According to research from Oktopost, 92% of consumers want adverts to tell a story. The principle behind this statistic demonstrates that on a broad scale, audiences in this generation best engage in stories. It’s a reason we’re seeing more and more sports brands and rights holders invest in documentaries, long-form content on platforms like YouTube and much more. Throughout this blog, you’ll discover various methods illustrated by athletes about how you can maximise your content through storytelling-based initiatives.
The influence of long-form content
Despite short-form content being a more popular content stream in this generation, long-form content is still effective for various reasons. Firstly, it can be distributed into short-form content. For example, clips from full YouTube videos that you believe are likely to go viral can be cut into short clips and then shared on platforms such as YouTube Shorts, TikTok and Instagram Reels.
TikTok is particularly powerful following this interview with global broadcaster ESPN’s Senior Social Media Specialist, Kel Dansby, who summarised that TikTok is an effective tool to expand audiences, especially young people.
Ahead of The Problem Child’s bout against MMA legend Anderson Silva, Jake released a YouTube video which shared various perspectives to promote the event. The documentary starts with Jake meditating to set the tone of voice to be calm and collected, which is how he intends to persuade his audience to feel while watching the content.
Click above to view the full breakdown of how this content illustrates exceptional storytelling. Long story short, Jake ensured the video included behind-the-scenes footage in this video. The purpose this serves to enhance storytelling involves it giving your audience a perspective they can’t access anywhere else.
Jake’s tone appeared much more respectful throughout this documentary. However, he still found ways to promote the inner self-promoter through the content. For example, referring to himself as ‘the spider exterminator’, ‘the spider’ is Anderson Silva’s nickname, and Paul has used this for promotional purposes ahead of the event. From a cultural perspective, this can help draw audience engagement across your opposition’s corner. In terms of how you can capitalise on that is down to you. This can be through initiatives like meme challenges and giveaway competitions.
Another culturally sensitive moment presented this time via Jake’s Instagram was the initial announcement of the fight. The caption included all of the key details for fans to be informed about the event, but one area stood out: this being in the caption, “Meu teste mais difícil ainda. Eu respeito a lenda, mas ele deve ser exterminado.” This quote demonstrates Jake’s mindset ahead of the fight; from a storytelling avenue, including international references within your brand can prove beneficial to expand your reach, awareness and engagement globally.
As important as every element has proven to storytelling, how you represent your brand via your tone of voice is also fundamental. For example, placing more emphasis on colour codes in subtitles, utilising emojis to express your identity etc. Whatever you find most effective at attracting engagement, stay consistent with capitalising on attention from your audience. For example, the image attached above is a way to represent your brand tone of voice, as the colour of the text is yellow, the same colour as the branded announcement poster. Tactics like this can make a big difference in awareness, and it’s delivered via storytelling.
Another example is above. Despite this clip not being directly storytelling related, having a symmetrical video format to edit content can be used for it. For instance, creating ‘then and now’ content is one avenue which could be used to make a story short-form.
In the context of promoting a fight, the top video could be a highlight reel of one fighter compared to another in the bottom video. Then, the caption can encourage various engagement avenues, such as posing a question, making a statement etc.
As you’ve just read, long or short-form, there’s value in both forms of storytelling across social media.