How storytelling can give your videos structure and get better results.

Storytelling is the in thing at the moment, people say you should tell your story, and we agree. We have stories that have been handed down over generations and fairytales that pass on life lessons and morals to the next generation.

We also have stories about what we did on Friday night and on our last holiday. Storytelling makes us human and helps forge connections with our peers

But…

The best and most shareable stories have a structure to them and give value to the listener.

“It’s not about you, it’s about the audience

Stories can entertain, educate, insprire or any mixture of these 3. That is the value the listener gets from any story and that is the thing, it’s not about you, it’s about the audience. What do they get from investing their time in hearing/reading your story?

The structure of storytelling

Having a structure to your content (written, video, audio)  is key to keeping people engaged and passing on the value that makes them feel like it was a good investment of their time.

Start

In order to convey your message its good to use storytelling techniques. You have to set the scene at the start so the audience know what to expect so they can decide if it is worth there time investment.

This is where you introduce the problem to your audience, make them feel the pain that the main character (that can be you or your ideal customer) is going through on a daily basis. 

Think about Cinderella living with the step sisters and all the daily pain and problems she had to face.

You then have to get your point across and draw conclusions.

Middle

The middle is all about overcoming the problems you just raised. In other words, you introduce the solution.

This could be an action the main character will take or a product/service that will solve their problems

In Cinderella’s case it was the fairy godmother and the three wishes that allowed her to go to the ball and all her daily pains were gone. But it was only a temporary measure, until the clock struck midnight

End

Everybody loves conclusions. 

Have you ever watched a movie and afterwards started googling like crazy a bunch of question about the film. Or maybe you have watched a TV series and got hooked by a cliffhanger. You carry on craving more because you have unresolved questions, the story wasn’t brought to a conclusion. 

And you carry on watching because you know the conclusion is coming for that character or scenario. 

How do you feel when there is no conclusion? Flat? Empty? Angry? Confused?

Without a conclusion the story lacks purpose and your audience will feel like they have wasted there time.

Your conclusion could be the result of taking the actions covered in the middle section. You want to convey how the main character’s life has improved.

Luckily for Cinderella she lost a slipper and had oddly sized feet so that the prince was able to track her down and whisk her away to live happily ever after.  

Call to action – CTA

What do you want people to do after your story? 

Cinderella (and a lot of stories) conveys morals and the action we want people to take is to live by those morals. For example

  • Work hard
  • Never stop believing in your dreams
  • Know your self-worth
  • Be kind to others even if they are mean
  • Don’t pretend to be something you’re not
  • plus a few more

And you’ll want to make sure that your audience take a certain action too. Don’t feel like you have to put it at the end, it can go at any point and don’t be afraid to tell them what to either.

You could ask them to visit your website for more info. You could just ask them to like comment or subscribe. The CTA is very much defined by the content, platform and the needs of the business. 

Next time

Next time you start planning any content think about the structure of stories. Use storytelling and incorporate the structure it into your content and let us know how you get on!

Example

Check out our video of Marc Ford and see if you can figure out which bit is the start, the middle and the end.

If you have found this content useful please give it a like, share and comment below. 

References 

3 Quick and Easy Ways You Can Create Better Video With Your Mobile

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