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Winning your Viewer's Heart

Rational vs. Emotional Tactics in Video Marketing

In a world where consumers are bombarded with advertisements every day, standing out is more challenging than ever. We are flooded with video content, a lot of which we tune out or click off. The greatest challenge facing marketers today is not just to be seen, but to be heard over and amidst the noise. 

So, how do we capture people’s attention? 

The answer lies in a secret weapon: emotion

In this article, we’ll explore how to effectively use emotion in your video content to connect with your audience on a deeper level and inspire action.

The Power of Emotional Storytelling

No matter the product or industry, stories are universal. They bridge divides and make your message relatable. Charities and Nonprofits have mastered this art, using poignant images and narratives to compel action. 

The spark that will resonate with your audience is genuine, human stories that strike an emotional chord. These stories are not just tales; they are the emotional connections that can turn a viewer into a believer, a consumer into a loyal customer.

If you're keen to delve deeper into this topic, explore our article on The Power of Brand Storytelling in Video Marketing.

The Science Behind Emotional Marketing

We like to think of ourselves as rational beings, but in reality, we are often more "rationalising" than rational. Our decisions are a confluence of conscious and unconscious factors, significantly influenced by emotion. 

Understanding the difference between System 1 (emotional, instinctive) and System 2 (deliberate, reflective) thinking is essential for marketers. 

One of the most potent factors that can drive our decisions is a well-told story—one crafted with intention that leverages insights into human behaviour.

Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell.”

- Seth Godin

Crafting Videos That Speak to the Heart: The Power of Storytelling

1. Movement and Dynamics

Create stories that feel dynamic in their emotional quality. They should take viewers from one emotional state to another, often including an element of surprise or resolution. A well-crafted story, structured with intention, can grab attention and drive emotion effectively.

2. Relatability and Character Development

Identify and express experiences that carry emotional weight for your target audience. Hold a mirror up to their experience and, if possible, put a unique twist on it. With the right characters and character development, we can connect to the audience emotionally and let them feel what our character is feeling.

3. Attention and Immersion: Hook Them or Lose Them

Start with a compelling “Hook” in the opening seconds of your video to instantly capture your audience’s attention. According to a study by the University of Massachusetts, the average online video loses almost 6% of its audience every second. 

Your hook could include a question, an unexpected statement, a hard-hitting moment of conflict or humour, or unique visuals or sound. The key is to be intentional and provide value or interest right away. Spending time developing a strong hook is crucial, as it determines whether the rest of the video will be watched

4. Maintain engagement

Tone shifts are a powerful way to keep the viewer engaged throughout the video. A tone shift is a point in the video where the story pivots, often accompanied by a change in music or topic. This simple pivot tells the viewer “Hey wait, there’s more,” piques their curiosity and gives them a bit of a refresh of energy to keep paying attention.

End with a “Jab”. What you leave your audience with is almost as important as what you draw them in with, a clear call to action that is best paired with an impactful moment or sound bite that leaves some curiosity hanging in the air. This encourages the viewer to take the next step and learn more.

Narrative Transportation: The Transformative Power of Storytelling

When crafted effectively, your audience can lose themselves inside the story, a phenomenon known as narrative transportation. They can leave their living room couch and enter the story world, experiencing the next few minutes or hours as if they were the main character. This immersive state not only creates a strong emotional response, which is a critical part of driving behaviour and thinking, but it also causes us to drop our defences. When inside the story world, we're far more receptive to ideas, new and old, whether we agree with them or not.

This is the transformative power of storytelling in video marketing. It’s not about bombarding the audience with facts and logical arguments. It’s about crafting a narrative they can step into, relate to, and ultimately, be moved by.

In a world where telling people to change rarely works—consider the endless health advice we all receive—storytelling offers a different, more effective path. It’s not about telling someone to eat healthily; it’s about making them feel the deep emotional and physical benefits of that change through a compelling narrative.

The ROI of Emotional Advertising

According to the Institute of Practitioners of Advertising (IPA), emotional creative is twice as likely to deliver major profit gains compared to rational, message-led campaigns. Emotional campaigns are more effective in the long term and are more likely to be shared and go viral.

Driving Action with Video

But how can you use emotional video to drive specific actions? It’s essential to align the emotions in your videos with your audience's stage in their buyer’s journey, as this can help to guide the tone of the piece.

Driving Awareness

When trying to drive awareness, viewers are looking to be inspired to action. In this stage, it's important to focus on positive and uplifting emotions, such as:

  • Happiness/Joy/Delight
  • Hope/Excitement/Anticipation
  • Pleasure/Amusement
  • Surprise
  • Love/Affection

Driving Conversions

When the goal is to drive conversions, it's important to move beyond inspiration into deeper emotions that resonate with specific desires and needs, such as:

  • Desire for Control
  • Poverty of Time
  • Desire for the Latest and Greatest
  • Self-Achievement
  • Economy of Time
  • Make Me Better

Crafting Authentic Connections: Tips for Success

  1. Deeply Understand Your Audience

Go beyond surface-level knowledge of your customers. Dive into their problems and needs, and articulate how your product or service provides a solution. A well-crafted story can bridge the gap between you and your audience, allowing them to see themselves in the narrative and connect with your brand on a deeper level.

  1. Build Trust and Authenticity During Interviews

Let your company’s core values shine through in your content. Avoid scripted or forced narratives; instead, aim for genuine and heartfelt storytelling. The person asking the questions during a video interview plays an integral role in setting the tone for an authentically emotional video project. They should be an empathetic soul who will make interview subjects feel heard, safe and understood.

Start with questions to warm people up and take the time to have a conversation. If your video is dealing with sensitive topics, let the conversation guide which questions come next and give emotional moments space to breathe. Be grateful for their sharing.

  1. Avoid Making a Commercial

People crave genuine communication and are tired of being “pitched” to. Resist the urge to talk about yourself and instead focus on the story you are telling.

  1. Introduce a Relatable Character Early

People love people. Introduce someone your audience cares about within the first few moments to trigger a compelling, emotional response.

  1. Use Authentic Voices and First-Person Narratives

Avoid professional voice talent and “corporate speak.” Instead, let your subjects speak directly to the camera, sharing their own stories in their own words.

  1. Simplify Your Presentation

Resist the urge to add clutter like unnecessary titles, stats, or talking heads. Powerful visuals reveal more emotion than any words can so present the story as purely and simply as possible.

  1. Be Mindful of Imagery and Use Close-Ups

Establish content and an overall setting with wide and medium shots, but then make the scene more intimate. Video has the wonderful capability of being a magnifying and isolating tool. Bring your viewer in close to focus attention on the important details and nothing else.

  1. Craft with Intention

Storytelling is an art and a science. Use insights into human psychology and behaviour to craft stories that not only capture attention but also hold it. A well-told story, crafted with intention, can be a powerful tool for connecting with your audience emotionally.

The Final Takeaway

Emotion is a catalyst for action. It prompts us to engage, inspires us to change our lives or others’, and fosters strong associations with brands. This is especially important for charity organisations or videos intended to raise awareness. In almost all cases, the emotional response developed after watching an advertising video can mean the difference between buying or not buying a product. But, It’s not just about increasing sales; emotional marketing can grow your business in many ways, from enhancing brand associations to attracting future talent.

So, as you craft your next marketing video, remember: it’s not just what you say, but how you make people feel that truly counts.

“At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

- Maya Angelou

In the battle for your viewer’s heart, emotional storytelling is your most potent weapon. Use it wisely, authentically, and with intention, and you will not only win their attention but also their loyalty and action.

Ready to Win Your Viewer's Heart?

Storytelling is a craft, and like any craft, it requires expertise and finesse. At Reach Video, we specialise in helping businesses like yours tell their stories in the most compelling and impactful way possible. Whether you are just starting with video marketing or looking to elevate your existing strategy, our storytelling experts are here to guide you every step of the way.

Ready to transform your marketing with the power of storytelling? Contact us at Reach Video for expert guidance and support. Let’s craft stories that resonate, engage, and inspire action.

Read more about our Brand Story solutions on our services page.

 

If you enjoyed this article and found value in it then please consider sharing it with your network.  We'd really appreciate that!


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The Power of Brand Storytelling in Video Marketing

Introduction: The Emotional Power of Storytelling

In today’s digital age, with content and distractions at an all-time high, capturing and holding attention is a monumental task. Stories, however, are the ultimate fluff-busters. They are the first thing we are drawn to in marketing, or anywhere. We are creatures predisposed to tell stories to make sense of a chaotic world and bring meaning to our lives. They help us empathise and build trust. Add video, the medium best at generating emotion, and you get a potent combination ideal for spreading your brand message.

The Battle for Attention: Noise and Trust

In a world where trust in marketers is dwindling and ad blockers are on the rise, the challenge is not just to reach people, but to genuinely engage them without triggering their defences. Here lies the magic of a well-crafted story—it builds bridges between you and your audience, fostering trust and bypassing scepticism.

What is a Story? A Simple Definition

Let’s define what a story actually is. A story is a retelling of events, often from a single perspective. The term comes from the Latin “Historia”, which means a history. In simpler terms, a story is “stuff that happens to people.” It’s a narrative that unfolds, taking the listener or viewer on a journey with the characters involved.

Why Storytelling? The Strategic Edge

As Seth Godin famously noted, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” This shift has prompted brands, from small businesses to FTSE 100 companies, to invest in compelling content, including film and video, rather than traditional forms of paid media advertising.

Why Brand Storytelling?

Simply put, brand storytelling is the technique of using a narrative to forge a connection between a brand and an identifiable audience (customers, employees, shareholders, etc.) to affect a certain outcome. It often aims to link the values, attitudes, and beliefs shared between a brand and its target consumers, using story as a vehicle to make these connections more obvious and, in doing so, heighten interest or preference towards the brand.

The Human Connection: Why Stories Resonate

Stories are inherently human. They allow us to empathise, to see ourselves in others' shoes. In marketing, this translates to customers seeing themselves using your product or service, and experiencing the benefits firsthand through the narrative you craft.

Building Trust and Loyalty Through Story

Stories are authentic, and authenticity builds trust. When customers trust you, they are more likely to return, creating a loyal customer base. Storytelling in video marketing isn’t about making a sale; it’s about building a relationship.

The Science of Story: More Than Just a Tale

Our brains process stories differently than rational arguments. A well-told story allows your audience to lose themselves inside of the narrative, experiencing it as if they were the main character. This immersion creates a strong emotional response and makes viewers more receptive to new ideas, effectively lowering their defences. A study by marketing guru David Aaker found that a brand’s audience is up to 22 times more likely to recall information when it is presented through a story, versus presenting information and facts by other means.

The Transformative Power of Story

Story creates meaning, and meaning creates value. This effect is so powerful that it can overcome even our most commonsense judgments. We like to think that we’re rational creatures, but in reality, we’re not. For brands and organisations, this means when communications or experiences are able to break through and connect with their audiences on an emotional level, they can be powerfully persuasive.

Conclusion: Storytelling as a Welcome Pull

Learning the science behind storytelling allows you to unlock a powerful way to ensure that you are seen, heard, and remembered. It’s not about demanding attention; great storytelling is a pull, not a push. It creates real value and meaning for people, offering a welcome alternative to the noise that characterises today’s media landscape.

In Part 2 of this article, we dive into the practical aspect—how to effectively craft and integrate storytelling into your video marketing strategy. We will delve into practical steps for crafting a narrative that resonates, focusing on the four essential pillars: People, Plot, Places, and Purpose.

Ready to harness the power of storytelling in your video marketing strategy?

Storytelling is a craft, and like any craft, it requires expertise and finesse. At Reach Video, we specialise in helping businesses like yours tell their stories in the most compelling and impactful way possible. Whether you are just starting with video marketing or looking to elevate your existing strategy, our storytelling experts are here to guide you every step of the way.

Ready to transform your marketing with the power of storytelling? Contact us at Reach Video for expert guidance and support. Let’s craft stories that resonate, engage, and inspire action.

Read more about our Brand Story solutions on our services page.

 

If you enjoyed this article and found value in it then please consider sharing it with your network.  We'd really appreciate that!


How to Repurpose Video Content to Increase Value

Create additional marketing content by reusing and repurposing your video footage.

A great video marketing strategy should include ways to repurpose video content as well as create fresh content from scratch.

There are many reasons why this is a sound approach. Repurposed video content can:

  • Help you maximise the value of each video you create, especially if you invested in a professional shoot
  • Attract more views across multiple platforms
  • Reach a wider audience
  • Reinforce your brand messaging
  • Boost your search engine optimisation (SEO)

After investing the time, energy and budget into creating video content that is perfectly targeted to your ideal clients in whichever relevant stage of the customer journey they're in, it would be a waste to use it once and then park it.

Video can keep on delivering value and increasing its return on your investment (ROI). It can also continue to build brand awareness, engagement and customer retention.

But how? 

There are many ways that you can keep your existing video content working for you:

  • Reuse footage from your content library in new videos
  • Recycle and refresh older videos for a new audience
  • Repurpose video content across multiple platforms

Remember, it is important to plan the different ways in which you can use a piece of footage before production if you are to do this successfully.

You’ll find some ideas below for recycling, reusing and repurposing your video content.

Pull out short snippets from longer videos

While long-form video is great for platforms like YouTube and will be well-watched by its intended audience when properly targeted, there may be times when shorter 30-second videos would perform better. This will depend on which platform you plan to use.

If you have a long-form video, review it to pinpoint quick snippets that you could use for shorter videos.

For example, you might want to take a few soundbites of a client talking from a case study video and turn them into 30-second reviews or testimonials.

Reuse your "universal" footage

Look for "universal" footage in your videos, such as views of your premises, your long-established products or services, location, etc. This is footage of the constant, evergreen elements of your business that won’t quickly go out of date.

You may be able to use this universal footage in a range of different videos – mixed with fresh content - without having to pay for multiple shoots of the same scenes.

Refresh your old videos

Always keep track of what’s in your video archive.

For example, a video that attracted plenty of engagement two years ago may never have been seen by your newer customers. It could make sense to bring this old content back into circulation.

Another approach is to update the narration of old footage or edit fresh content into a video you’ve used before.

You could even go back to the original raw footage and see if there is content that you discarded before that could be used now.

What are your most popular videos? You could bring them back into circulation by adding an update.

Extract still images from your videos

You can make a video part of a wider campaign by using screen captures as stills for your posters, adverts and other promos.

This can be a strong way to create cohesion across your marketing materials.

High-resolution professional filming will help you here as you should be able to capture crystal-clear stills that display well in a range of sizes.

Create a transcript of a video

Although search engines are getting better at understanding video, it’s helpful to give the search bots some text information about video content so they know what they’re crawling.

A transcript of a video is the ideal solution when posted with a video on your website.

As well as the SEO benefits, transcripts have other positives too.

Someone visiting your website may not always be in the position to watch a video immediately. It could be that they’re in public or at work. A transcript provides a written overview that explains the video without it having to be viewed.

Like closed captions, transcripts also improve accessibility for viewers with hearing impairments.

Reuse the audio

Just as we can review a video for shorter visual snippets, audio snippets of the content can be repurposed too. For example, you could use audio from a video – a testimonial is ideal - as the basis for an ad on a podcast.

Create slides and presentations

As we’ve seen in previous blogs, video is one of the most engaging forms of visual media, which makes it ideal for keeping people’s attention.

Instead of filming something new for a presentation, could you use a video from your archive?

For example, a professional services firm could use footage from a client case study in a presentation about applying new legislation to client cases. Or footage from a training video could be used to show how your company is supporting health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Create GIFs for social sharing

GIFs are a series of images or soundless video that will loop continuously and doesn't require anyone to press play. They are hugely popular on social media because anyone can watch them at any time. They also provide a good middle ground between text and video but go a step beyond a static image.

It’s possible to take short clips from your videos and add text to them. GIFs are highly shareable, especially if they’re humorous or visually impactful.

Repurpose your video webinars

If you have pre-recorded video webinars, there are several ways you can get more value from this session.

For example, you could pull short snippets from a webinar and turn them into a series of 1 - 2 minute video clips containing advice or information for your audience (just don’t forget to include a call to action with each clip).

You could turn short clips into teaser-style videos encouraging people to book on to future webinars. Alternatively, you could package the webinar so that it’s available for purchase via your website or only downloadable to be viewed in the customer’s own time once they sign up to your mailing list.

Compilation videos

People love compilations whether it’s a "Greatest TV Shows of the 80s" style programme on Channel 4 or a blog rounding up the best posts of the year.

Your archived videos might lend themselves to a compilation too. For example, you could take the highlights of your most recent footage to tell the story of ‘Our Year in Video’.

Key takeaway

When you’ve invested in video content, it should work as hard as possible for you to deliver greater value and increase your ROI.

By considering how you can repurpose content as part of your video marketing strategy, you can organise the video shoots more effectively to capture footage that you’ll need months and, sometimes, years in advance.

I’d always recommend that you work alongside video production professionals to design a video strategy and capture your video content. This is because professional companies will understand how fresh and repurposed content can be used to its full potential, extracting as much mileage as possible from every frame of footage.

Developing a strategy for using video in your marketing mix can be confusing if you haven’t worked extensively with video before.

If you want to make video a profitable part of your business, you must have a video marketing strategy that extends beyond your normal digital marketing or content marketing strategy and maximises the impact of the videos you produce.

Don’t know exactly what you need?

Get in touch for some free advice and discover:

  • What videos will have the greatest impact on your bottom line
  • The best way to have your videos produced, based on your needs and budget
  • The video marketing channels that will deliver the greatest reach and engagement for your brand

If you enjoyed this article and found value in it then please consider sharing it with your network. We’d really appreciate that!


Video metrics and why they matter to you

How we measure whether your videos are delivering the desired results.

Producing a successful video is not just about making something that looks good but also about making something that actually delivers results.

But, how do we know if a video has achieved the results that you’re looking for? Well, we track the video metrics that matter!

The approach of combining art with science is at the heart of any good video marketing strategy.


But what are the video metrics that matter and what do they mean for your videos?

Five main types of data for video

There is a huge array of data available to assess how a video is performing and whether it’s achieving the goals you have set for it. Different platforms offer different video metrics that, when put together, can help you build a deeper understanding of your audience and how you could use video even more effectively in the future.


Broadly speaking though, all of the available metrics will fall into five different categories:

  1. Reach
  2. Engagement
  3. Conversion
  4. Retention
  5. Audience


Let’s look at these in more detail.

Reach: How many people have seen the video?

The data in this category helps us understand how many people may potentially have been exposed to your video content.

This doesn’t necessarily mean people who viewed the video in its entirety – or at all! – but instead, the number of people who may have seen it in a social media newsfeed, for example, thus registering as an ‘impression’.

Each platform varies in how it measures reach and impressions. On Facebook, a video just needs to appear on the screen – even without playing – to count as an impression.


Reach data can be a helpful measure of brand awareness and impact and it is the first metric that we look out for.  Without reach there will not be a lot of other data to measure but, it is only the start. To get a fuller picture you’ll have to dive deeper. What actions have your audience taken as a result of seeing your videos?

Engagement: How interested in your video was your audience?

For marketing of any kind to be effective, it needs to attract engagement.


In other words, people need to like what they’re seeing and interact with the brand in some way. We might measure this by looking at metrics such as:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Watching with the sound on
  • Watching the video to completion
  • Repeated viewings

Generally speaking, the higher the level of engagement in a video, the more effective the video is.

This is reflected in YouTube’s algorithms, which use ‘watch times’ rather than ‘views’ as an important positive ranking signal. After all, a view can be a matter of seconds whereas longer watch times suggest the viewer actively choosing to consume the video content.

Facebook, on the other hand, uses average completion rates – i.e. the per cent of each video your audience watches – to rank video content in newsfeeds. The more people who watch from start to finish, the better for your visibility.

According to Facebook, 48% of all video watch time can be attributed to social sharing, which is why stats relating to likes, comments and shares are relevant.

It’s worth keeping an eye on average view durations too. This measures the total watch times of a video divided by the number of watches. This can help us build up a good sense of the ideal video length for the audience – if people keep dropping off 30 seconds into a 45-second video, it could be an indication that the video needs editing or that future videos should be shorter.

Data covering repeated viewing is also helpful. Are there particular sections of a video that people keep re-watching? If so, this could be a sign that this portion of the video is of greater interest to your audience.

The above metrics are all positive signals that your video content is striking a chord with its intended audience. People want to watch, they’re interested in what you have to say.

If, on the other hand, you don’t see much in the way of engagement, this could be a sign that you’re reaching the wrong audience or that your message needs fine-tuning before it will resonate.

Negative feedback such as how many people hide a video or unlike your Facebook page after watching will give you a clearer view of what videos just aren’t a good fit for your customers.


Videos comments tend to provide softer, qualitative data about how people feel about your videos or brand. This can give you some powerful insights into what matters to your audience.

Conversion: How many people are doing what you want them to do after watching the video?

As we saw in my previous article where I detailed How to create a video marketing strategy it is essential to have clear goals for your videos.

Most often, a goal will include something you want people to do after watching your content. This might be visiting your website, signing up to your mailing list, making a booking, or buying a product or service.

For this reason, most businesses concentrate on conversion metrics.

This is the data that tells you about sales, new leads, lead quality, site traffic, clickthroughs and conversion rates.

Stats such as your clickthrough rates can give you great insights into how your call to action is working. Does it need repositioning within the video or would different wording work better?


Also, conversion stats can help you understand how video is best used on your landing pages. Again, does the position make a difference? Or the length? Are people more likely to make a purchase on a sales page with or without watching a video?

Retention: What happens to the customer after they buy from you?

If you’ve read How to use video content throughout the ‘customer journey then you’ll remember that the journey doesn’t end with a purchase.

Every business should focus on retaining as many customers as possible. Research shows that as few as 8% of your customers can account for 41% of your revenue – these are your repeat customers!

So, retention metrics are those that help you build up a picture of how many customers are returning, how long they stay a customer, how often they buy from you and how they rate your service. You might also want to look at referrals and customer complaints in this category too.


The videos you create for the retention or loyalty/advocacy stage of the customer journey will have a different message to your earlier-stage videos. Retention metrics will help you to craft and refine this message.

Audience: Who is watching your videos?

The final broad category of video metrics is relevant at all stages of the customer journey and will be core to your video marketing strategy.

These are the audience metrics that help you understand who is watching your videos.

As well as providing demographics such as gender, age, location, socio-economic background, location, device, etc. of your audience, these metrics can also help you answer different questions.


For example, are your videos resonating with the right people? Or are they reaching an unexpected audience? What type of videos seem to resonate most strongly with your audience?

Why the metrics matter

What gets measured gets improved and no online marketing campaign can be successful without measuring and analysing performance. One of the real strengths of digital video marketing, as opposed to traditional video advertising, is the amount of useful data available to help determine the effectiveness of the video in achieving your desired goal. But, it’s important to know which video metrics matter so that you can refine your video marketing strategy moving forward.

By taking time to reflect and track the results of each video you publish you can strengthen your video marketing strategy. In turn, this will boost your visibility, develop your voice, build your audience and improve conversions.

Do you need help in creating an effective video strategy for your business? At Reach Video we provide the strategy, content and ability to connect to your target audience, drive them to action and deliver tangible, profitable results.


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The importance of storytelling in your brand videos

How to weave stories into your brand videos and why your customer must be the hero in your story.

If your marketing content is to stand out from the crowd then it is important to tap into the power of video storytelling.

We all love a good story.  As human beings, we are psychologically wired to enjoy them. Stories help us to make sense of the world, concepts, emotions, morality, society and so much more.

Stories create an emotional connection

Stories invite the audience to step into the main character’s shoes and imagine themselves going through the same trials and triumphs.

For video marketing purposes, this is powerful because you can entice your target audience to join you on a journey that highlights how good their life will look if they buy from you.

Video storytelling can make your brand more memorable as our human brains find it much easier to recall the key points of a story than a list of features. It can also help you to forge a deeper emotional connection with your customers, secure more sales and result in more repeat business.

The customer is the hero

Many businesses make the mistake of believing that they are the hero of their marketing stories. But, in truth, a story will only resonate if the viewer – in this case, the potential customer – takes centre stage.

If you have read my previous article, Your Brand Video. What it is and what it’s not you will already know that the most successful brand stories are those that recognise the ‘hero’ is not the brand. Your challenge is to pinpoint where your business fits into the hero’s story and then play that role with aplomb through the story you tell (more about this later).

Plot-lines that work for business videos

According to storytelling expert and screenwriter, Melissa Cassera, there are two main types of plotline that are particularly effective for brand videos.

The first is to tell a story about Overcoming the Monster. The second is to take your customers on a Quest with you.

At their heart, both types of story are about the triumph of good over evil, heroes over villains, success over adversity.

How does this translate into a video to market your business, products or services?

Using the Overcoming the Monster approach, the monster will probably be a problem that your customer is currently facing.

This could be a legal problem that they don’t know how to overcome, being stuck in a dead-end job with no prospect of promotion or a dietary need that’s affecting their life – the type of challenge or ‘monster’ will depend entirely on the nature of your business.

Once you’ve identified the monster that is most affecting your potential customers, your video needs to tell the story of how your business can help the viewer to slay the monster.

The Quest format may overlap with an Overcoming the Monster story or be told independently.

The concept of the quest is that the hero of the story – your customer – will go on a journey through various challenges and pitfalls until they reach their desired destination.

Your business should act as a guide, leading the customer safely through their journey to a happy ending.

The rule of three

From 10-second Instagram marketing videos to three-hour-long films or children’s short stories to classic novels, most stories are told in three acts.

  • Act one – the ‘Hook’ – sets the scene and draws the audience in
  • Act two tells the meat of the story, setting up the conflict and delivering on the hook promised in act one
  • Act three resolves and concludes the story, giving viewers a satisfying ending – with marketing messages, act three may end with a call to action

This ‘rule of three’ can be applied to most marketing messages and is a strong way to define the story you want to tell in your video.

Other key elements to include in your video story

I’m a big fan of Donald Miller’s StoryBrand approach to brand storytelling. After analysing a huge number of famous films and stories, Donald believes that there are seven key parts to any compelling story:

  1. You know what your audience wants 

If you’re able to identify exactly what it is that your potential customers want and need, you can not only develop an engaging story but also communicate how you can meet these needs in a clear, compelling and memorable way.

  1. You can identify three levels of problems 

In stories, there are three types of problems that prevent the hero of the tale achieving what they want. These problems are either external, internal or philosophical.

Typically, the external problem is something that has happened or will happen to the hero that’s beyond their control. For example, the target customer for a legal firm may be someone who doesn’t know how to go about writing a will but desperately needs to do one.

Using this example, the internal problem would be that the hero of the story has to find someone they can trust and someone who is affordable to help them but they don’t know where to start. They keep putting their worries about their will to one side, reasoning that it’s not urgent.

The philosophical problem explains why their internal feelings need to be resolved.

The hero in our example above risks leaving his family with a huge amount of stress and legal hassle to sort out his estate. Without a will, they will not be able to ensure that his last wishes are honoured. The hero won’t want to leave his family to suffer when he’s gone.

As Donald Miller tells us, the best marketing messages solve all three of these problems in one go.

For example, “At Acme Law, we offer a trustworthy, affordable will writing service that will protect your estate and save your loved ones from distress when you die”.

  1. You position yourself as a guide 

In every good story, there’s a guide, mentor or teacher who comes in and helps the hero. In the case of brand marketing, this guide should be your business.

You can use storytelling to show how you support your customers to help them achieve whatever it is they want. This might be by giving them the best tools, insider knowledge, an easier journey or something else altogether.

  1. You can give your audience a plan 

Think about your favourite story and the chances are that the guide who supports the hero puts together some sort of plan for them to follow.

The plan is what tells your audience how you’re going to get them from where they are now to where they want to be.

For example, an orthodontist might tell potential customers who want a brace that they should:

1) come in for a face-to-face consultation,

2) receive and agree their individual treatment plan and

3) complete their treatment with the beautiful smile they’ve always wanted.

The clearer you can make the plan, the better.

  1. Know your call to action 

Even with the most compelling, effective marketing videos, it’s essential to provide a clear call to action. What is it that you want the people watching the video to do next? People won’t act unless you tell them.

  1. & 7. You know what success or failure looks like for your audience

Your story and the call to action may lead to a happy or sad ending for the customer, depending on what they decide to do (or not do).

Your brand story needs to show the viewer how good their life will look if they follow the call to action or how bad it would look if they decide to walk away.

Your customers have to have a stake in the story

What each of the approaches above tells us is that your customer has to have a stake in the story you choose to tell.

This stake is what will spark an emotional connection and spur the viewer to action once the story is over.

With brand messaging, you can use your story to show your purpose, values and how you benefit others. In turn, your target audience will realise that they share the same values, beliefs and aspirations as your brand. They will prefer to buy from you over another company because of this alignment.


As we’ve seen above, video storytelling isn’t just about telling the history of your business. It can also be used in other types of video such as explainer videos, behind-the-scenes videos, events videos, testimonial videos and case studies, or culture videos, as just a few examples.

In all cases, just remember that your business is the guide that leads the customers to success. Now, go out there and overcome the monster that is effective video marketing!


Developing a strategy for using video in your marketing mix can be confusing if you haven’t worked extensively with video before.

If you want to make video a profitable part of your business, it’s important that you have a video marketing strategy that extends beyond your normal digital marketing or content marketing strategy, and maximises the impact of the videos you get produced.

Don’t know exactly what you need?

Get in touch for some free advice and discover:

  • What videos will have the greatest impact on your bottom line
  • The best way to have your videos produced, based on your needs and budget
  • The video marketing channels that will deliver the greatest reach and engagement for your brand


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