Why Your Digital Marketing Strategy Needs a Storyboard

Why Your Digital Marketing Strategy Needs a Storyboard

You already know that videos are a very relevant part of a Digital Marketing strategy, right?

Studies show that 72% of consumers prefer to watch a video to learn about a service or product instead of reading a text. For the coming years, it is expected that 80% of all online traffic will focus on videos.

And the numbers don’t stop there!

  • 90% of internet buyers say videos help in their purchase decision.
  • People spend a third of their online time watching videos.

In other words, there are no more reasons to underestimate the power a video has in a Digital Marketing strategy. But don’t assume that achieving great results is easy. It is necessary to invest in the production process.

In this context, one of the most significant phases that not everyone knows is the storyboard

It’s a kind of draft, frame by frame, that helps build the narrative, edit, plan, and compose the design and scenes.

Do you want to understand better how this tool works and how it can make your video strategy much more effective? In this text, we will go over:

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    What is a Storyboard?

    The storyboard is a sequence of drawings, frame by frame, with a sketch of the various scenes thought for a piece of video content.

    This sketch’s visual is similar to that of a comic book, and the objective is to elaborate and detail the narrative’s sequence.

    This resource formerly focused on animations, films, and games. But over time, it has also become very employed in graphic projects for advertising and marketing.

    Due to its versatility, a storyboard allows you to compose the movie’s movement or the kinematics of a game. 

    It can even demonstrate how a user’s navigation in a site or app happens.

    In companies, this step of a video project is usually the responsibility of the creative teams. It must be focused on the buyer persona, regardless of the type of video content to be produced.

    In other words, the goal is to develop a sequence of actions in the most entertaining, instigating, and visually comfortable way to optimize public engagement.

    What does a Storyboard look like?

    Remember that movie you watched and loved so much that you wanted all your friends and family to watch too so you all could discuss the story?

    This schematic drawing is responsible for a good part of the impression that such a movie caused in you.

    That has been around for a long time in the cinema. To prove it to you, check out this storyboard example of the famous shower scene in “Psycho” from 1960:

    psycho storyboard
    Source: VashiVisuals

    Notice how the designer created the visual narrative and how it guided the final cut:

    The 2017 film “Get Out!” is another example of how some frames and compositions are crucial in producing art pieces. Indeed, they can create impactful scenes.

    get out storyboard
    Source: studiobinder

    Also, this schematic drawing sets the video’s pace and time. It uses a beta version of the audio that will be produced for the final video, or even the final audio itself, already edited.

    In this case, some editing synchronizes the storyboard’s static narrative with the sound, thus creating a moving draft, called “animatic”.

    In this scene from the 2018 movie “Coco”, we can see how this kind of storyboard helped in the final animation:

    Note that, at this time, there is no need to finish the drawings. It is the narrative that needs to be clear and very well defined. 

    Among other points that may facilitate editing, the storyboard should include:

    • Indications of movement in the scene.
    • By which side the character enters and where it leaves.
    • The trajectory a given object will take.
    • The camera angle.
    • Cuts.
    • Duration of each take.

    Rigid drawings can hinder the fluidity, especially if your video has more dynamic content.

    One point that generates questioning is: do I need to know how to draw?

    Well, if you have notions of design or creation, you will develop your project better. After all, the storyboard indicates what the director, animator, or designer will follow visually.

    If you don’t have this basis, but you value the best possible quality, you better hire an animator or a designer because they know the cinematographic narrative.

    However, it is possible to create a storyboard for some projects without much ability to draw. See this example, used to develop a layout for a website:

    website storyboard
    Source: PlayitAway

    What does Storyboard have to do with Digital Marketing?

    With the search for videos increasing on the internet and the certainty that they will dominate the market more and more, those who develop knowledge about this production will surely come out ahead.

    In Digital Marketing, and especially in Content Marketing, videos are already being useful in many ways. That includes presenting a product, an announcement of new content, or the revitalization of existing content.

    Besides the already known image capturing, motion graphics is another way widely used to create attractive pieces.

    Another differential to be successful is the storytelling

    In a storyboard, it is necessary to develop a creative scheme that draws the user’s attention in the first seconds after they press play.

    How to Create a Storyboard?

    Now that you understood the importance of this strategy for Digital Marketing, let’s go to a small guide about this phase of the project!

    1. Have a clear end goal

    Before developing your storyboard, it’s crucial to have a clear end goal in sight. 

    What goal are you ultimately hoping to accomplish with your video? Is it meant to reinforce your brand identity, sell a particular product, or educate your audience?

    Consider how you want your audience to feel after they’ve watched your video, as well. Should they walk away inspired, informed, empowered, or something else entirely? 

    The answers to these questions can be very helpful when developing your storyboard.

    2. Brainstorm multiple ideas

    Before you start sketching or actively working in any one direction, indulge in a serious brainstorming session. 

    Get your team together and come up with as many potential ideas for your content as possible. Write them all down, even if some seem a little out there.

    It’s often hard to predict which of your initial ideas will turn out to be a big winner once you’ve had a chance to think things through. 

    So the more options you have to choose from and potentially develop, the better.

    3. Put a script together

    Once you’ve settled on one idea, it’s time to create a script. 

    A script is essential for guiding your storyboard and helping it progress smoothly from start to finish.

    Great scripts for marketing videos and similar media options are simple and easy to process. 

    They should also come across as friendly, helpful, and human, the better to help your audience make a connection to your brand and act on the material presented to them.

    Once you’ve developed your script, break it down into separate scenes to help simplify the process of sketching out the storyboard. 

    You’ll also need to determine how many panels you expect the finished storyboard to have to help your timeline come together correctly.

    4. Decide on an appropriate visual style

    Visuals are incredibly important when it comes to the mood, tone, and general vibe of a particular video, so give some thought to how your final product will look.

     Will it be live-action or animated? Is the video’s tone serious and educational, or is it meant to be fun and light-hearted?

    The answers to questions like these will be crucial for guiding tasks like making wardrobe choices, choosing locations, or decorating sets.

    And if your video is animated, your style choices are even more critical. 

    A polished, realistic 3D-style animation lends a video an entirely different vibe than a comic strip throwback, for example.

    5. Develop a complete timeline

    You’ll also want to settle on a complete timeline for your storyboard that takes your team (and the future audience) smoothly through your content from start to finish. 

    Pinpoint a clear beginning and end for your story. Ensure each scene transitions smoothly into the next.

    The shorter your video, the simpler your overall timeline and story can be to get the point across. But it still needs to be there to give your message some body and context.

    6. Identify any pivotal scenes

    Whether you’re getting ready to film a commercial for your latest product or create an instructional video, it’s essential to identify key scenes and shots. 

    They can inspire the viewer to act or otherwise engage with your brand.

    One of these scenes should absolutely be your closing call-to-action, but there are likely others, as well.

    Is it a close-up that showcases one of your product’s best features? Or maybe it’s video footage of happy customers partaking in one of the benefits of one of your keystone services. 

    Mark these moments and give them special attention.

    7. Clarify your storyboard with text descriptions

    Once you’ve completed work on the visual aspects of your storyboard, you’ll want to clarify the details of what’s going on in each scene so others on your team can properly follow them. 

    Text descriptions are clear, straightforward ways to do this.

    What your descriptions consist of depends on what type of content you’re planning. If it involves dialogue or voiceovers, text descriptions are a great way to show where and how those elements will intersect with the visuals.

    If there’s no dialogue, consider using text descriptions to describe or clarify what’s happening in each of your scenes instead.

    8. Be your own director

    If necessary, create an animatic by synchronizing the storyboard with the audio. 

    Try to work on the rhythm of the sequences, giving time for the consumer to digest the message, but be objective.

    It is better for a short video to use less text — whether in dialogue or onscreen text — and more visual exploration. You perform what you define on the video timeline, so plan this part well.

    9. Review and get feedback

    Once you’re done with each aspect of creating your storyboard, it’s time to go over what you’ve done and see where you stand. 

    You want every detail to be completely ready before handing it over to your production team.

    If necessary, try out different ways of getting your story from Point A to Point B, and put each to the test. 

    Get constructive feedback from others on your team, as well, to ensure everything you’ve done is in line with the content’s core purpose. Then fix any issues accordingly.

    Bonus: What Tools can Help you Create a storyboard?

    There are different tools for creating a quality storyboard, and we picked up some to help you. Let’s talk about them!

    The good old paper and pen

    Yes, there is some illusion that this step needs to be totally polished, meticulously formatted, with a beautiful drawing, and that the digital is always better.

    That is a myth. Even today, big companies and studios worldwide use paper and quick scribbles in brainstorms to defend or present solutions because the idea is the most important.

    Software

    Some software solutions are excellent for creating storyboards. The most used are Photoshop and Toon Boom Storyboard Pro.

    However, if you want to try free software, there are good options like Storyboarder and Plot.

    A drawing tablet is an excellent tool to use any of these.

    Online tools

    If you don’t have any software, there are online platforms with features aimed to speed up this step and optimize your team’s workflow.

    One of them is Boords, a clean and intuitive tool developed to facilitate the creation of animatics. In case you don’t have a scanning table, you can insert ready-made images and build a timeline.

    Wrap Up

    As you know, images help boost content and engage customers, besides giving your blog a much more pleasant look.

    Now, imagine breaking through the static barrier and exploring the movement of videos with incredible animations and captures. It generates proximity, and the user feels you are sending a message directly to them.

    That is an additional advantage audiovisual pieces provide. We can use them positively and educationally, avoiding weariness or disinterest right at the beginning of the content.

    Now that you understand what a storyboard is and how it can influence your marketing strategy’s success, expand your knowledge, and get to know everything about interactive videos!

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