Nashville is an overnight darling of professional hockey with NBC announcers, the New York Times and fans in traditional hockey markets noticing the area’s fervent interest in the Nashville Predators. The overnight success has been built over the last 20 years, with the Preds’ intentional steps to grow its fan base. One way is the team’s digital video series, “Beneath the Ice,” now in its third season. This show and others like it give marketers a roadmap of how to build interest in a brand. But how to get started? If you want to use digital video successfully, you’ll want to start by asking yourself a few questions:

  1. What’s your brand’s story theme and arc?

 

One of the reasons shows such as, “Beneath the Ice” work, is sports has an inherent storyline where players of various personalities work together to realize a goal, but you don’t have to have a sports brand to be successful with video storytelling. More broadly, throughout time, we’ve seen stories of heroes striving to overcome obstacles. Often, in their journey, these heroes rely on guides who give them a plan to help them solve their issues. A hero on a quest to resolve a problem who meets a knowledgeable mentor and finds success is a story structure that our brains easily accept, which can be used for any brand.

 

In the case of, “Beneath the Ice,” in the season finale, the story is about leadership. Specifically, it’s how the captain, Mike Fisher influences this team and how his leadership helps the team achieve its goal of winning.

 

As you think about video that you want for your company, think about how you can be the mentor for your customer hero. What plan can you show them in video that solves their problem? Think about:

  • If you had to tell your company’s story in three, short sentences, what would it be?
  • Who would be your characters?
  • What challenges are going to be overcome?
  • What is the story’s beginning, middle and success?
  • Why should people watch this? What is the hook?
  1.         What’s the Rank of the People in the Story?

Whatever type of business you’re marketing, you’ll want to think about how the person in the video relates to your target viewer in terms of stature. If the person in the video holds a high-ranking position, it serves your goal for viewers to feel like a peer so the person is relatable.

 

That’s why in the Mike Fisher episode, Fisher and his dad talk about the player’s upbringing where he and his brothers had to earn money to buy a go-cart. Fisher becomes a more relatable character.

 

You can take this idea of stature and apply it to the marketing of other types of professions. Maybe you’re shooting a video that includes physicians, or actors who portray physicians. If warmth and approachability are important to communicate, how can you showcase that quality?

3.         Can I Give People Something Exclusive and Real?

Part of the appeal of these behind-the-scenes shows is viewers know that they’re going to see moments that aren’t available anywhere else. The exclusivity is reflected from the names of the shows­–the Boston Bruins’ “Behind the B,” the Nashville Predators, “Beneath the Ice,” and the Montreal Canadiens’ show, “24CH”–to the documentary-style in which they are shot.

 

Stepping out of the sports realm, think about a process where you can show your audience the plan you implement for your business.  In “Beneath the Ice,” you learn about Coach Laviolette’s dog-on-bone mentality that’s symbolized by a dog chain necklace given to the best player of the game. It’s an example of the coach’s system.

As part of your overall story, you may think about using unique camera angles, or following and putting a microphone on someone within your organization to give an on-the-ground perspective to your audience.

So next time you see a behind-the-scenes sports show, remember that while your business and brand isn’t as inherently dramatic as pro sports, if you look at yourself through a different lens, you can add an interesting layer of video storytelling people will watch. It’s worked for the Nashville Predators.

If you’d like information on a 7-part plan to create digital video that drives engagement and sales, contact Liz Denning at Gamma Blast Studios, lizdenning@gammablast.com.