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The importance of implementing a video marketing strategy to promote your business is no longer a secret, and you probably already have one set in place. However, you should know that not just any kind of video will do and that catching people’s attention can be quite a challenge. To get genuinely successful pieces that hook viewers right off the bat, you need to tell a story that’ll keep them interested in what you have to say –and that’s where video storytelling comes in!
In this article, I’ll give you a rundown of the 20 best video storytelling examples to get those creative juices flowing and inspire your next piece.
Let’s get right into it!
Video storytelling is a marketing strategy that involves using video to share a narrative and evoke positive emotions in your audience. These pieces may range from a funny video that makes viewers laugh to a serious video meant to inspire them. In fact, there’s really no limit as to what feelings you can elicit in your audience, as long as they’re favorable towards your brand.
What makes this strategy so powerful is that it can make your content highly memorable, engaging, and shareable. What’s more, even the most abstract concepts can be conveyed through a story, so no matter your industry and the product or service you’re promoting, video storytelling is the perfect strategy to do so.
There are quite a number of benefits that come with using video to tell a story, but I’d like to focus on the most important ones today:
• Making your content more engaging. Attention spans nowadays are getting shorter and shorter, so you need to catch your viewer’s attention immediately. A story lets you do just that, making your videos instantly more appealing since people can form deep connections with stories and the emotions they evoke.
• Leaving a lasting impression. With the amount of video content that viewers watch every day, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. But telling a story allows you to strike an emotional chord with your audience and make them relate to your content, which, in turn, makes your videos memorable.
• Standing out from the crowd. Most businesses have hundreds, if not thousands, of competitors out there. Some compelling and unique storytelling videos can differentiate your brand from the competition and make it stand out.
• Improve conversion rates. By creating an emotional connection with your audience, you increase their trust in your brand. This, in turn, encourages your viewers to take action and become customers.
I know you’ve been waiting for this part, so let’s dive right into it! Here are the best storytelling examples out there you can draw inspiration from.
This storytelling example checks off all the boxes. We get a beautiful narration of the origins of this family business and its founder, and how he came to the United States from the other side of the world to expand his venture. Additionally, the video’s engaging animated visuals feature characters that embody each of the story’s components.
In this video, we get snippets of daily acts of kindness from random strangers. By sharing these little “mundane” stories, Starbucks is making a powerful statement: the world isn’t as bad as one might think, and their workers are witnesses of that every day. Their belief as a business is that kindness is present everywhere, and since they want their customers to be inspired by this notion, they chose to leverage the power of storytelling.
This piece is the perfect example of just how effective video storytelling can be. Right from the start, we get immersed in the brothers’ stories about their past and their goals, and the calming visuals are the perfect complement to their narration. However, did you notice that at no point is there any advertising for Sperry products? Sometimes, simply telling an incredible story can be enough to make viewers want to learn more about a brand.
Shopify launched the Entrepreneurship Index, a database that keeps a record of the economic impact of its entrepreneurs. As part of the campaign, they’re uploading video storytelling pieces of business owners telling their brand’s story and how it makes a difference for their region. Sharing these testimonies makes the viewers want to learn more about Shopify’s efforts to help their entrepreneurs.
In this storytelling example, we’re presented with two parallel situations of network engineers deploying SD-WAN. One is prepared for any potential issues thanks to Opengear, while the other isn’t and has to lose plenty of time trying to solve them. In just 90 seconds, Opengear makes us empathize with poor John, while also making us want to be prepared like Steve, all thanks to its storytelling!
If you want to inspire your audience to take action, there’s no better way to do so than by using storytelling. This Girl Can believes there’s no “right” way for women to get active, and they advocate for making exercise however you can. So, by sharing the stories of women facing challenging situations but getting active anyway, they motivate their viewers to do the same.
One way of getting the word out about scientific developments is through storytelling —the medium can make even the most complex topics easier to understand. Additionally, the people working to make those developments happen can be your video’s protagonists. In this example, we meet Mariah and Dr. Seng Cheng. Mariah lives with sickle cell disease, and her story serves to set the scene for Dr. Cheng to explain Pfizer’s advances in finding new treatment options for patients like her.
While I know this video storytelling example might exceed the budget of most businesses, I wanted to include it because it’s simply genius. Just four minutes are enough to make us feel like we’ve watched a short film, and I was left wanting to make a deep dive into the work of all the actors and models that star in this video! Framing the story as a film piques the curiosity of viewers and encourages them to take action and learn more about the campaign.
A great way to connect even deeper with your viewers is to take the opportunity video storytelling gives you to jump on current trends or make pop culture references. Doing this will make your content far more meaningful for those who are interested in those trends. In this storytelling example, Nike collaborated with the TV series Ted Lasso, and given the show’s popularity, it’s bound to stay in the minds of fans for a long time.
Who hasn’t experienced scrambling at the last minute to finish writing a school paper only to find out that you’re no longer producing coherent sentences? 😅. Grammarly uses relatable, everyday situations to tell a story that promotes its services, and because its target audience can see themselves reflected in the video’s protagonists, they’re more likely to take action and download the app.
Animated characters are great for video storytelling because you can tailor them to your audience’s preferences and make them relatable. This way, your video can be much more effective at piquing their attention. In this storytelling example, we meet Paxton, April, Joe, and Cassie —small business owners that need an eco-friendly web hosting solution. Anyone in their shoes can see themselves reflected in them and relate to their needs!
This business has a short video series, Casper True Stories, where we get to watch some quirky and fun customer stories about how much they love their Casper products. Following their lead and creating a video storytelling series is a great idea to promote your business, even if you prefer to have a more serious tone and style. Additionally, showing real-life instances of how loved your products are can encourage those prospects who are on the Decision Stage of their Buyer’s Journey.
One of the best ways to ensure your video stays in your audience’s minds for a long time is to use humor. And storytelling lets you do just that! In this example by Specsavers, we sympathize with the man’s struggle to carry that heavy box up a neverending flight of stairs, but we also laugh about the situation (and maybe remember to schedule a visit with the ophthalmologist!).
There’s nothing quite like video storytelling to pull at your audience’s heartstrings. Holidays are always sentimental times, and the people at Etsy know this. So, what better way to spread a bit of positivity than by sharing meaningful stories of people giving gifts to their loved ones? This example shows that even a one-minute video is more than enough to give a wholesome message to your audience.
In this storytelling example, we travel for 3,200 miles on bikes with the funniest group of friends. CLIF Bar’s products aren’t mentioned at all, but we still feel compelled to know more about the brand because they chose to be the group’s companion for the whole ride and share their story with a wide audience. Featuring real stories can be very beneficial for your business, even if you’re not explicitly promoting it!
Square helps businesses of all sizes and industries start, run and grow. In this storytelling video example, the focus is on how they help independent pharmacies on the Cardinal Health network, and we hear the testimonial story of Gerry, a pharmacy owner. You, too, can use storytelling to highlight the industries your brand works with, showing a first-hand account of the benefits of partnering with you.
Apple has a video storytelling series about a group of underdogs that decides to quit their jobs and found a small business together. Each video is around 5 to 8 minutes long, and it features a lot of comedy and good feelings. If you’re up to the challenge, consider doing something similar and create short stories that feature your products and services saving the day!
This video storytelling example starts with a simple premise, yet we can all sympathize with it: nobody loves their insurance company. Lemonade Inc engages its viewers right off the bat with that statement, ensuring they’ll stay until the end to find out what the rest of the story is and just what makes this business different from other insurance providers.
HP supports young inventors through its Generation Impact program. As part of its efforts, they create storytelling pieces of the teams HP works with, talking about their inspiration and the goals they want to achieve with their invention. Thus, these videos help spread the word and get more young inventors to participate in Generation Impact.
In this fun example, we get hooked right away by the problem faced by LEGO citizens: what is that slime!? What I really like about this video is that we’re left hanging on what the solution will be, since it’s up to viewers to choose how to save the city. This makes the audience want to take action right away!
Before I round off, let’s quickly go over the main components of video storytelling, so you can know everything you need before creating your own videos:
Knowing exactly who your audience members are is a crucial element of your strategy. You have to know their struggles, their wants and needs in order to craft a video that truly resonates with them and leaves a lasting impression in their minds.
This will, in turn, determine what’s the best way to achieve your marketing goals. Whether it’s imparting knowledge, establishing brand authority, or inciting a call to action, the specifics of your video will be dictated by your target demographic and the problems they face.
To bring your video storytelling pieces to life, you need some thoughtful and rich visuals. Specifically, you need to determine the setting in which the story will take place and the characters you’ll use to be the protagonists of it.
If you opt for an animated video instead of a live-action one, a whole new world of possibilities opens up. You can go for 2D animation (the most popular style out there), or even choose motion graphics or a whiteboard animation to convey difficult topics more easily. Animation allows your creativity to really fly beyond the limits of what live-action can achieve, so I suggest you give it a go!
This might be the most crucial element of your videos. The message behind every story is what makes viewers connect with it. So, you should identify the message you want to convey before even beginning to think about what your video is going to be like.
Consider exactly what you want to tell your audience. Do you want your brand to inspire them? To make them associate it with a certain set of values? Once you find what you want to share, make a video that focuses on one idea at a time to maximize your efforts.
Finally, you need to write a great script to bring together everything you want your video storytelling to have: the points you want to tackle, the story you’ll tell, the tone and style in which it’ll be told, and so on and so forth.
I recommend you make it as detailed as possible, so you save your actors or voiceover artists some trouble and avoid the need to improvise. Additionally, you could also create a storyboard, so you know exactly how your video will unfold and the visual elements you’ll include in it.
That’s it for now! Did you enjoy those video storytelling examples? Because I sure did!
Using this tactic can take your brand to the next level and help you create deep, meaningful connections with your target audience. Storytelling is at the heart of our nature as human beings, so applying it to marketing only makes sense!
Now that you’ve learned the importance of this strategy and you’ve seen some great storytelling examples for yourself, it’s time to make your own piece and awe your viewers with it 😉.
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