of marketing, rather than a pure advertising, has been an obstacle for forward-thinking ad agencies over the years, but a huge shift has begun to break the ice, and more and more brands and agencies have started to get it.

So here's Brendan Gahan talking about the process of storytelling, and how brands can use it.

The Key to Branded Social Video Campaign Success: StoryTelling

So let's highlight what Brendan says in this video:

Storytelling = Entertainment Value:

It's important to create something relevant to the brand, but overall it needs to be entertaining.

I think a lot of times when we talk about "how videos go viral" we lose the most obvious one: is it entertaining?  We've discussed many times before that usually the signs of an entertaining video is that something highly unusual, shocking, embarrassing, funny, and/or sexy are the usual triggers.

Leverage Social Media & Engage with Calls to Action

Marry your strategy of engaging people and leveraging the platforms in the best way possible.

Finding a way to use your social media platforms to get people talking about your video is a huge step towards getting a mass audience.  This is done usually with, of course, great content, but it's important to issue calls-to-action that get people to talk about it in another way: voting on something, or creating a topic of discussion, or running a contest or handing out giveaways.

Influencers are Critical to Social Video Ad Campaign Success

Quite honestly, you need help getting your video seen, and why not use those with large audiences already?  When you share your video with relevant blogs and websites, and they bite (because your video is so entertaining, remember), the audience for your video dramatically increases.

Check out the Mekanism site and take a look at the stuff that they've done.  Check out this video from ABC's Nightline which profiles an interesting viral video ad project with Mekanism for 'Hovercat':

We'd like to thank Brendan Gahan for his time!