Like the wind, if you don’t capture your stories, they’re gone forever. Well, not quite, but you get the idea. As a video marketer, you need to create a simple system for tracking ideas and stories so you’re ready to produce content when there’s a problem to solve. Then, you need a simple way of deciding which stories deserve to be produced and shared.

First, you need to find stories.

You might be thinking that you can just pull up a story whenever you need one. If you can, great! The reality is that curating great stories requires a constant search, a shared storytelling mission from your team, an understand of the campaigns you’re running and the problems you’re solving for your users.

You need to paint a clear picture of what you’re looking for, but encourage a broad spectrum of ideas from people across your organization.

The point? You don’t want to miss out on an incredible opportunity that perfectly aligns to your initiatives.

Here’s a good example of why tracking your stories is important.

Let’s say you want to make a client success story. Sure, you can sit down and run through a list of clients, filter out which ones seem like good prospects, qualify those stories with the relevant stakeholders and put together a plan... But there’s another approach.

idea_form-1

Instead, what if you documented these stories as they happened? Or, better yet, what if your business development team could contribute the stories for you? A simple form could help you keep track of your stories so you can easily search for the right one. Getting your or your client's team involved also ensures that you don’t lose out on stories that are red hot.

While you can often shelve awesome stories and go back to them, it’s definitely more impactful to catch them when they’re fresh.



Once you have stories that align to your initiatives, you need to decide what stories are worth sharing.

Unfortunately, tracking stories is just part of the equation. Once you have a list of stories or ideas, you need criteria to score them. While it’d be awesome if you had the budget to produce every video, you probably need to focus on only the very best opportunities.

This step is where you filter for the fascinating (and the relevant). Why does this matter?

The last thing you want to do is produce an irrelevant story or a boring one. We’ve been there. We’ve vetted stories, travelled to locations, and been let down by the reality of the situation. A strict criteria forces you to make tough decisions and hold out for the best stories, so that you spend your budget wisely.

 

Start with a high-level filter: does this align to our brand? Then, refine from there: what campaign does this fit into and is this a priority? Next, take it one step further: does this idea present clear pain points that resonates with our audience? Does this propose a solution or new way of thinking?

You can literally turn this into a scorecard where you rate stories as they come in. If there are specific criteria for certain campaigns, you can add those on as well. Have ideas that score highly? Get them into production.

Don't throw out ideas that didn't score well, if priorities change you might be glad you held onto them.

Wrap up

Instead of scrambling to find a story to fit a marketing need, proactively curating a list of stories makes it easy to filter out the best ideas that represent the brand and present value to your audience.

Remember, just because a story walks through the door, doesn’t make it a good one. Keep this in mind during every stage of pre-production.

Once you find stories and filter for the fascinating ones, it’s time to create them and share them.

As you go forward, use this checklist to make sure your idea still holds up and check out these budget templates to make sure you're not going overboard and staying within scope.

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