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Video Storytelling Like a Boss

Modern Marketing

December 15, 2019

Before using video to effectively tell a story, we must first understand the difference between a story and a narrative.

The adjacent video is a simplified example of a story. It features a project from start to finish, has characters, a specific setting, and has a beginning, middle and an end. Even without sound or words, enough context is given with the simple visuals. As we know, 80% of people watch video on their mobile with no sound. Using a time-lapse video is a creative and efficient way to communicate a story and give context without jeopardizing the narrative.

Did you know?

  • Mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year (Insivia)
  • 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than read text (Wordstream)
  • 85% of consumers want to see more video content from brands (HubSpot)
  • By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic (Cisco)
  • 64% of consumers will make a purchase after watching branded videos on social (Tubular Insights)
  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text (Insivia)
  • 92% of users watching video on mobile will share it with others (Wordstream)
  • A website is 53 times more likely to reach the front page of Google if it includes video (Insivia)

What is a narrative?

A narrative is an open sequence of events or ideas with no real beginning, middle or end.

What is a story?

A story is a structured narrative with a distinct beginning, middle, end. A story is closed because it has an ending.


  • No beginning, middle & end
  • Speak to our left brain
  • Contain F-words (Facts, figures, features)
  • Lack structure & context
  • Open sequence of events


  • Beginning, middle & end
  • Speak to our right brain
  • Create experiences
  • Structured or specific
  • Closed

The 4 P’s:

  1. Plotwhat is the story you are trying to tell?
  2. Purposewhy are you telling this story and what do you want people to do as a result of watching it?
  3. Peoplewho are the people in this video story and how do they relate to the story you want to tell?
  4. Placewhere is this being shot and how does the place influence the story?

Don’t forget A + D:

  1. Audiencewho is the intended audience for this story?’
  2. DistributionWhere will this content live and be shared? 

Design of a good story: 

  1. Exposition – the “intro”. Think setting, events and back story. Screen Shot 2019-12-20 at 12.56.47 PM.png
  2. Inciting Incident – the “conflict”. Something happens to throw the core character’s life off balance.
  3. Rising Action – the “build”. The action leading up to the climax or turning point.
  4. Climax – the “crisis”. The part of the story where the tension or action reaches its highest point.
  5. Falling Action – the “unravel”. Action falls as it moves toward the conclusion.
  6. Resolution – the “conclusion”. Balance is found again after conflict is resolved.

What is a storyboard?

A graphic representation of how your video will unfold, shot by shot. It’s made up of illustrations representing each shot, with notes about what’s going on in the scene and what’s being said in the script during that shot.

Check out this free step-by-step exercise to efficiently plan your video strategy.