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How to Use Storytelling in Video Marketing to Spark Curiosity and Drive Engagement

/ Chris Starkhagen

Long gone are the days of slapping together a Facebook ad and paying cents to generate a sea of traffic. 

It’s becoming increasingly harder to stand up against the competition, ads are more expensive, and we need to become more creative as well in our marketing efforts.

This is especially true in today's world where people are inundated with advertisements and sales pitches all day long.

How do you break through the noise and drive engagement with your target audience?

One way is to use storytelling in your video marketing strategy. Storytelling has been used for centuries to capture and keep people's attention. It's been ingrained in us since the dawn of time, and it still works today.

Thinking about how you can tell better stories in your video marketing? We have the answers, including:

  • The power of storytelling
  • All about the attention economy
  • 6 storytelling tips you should know about

The power of storytelling videos (and copywriting)

Open book covered in sketches of a pirate and a pirate ship.

Source: Pixabay

Storytelling is one of the oldest, most powerful means of communication known to man.

A good story can make us laugh, cry, or see the world in a new way.

It can be used to entertain, educate, or persuade.

In other words, a well-put-together story is key to pulling on the emotional levers of anyone tuning in.

We often make purchasing decisions based on our emotions, as well as what a product can do to either fulfill a desire or solve a problem that we have.

Apple showcased storytelling in a phenomenal way in order to win the "PC War" against Microsoft with a few incredibly powerful marketing campaigns. For instance: 

After watching that video how do you feel?

For starters, you watched the entire thing as the ad was so engaging and funny right?

You maybe even felt that you could relate to the issue? And you definitely DON'T want to be in the PC camp, correct?

This is what effective storytelling and copywriting can do; together, they helped Apple grow into one of the largest companies in the world.

The attention economy in content marketing

Collage featuring a woman and various social media logos.

Source: Pixabay

The attention economy is a term used to describe the current state of the online world, where attention is a scarce commodity.

In the past, businesses could rely on advertising to capture the attention of consumers. This has become increasingly challenging because:

  • An overwhelming amount of content is being created and shared online every day.
  • Consumers are inundated with advertising messages, essentially becoming "banner blind".
  • The rise of ad blockers and similar tech makes it harder to reach customers through regular advertising channels.

Now, businesses need to be in touch with current video marketing trends and make stand-out content on a routine basis.

Video storytelling is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal in the attention economy, as 86% of businesses use video in their marketing efforts.

A well-told story can spark curiosity and drive engagement, resulting in more people taking notice of your brand and what you have to say.

6 Visual storytelling tips for your marketing videos

Computer with the words "Digital Marketing" written on the screen.

Source: Pixabay

As you've seen by now, video storytelling is a powerful tool to use in marketing, but how do you use storytelling effectively?

There are a few video storytelling tips and tricks that you can implement straight away which will elevate your marketing videos pretty fast:

1. Start with a strong hook that grabs your audience's attention

When it comes to video storytelling basics, a good hook is essential for any video story, whether it's for a brand video, demo video, explainer video, or a video ad.

To hook your audience's attention, start by thinking about what problem you can help them solve.

Once you have their attention, keep it by providing valuable content that continues to solve that problem. Be sure to share your stories in an interesting way so that people will want to stick around until the end.

WeVideo offers an easy-to-use online video editor that makes it simple to create beautiful videos to help promote brand awareness and increase sales.

2. Create a connection with your viewers

Video storytelling is a great way to humanize your brand and make it feel more relatable. When you tell a story, you're not only providing information, but you're also giving your viewers an opportunity to emotionally connect with your brand.

This is a powerful ally when trying to increase engagement and drive sales. When you create videos that tell a story, make sure that the story is relevant and resonates with your target audience.

3. Spark curiosity, create intrigue, and evoke emotion

Curiosity is a primary motivator.

Storytelling allows you to tap into people’s curiosity and make them feel something; again, a key ingredient for driving engagement. You’ll be able to create an instant connection with your audience and make them feel like they're a part of the story.

Don't be afraid to get creative and tell a story that's unique to your brand or product. It can be as simple as introducing your viewer to the people behind your company or sharing the origin story of your product.

4. Keep your videos short and engaging

Keeping your videos short and engaging is key in the attention economy.

You want to make sure that your viewers stay interested and don't get bored or distracted. This can be done by using intriguing visuals (more on this to come), keeping your videos succinct, and using snappy text overlays.

5. Stay on-brand in your storytelling

How do you go about telling a story that's relevant to your brand and sparks curiosity and emotion in your audience?

Find the right story to tell. This should be something that speaks to the interests and values of your audience. Then, engage further with how you tell your story. 

Use music, narration, and effects to bring your story to life! And above all else, make sure every story you tell is consistent with your brand messaging. This will help you create lasting authenticity with your crowd.

You want people to feel like they know your brand, and the best way to do that is by telling a cohesive story that reflects who you are as a company.

6. Use visuals to support your story

You’ve probably guessed — when it comes to video storytelling, visuals are key.

With powerful visuals, you not only capture your viewer's attention but also help support your story. Remember, your video is competing for attention in a world accustomed to skimming content.

Keep your visuals simple, clean, and reflected of your brand’s visual style.

Powerful examples of effective storytelling in video marketing

Let's take a look at a few examples of how brands are using video storytelling to great effect.

Notice how each of them grabs your attention, creates intrigue, makes you want to watch the resolution, and maybe even evokes some kind of emotion in you.

Old Spice tv commercials

Ah, the classic Old Spice commercials never fail to bring up a smile or a laugh when watching them, and that is exactly why they work!

They do an excellent job of telling the most absurd stories in a humorous way which makes you WANT to watch the entire video.

Laughter is guaranteed (emotion) while also being highly captivating and engaging.

The product is neatly woven into the entire story, and it's hard to miss the branding that's going on.

Travelers Legacy

Storytelling as video marketing on a blockbuster level! At first, you don't even notice this being a commercial. You're drawn into the story immediately.

It's heartwarming and emotional, and you build a bond with the shop owners in a mere 20 seconds. Disaster strikes! You don't want the story to end in a bad way.

But magically a resolution that fixes the problem: an insurance company. This commercial is genius as the business goes all in on building a bond with their audience. "This could be your shop!" they imply —better protect it with insurance or you'll get the "bad ending".


Follow along the transformative journey of a mom, narrated through the eyes of her daughter, telling the story. They go the whole mile (pun intended) with trying to build up an emotional bond with their target audience. 

No one wants to just buy a smartwatch that tracks your heart rate, that's boring.

But if you could with the help of a product go on adventures, experience new things, while crushing your health goals? An entirely different story.

Frequently Asked Questions

In summary, storytelling is a powerful content marketing tool used by some of the largest brands on the planet to persuade, engage, and drive conversions. 

Let’s recap:

How is storytelling used in marketing?

There is no one answer to this question because the use of storytelling in marketing can take many different forms. Some video marketers might tell a story in order to create a strong emotional connection with their viewers, while others might use it as a way to spark curiosity and drive engagement. The important thing to remember is that video storytelling techniques can be used in a variety of ways to achieve different marketing goals.

Why is storytelling important in videos?

There is a reason storytelling has been around for centuries. It’s one of the most effective ways to capture and keep someone’s attention. In the attention economy, it’s more important than ever to come up with creative ways to engage your audience. And what better way to do that than with a good old-fashioned story?

How do you create a storytelling video?

The “best” way to create a storytelling video will vary depending on your brand and what you’re trying to achieve. However, there are some key things to keep in mind when creating your video.

The first step is to identify your story. What are you trying to say? What is the message you want to communicate?

Once you have a good understanding of your story, you can start brainstorming how to best tell it. Some tips for telling your story visually include using creative shots and filming in an interesting location. You can also incorporate animation or motion graphics to help bring your story to life.

As for audio, make sure your soundtrack and voiceover are both high quality and help convey the emotion of your story. By following these tips, you can create a storytelling video that is both creative and effective.

Author bio

Chris is an engineer turned synthesizer, combining tech expertise with content marketing. Chris writes and carefully curates the best tools for new technical trends, content creation, and marketing.