The Hallmark Holiday Story Arc

Confession time. I have been binge watching Hallmark holiday movies with my mom while visiting Montana this month. Lots of small town snowfalls, making up under the mistletoe, and no straying from the story formula. 

As schmaltzy as the movies are, there is just something so satisfying about a happy ending. That and my mom’s commentary is a hoot.


This is the basic story arc:

1. The bad news
2. Shining the light in the dark place, aha moment
3. Then the good news.

This got me thinking about the power of that story arc for video content and social media marketing. Is there a way this applies to the work you do with clients? Not the binge watching of sappy movies together. Well, at least not for most of us.

When you take this story arc and cast your audience as the star of the show,  the connection on social media can be very powerful.

A social video from the brand Always’, part of their campaign to change the negative connotation of the phrase “like a girl”, is a good example. 


In my opinion the video is too long, causing the story arc to wobble a bit and weakens the emotional punch. 

However, by highlighting girls, they did a great job of using video content to create an emotional connection with their audience, through the eyes and words girls and young women.  I call this the Third Voice Video strategy. (Or in this case, several voices)
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How can you mirror the power of a Third Voice and happy endings in your social video content? 

You can do this in a similar way by interviewing clients and colleagues, following the storyarc template from Hallmark Hall of Fame and the Always video.


Idea 1: Do a short video with a client right at the beginning of working with you, and then at the end.

Idea 2: Interview parallel leaders in your field that have overcome the challenges that you help your audience overcome, highlight how they got past common obstacles that keep prospects from working with you, and tie it all up by highlighting the happy ending - how much better life or business is now versus before.  

This is kind of like an indirect testimonial to your audience; proof that the work you do is valuable in solving a certain type of problem.

For example, I interviewed 3 top coaches a few months ago and asked each of them:

The bad news: the challenges they had getting started with video marketing.
How they “saw the light” -  what motivated them to take action in spite of those challenges.
How they feel now about having done video - why they are now true believers in video content.

And the red bow on top is the advice they have for women just getting started with video.

By the way - another bonus when you invite a Third Voice into your video content via an interview is that footage becomes the source of 5 - 10 extra short videos that you don’t have to script or shoot. 


I have an editor working on creating 27 short clips for social media videos from those interviews, clips I did not have to script or shoot. 

I’ll be straight and tell you the image quality is not fabulous, as you can see with this screen shot of the interview I did with Patty Lennon. We did the interview with Facebook Live, using the cameras on our computers. My inner Video Producer is wincing at the image quality.
PictureScreenshot of video imperfection : )
But the videos do a beautiful job of proving a point. There we are, women who are, quite honestly, used to doing things really well, settling for imperfect video, because our priority is in serving our audience and inspiring other women to do more videos, too.  


In this case, the image quality isn't critical, especially with the best comments plucked out to create short videos, allowing the personality and integrity of my guests to really show through. 

And lastly, interviewing someone else - inviting their Voice into your video content, is a collaborative example for everyone, and that’s always a good thing. 

Any questions? I can help you with this. Let's find your video happy ending, minus the mistletoe. 

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