Whether a book, movie, or a bedtime tale, a great story is one that draws us in, holds us there and stays with us after it ends. The same goes with video marketing. It is easy to focus on your product and forget about how and why it is important to your viewer. A good storyteller makes a connection with their audience and engages with them. I think of the stereotypical used car commercial where the salesman is screaming about low prices and being crazy. It grabs your attention and then walks away. It’s as if someone jumped out and yelled “boo!” and ran away. Storytelling for video marketing is an art of words, images, product and your audience.

Here are 7 elements of storytelling to keep in mind for video marketing:

Start out with a bang.

Capture your audience’s attention right out of the gate. Keep in mind that the “bang” should match the tone of your story. I recently re-watched the movie Stand By Me (which if you haven’t seen, I recommend doing so immediately). The beginning is a perfect example of how to capture the viewer’s attention, appropriate to the tone of the story, without screaming or yelling.

The beginning and end are critical.

The opening scene of your video is your introduction and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. While the story is the details, the beginning and the end are how they feel about you and what they walk away with.

Find the sweet spot for quantity of information.

Too much? Too little? Too much and you begin to lose them. Too little and they don’t fully understand your story. How much information or detail do you give your viewer? The key is to find the sweet spot of “just right”. This takes review, editing and patience. The key is to take the time to find that sweet spot.

Connect with your viewer.

The used car salesman I referred to earlier doesn’t care who they are talking to. They are simply screaming their information hoping someone will take the time to listen to them. Take the time to learn who your viewer is and make your product relevant to them.

Be efficient with your words.

Is less more? Not always, but it is hard to go wrong with efficient. Make every word count. Can you convey the same message in less words? Examples and repeating information can work for emphasis, but too much and it becomes redundant.

Silence for impact and emphasis.

Don’t be afraid of silence. Not that awkward silence where you and your viewer are wondering what is going to happen next, but rather an intentional silence where you place emphasis on what you just said and give your viewer a moment to let it resonate.


Who is your Audience? What is your Intent? What is your Message? Keeping your AIM throughout the video will help keep it focused, clear and your audience will know what you want them to walk away with. Similar to a mission statement, ask yourself if every clip and word address your AIM.

Storytelling is a great way to make your product, service or cause relevant to your audience. Think about the stories you have seen and heard that appealed to you. Did they use any of these 7 elements? Were there things that were not included on this list? Comment below. I would love to hear what other elements you have found in your favorite stories.


This post was inspired by: A Refresher on Storytelling 101.